Surface Pro Tablet Buyers Can Use Only a Fraction of the Space They Pay For


Thinking of picking up a Surface Pro (as my wife pointed out last night in Best Buy “they aren’t cheaper than an iPad are they?) and mulling over getting the 128GB or 64GB version? Whichever you pick, you’re in for a shock because like the Surface RT, you only get to use a fraction of that storage space. How much? Like about 23 GB for the 64 and 83 GB for the 128 model.

That works out to about 36% of the space on the smaller model and 65% of the space on the larger model is space you can use out of the box.


Microsoft told Engadget:

“The 128 GB version of Surface Pro has 83 GB of free storage out of the box. The 64GB version of Surface Pro has 23GB of free storage out of the box. Of course, Surface Pro has a USB 3.0 port for connectivity with almost limitless storage options, including external hard drives and USB flash drives. Surface also comes pre-loaded with SkyDrive, allowing you to store up to 7GB of content in the cloud for free. The device also includes a microSDXC card slot that lets you store up to 64GB of additional content to your device. Customers can also free up additional storage space by creating a backup bootable USB and deleting the recovery partition.”

Uh huh. Well, tech pubs high and low from GigaOm to The Loop to … heck pretty much everyone else are calling out Microsoft on this one.

Yes, the Surface comes with a full-fledged OS, but still, I think if you get a 64GB device having only about 23GB to play with to start is insane. Yeah, it will be fine for a bit and you can connect USB drives to it for more space. However, do you want to have to declutter your tablet when you get it for more space?

While John Gruber points out every design choice has a cost, this is way too high a cost.

Via: Engadget.

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  • Bawsack

    So a 64gb ssd formatted is 60gb approx, x64 windows 8 install is 13gb approx, leaving 47gb free, what’s taking the other 24gb?

    • Jeremy Taco Patterson

      The hopes and dreams of the Microsoft employees? They crammed them in there since there was nothing left to do with them…

    • Tris Hussey

      The OS and pre-installed apps

      • Bawsack

        11Gb of preinstalled apps? really?

    • Drusenija

      Well the article mentions a recovery partition. Depending on how that is implemented, that could mirror the main OS space, meaning another 13gb, plus another gig or so for all the associated recovery software. So let’s put it at 15gb (probably an overestimation though). Still leaves 11gb unaccounted for. Maybe there is a bunch of bundled software included with it?

  • surfin4hot

    perfect example of “not getting what you paid for”

  • eric law

    but think about this you can add a micro sd card to increase it’s space while iPad can’t

    • Pedro

      Or think about this, you are going to buy a sd card instead of just use what you paid for! I’m not defending the iPad, but at least you don’t have to put an extra card to use what was supposed to be used.

      • xero14

        I agree if they say 64 should be 64. I shouldn’t have to pay more to buy an sd or hdd to add on to it. BS and I always defended microsoft products guess I’m the idiot.

        • Upgrayedd

          I hope your sarcastic. You think a 16gb ipad has 16 actual gb pf space. Ya right… Instead of paying 100 dollars to get a 32gb ipday you can pay 29 dollars and get a 64gb microsd card

  • Malvic

    Who care, I don’t care. When u love something, just buy and use it.

    • Bawsack

      And it’s people like you who allow this sort of thing to happen in the first place.

      • BoatBoy

        What was the last device you bought that had the amount of free space available that was written on the side of the box? Not any Apple device, not any Hard Drive, not any thing.

  • Igor

    I wish the tech press would stop regurgitating this “news” without so much as a mention of the fact that this is the case with ALL devices. It is not a failing particular to the surface. Not a single device allows you to use the space it advertises. Reporting it the way everyone has misleads the general public into thinking that this is unique to the surface.

    If anything at least Microsoft is being open about this.

  • Vic

    I guess the capacity of a device cannot be reasonably stated by any other mean but the total available storage space – the OS usage might well vary over time and configurations. As for the size of the Surface’s OS one should bear in mind that iOS apps can be extremely costly in storage.
    Many iPhone users have screamed in horror with the emergence of “other” type of files “clogging” their devices – it’s mostly only iOS growing with cache and data needed by all the cloud related features added over the recent times.

  • Zed Sefi

    OK I understand if you lose 3-4 Gb, but 23 Gb!!!??? This is CRA_ZYYYY!!!