32GB Surface With Windows RT Comes With Just 16GB Free Storage


If you’re in the market for Microsoft’s new tablet, you might want to take a little more time in making your purchasing decision. At least, for those with a library of applications, music, photos, videos and files to store. Despite Microsoft boasting the Surface is an ‘all-in-one’ PC and tablet, it appears its on-board storage capacity is really quite woeful.

Of course, we’re not naïve enough to believe that Windows wouldn’t take up a sizeable portion of advertised disk space, but what we weren’t anticipating was quite how much the operating system in this instance would need. Microsoft is reporting as little as 16GB of the advertised 32GB disk space is available for Surface with Windows RT consumers opting for the more affordable model (a staggering 50% of the total space). It turns what appears to be a fair amount of on-board storage for a PC-meets-tablet device into one more akin with low-end tablets. The 64GB model, meanwhile, has a whopping 18GB taken up by the OS and the range of pre-installed apps, coming to 46GB available to the user.

iPad versus Surface. It seems a bit rich when looking at the cold, hard facts that Microsoft claims the Surface offers twice the space of the iPad for the same price.But yes, as many will no doubt point out, expanding the on-board storage by other means is one of the Surface’s strong points. Backing up data to the cloud via SkyDrive is just the beginning. As you’d expect with a device that the company behind it is largely advertising as a PC alternative (even if the ‘Pro’ still waits in the wings); microSD, microSDHC, microSDXC support can add up to a total of 64GB; while USB flash drives and additional hard drives even more still.

As keen Surface admirers, the alternatives available more than make up for the OS’s byte-hungry appetite for us, but there’s an argument still to be had here no doubt. As operating systems become ever larger in size, hasn’t the manufacturer behind it got a responsibility to market its device accordingly? A couple of GB’s here and there on device’s boasting storage in the tens of gigabytes is one thing, but when an OS snatches up half of all storage, the average Joe consumer is undeniably going to feel a little misled. No?

Richard Birkett