Microsoft Surface Pro 128GB Version Will Offer Only 83GB Of Available Space

Today several tech blogs reported about the out-of-the box storage space available to Microsoft Surface Pro users. Just like any other device, Surface Pro models will offer less GBs than the marketed storage sizes. For example, a 64GB model Surface won’t have 64GB  free available space for the end users. According to Microsoft, 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.

“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.”

If you want more storage space, you can always backup your recovery partition and delete it from the device to gain some 15GB additional space. And you can uninstall pre-installed apps that are part of the OS for some more storage space.

What do  you think?

About the author  ⁄ pradeep

Pradeep, a Computer Science & Engineering graduate.

  • chandramuralis

    they shouldn’t advertise it as 64GB or 128GB….

    • kemite2

      why not ?

      • chandramuralis

        just think about the novice user just going to store and buying a device and then realize it will not have advertised GB.

        • http://twitter.com/surilamin surilamin

          What OEM today advertises only available space on a laptop today? Let’s not make an issue out of something that is not one. Even Apple does not advertise ‘available’ space.

          • chandramuralis

            In case of Laptops you are not going to miss 65% of the advertised space, at least I never seen a laptop that was missing 65%..

          • http://www.rwalrond.com RWalrond

            I would suspect, that If you purchased a Ultrabook with an advertised 128gb of HD space, you will probably get the same amount of free space as surface pro. I fail to see the big deal all of a sudden to something that isn’t even new or unique to the Surface.

        • Il Baffo

          a novice user doesn’t know what a GigaByte is, nor GigaBit or GiBibyte (which usually is the right one)

        • krayziehustler

          I just bought a 512GB SSD, only 476 is available..without any OS installed on it.
          So should i go crying about not getting what I paid for?

          • chandramuralis

            476 out of 512 is just missing 7%. In case Surface 23 out of 64 is missing 65% of the available space. Just do the math and then compare.

          • krayziehustler

            You are not accounting for the OS. So after installing the OS, my new Samsung 840 Pro has about 430 from 512GB advertised.
            You are also not accounting for the KB conversions, so 64gb isnt 64gb either

          • chandramuralis

            Even in this case you are just losing 16% ( 512-430=82GB) which is way better than loosing 65%.

          • krayziehustler

            That;s because the OS isn’t based on a percentage. The 128 OS takes about 45gb for OS/etc/ while the 64 version is 41gb. Theres only a 4gb difference most likely attributed to conversion.

            So basically a smaller than 64gb Surface Pro probably couldn’t exist.

          • chandramuralis

            That is my point, do you think a regular novice user will be able to understand all these explanations? I totally agree that OS requires that much space and you cannot do anything about it. Just don’t advertise the device as 64GB or 128GB.

          • krayziehustler

            Ok so what do you supposed they do? Become the only company in the world to sell a 83GB Tablet? and a 23GB tablet? That would confuse ppl even more cuz they’ll say but my iPad is 32gb?? I can already see the headaches it will give Best Buy workers lol

          • Il Baffo

            The device has actually that disk size, you can remove windows and put linux into it.
            The advertising is about the hardware, not about the software.

    • http://www.facebook.com/alexander.nevrmind.7 Alexander Nevrmind

      So cars should not advertise the MPG either, right? Although, the space is static I think too many people are comparing apples to oranges. An iPad runs smaller apps and takes less space. Let see how much space and processing power an iPad would need to run full MAC applications going back to the year 2K.

      • nilch

        A 64GB Macbook Air (a Mac PC just like the Surface Pro is advertised as ) has a bit over 48GB of
        free space right out of the box (before optimizing). More than double
        the free space of the Surface. And the Mac Air runs full fledged Mac OS not iOS – just like the Surface.run full Windows OS

        • jimski27

          Curious. Does the MacBook Air have a 15 GB recovery partition on that SSD?

        • http://www.facebook.com/alexander.nevrmind.7 Alexander Nevrmind

          Fuuny, I referenced the 128GB iPad, not the MBA which cost a more. That said, would you buy and iPad or MBA?

  • Blachlock

    That is no different than buying a laptop or desktop that advertises 500 GB drive and 50 GB is taken up by the OS and other pre-installed software, reducing actual storage to 450 GB.
    The OS does not reside on a separate drive or partition, it has 128 GB or 64 GB drive and part of that space is used for the OS and other items.

    • Il Baffo

      and that 10% of the real space that goes away with NTFS filesystem.
      On a 2TB usb drive, you get 1.81TB just formatting it

  • DigTheNoise

    Fine, fine … now just let me buy one already!

  • Blachlock

    Seriously this is not an issue. I have a 128 GB Series 7 Slate (Dev Conf Model) and I find that it is more than adequate for what I need and I am a developer using it daily.

    • okay

      Instead of even stating how much storage the device has, they could print on the box “More than adequate for what Blachlock needs”.

  • http://www.facebook.com/alexander.nevrmind.7 Alexander Nevrmind

    I have no issue with the Surface Pro only having 83GB of useable space. However, MS has a SERIOUS issue with delivering a clear message as to why the Pro has said space available due to the WIN8 OS and specific applications (list them). They should go further and explain to the consumer that MS recognizes the consumer need for space and award all Surface Pro buyers additional 20GB of storage on Skydrive. The 7GB is a slap in the face, considering consumers can go to Dropbox or the like. On another note, the Surface Pro sure looks like a bargain now considering what Apple is charging for their 128GB iPad.

    • PoohGQ

      Completely agree! Also, I fix a lot of PCs for individuals and have yet to find anyone that actually fills up their hard drive with important files apart from video & music files. In many cases most novices don’t even know those files are on their PCs. The Surface Pro (emphasis, “Pro”) should remain just that until possibly the next iteration of the Surface devices.

    • SagetB

      “On another note, the Surface Pro sure looks like a bargain now considering what Apple is charging for their 128GB iPad.”

      WHAT!!!!

      The iPad 128gb is $200 less, twice as long battery life, and over 90% usable storage space. Come on, I am all for supporting MSFT but we do the company no favors living in a Ballmar delusional distortion field unless we want to be as ignorant as Apple sheep.

      • http://www.facebook.com/alexander.nevrmind.7 Alexander Nevrmind

        Come on now, let get serious. Can you actually say that the 128GB iPad is a steal? Please show me how? Do you think the iPad would have the available space if it could run MAC OS applications (The Surface can run apps back to the year 2K)? You must not forget this is a full pledged PC you are working with. In all fairness, I agree that the 64GB Pro should be cheaper based on available space. However, no one will have an issue when Apple goes this way by making a MBA/Tablet (detachable keyboard and touch friendly). However, Apple will charge $1500-$2000 and it will be ok. IMO, there is no way in heck I would buy an 128GB iPad for that price. Yes, I own a 16GB iPad Retina so do not assume I am MS fanboy, just like people to point out the facts.

        I will agree that MS needs to boot Ballmer as I think he is a moron.

        • SagetB

          No I did not say it was a steal, but by no means is the Surface coming in at $200 more look anymore like a bargain in comparison to the iPad 128. I believe that all of them Surfaces Pro, Surface RT and iPads are over price. But our opinions on pricing does not matter what matter if they sell in quantity at those prices for it is up to the market to decide. And at this time the only one the market has decided is price correctly is the iPads.

          I suspect Apple does not expect you or I to buy a the product, but I wager this product is driven by Corporations in a few particular industries (medical, transportation and logistic ) that specifically requested this product for dedicated App deployment.

          Though I do give you major points for your option on Ballmer! Him at CEO is the worst decision by MS since they try to call IE part of the OS back in the 90′s.

        • http://www.facebook.com/james.gusman.37 James Gusman

          Lets also not forget that the iPad also has a cellular option AND is still cheaper. I agree with the guy prior Ballmer is delusional and the return rate of the surfaces proves that.

  • Alpha0ero

    Not sure what the issue is. When you get a new Windows PC or heck a Mac with say, 1TB of hard drive space do you actually have 1TB of hard drive space available when you first boot? No and this is nothing new. Now, it would be interesting to know what the 45GB consists of i.e. bloat ware, OS, recovery partition etc. etc. Also, I would think the newly advertised iPad 4 w/128 GB doesn’t have a full 128GB available on first boot either…

    • Duel

      Not ure what the issue is? 64gb iPad have 56gb for your use, 64gb pro gives you 23gb

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Njoi-Fontes/590077451 Njoi Fontes

        Comparing a full OS to a phone OS is nonsensical, and you can always delete the backup partition while storing in on na external device gaining an additional 15 GB

        • Duel

          yea just like comparing 1tb with 128gb or 64gb…

          • Alpha0ero

            Do you do this for a living Dueltroll? Seriously, were trying to have a discussion and you are adding nothing to the conversation.

        • http://www.facebook.com/james.gusman.37 James Gusman

          Even if you delete the backup that’s fine you gain more space and the OS has more functionality but you are still lacking cellular you are still lacking the additional space plus paying MUCH more for a half (a..) laptop doesn’t make sense. The iPad fills that gap between phone and laptop this doesn’t and it shows. I was very eager for this to come out as I personally don’t like iPads I have no use but the price vs features and Gains (lack there of) just isn’t there anymore just another big disappointment to me like (shutter as I say it) VISTA

      • http://www.rwalrond.com RWalrond

        The pro is a laptop computer in a tablet form. The iPad doesn’t have to include device drivers for millions of devices and services, because it can’t be used in all the same situations as a Surface Pro. If available HD space is more of a concern than actually functionality then perhaps the people complaining should purchase an iPad.

        • Duel

          Exactly, its more like laptop, who have laptop with 23gb free space after bying it with big money?

          • http://www.rwalrond.com RWalrond

            How about Anyone who buys an Ultrabook today with a similar size SSD.
            The Surface Pro, isn’t secretly doing something that isn’t done on all other PC’s. Good news, unlike an iPad is if you’re running out of space, you can expand it with an SD card or external Hard Drive, or network storage, or cloud storage. Heck you could turn on compression on your data directories and squeeze out every last byte of space. It’s a PC we have choices!

          • Brian

            A 64GB Macbook Air (the granddaddy of ultrabooks) has a bit over 48GB of free space right out of the box (before optimizing). More than double the free space of the Surface.

          • http://www.rwalrond.com RWalrond

            But as a Windows user If I bought the granddaddy, first of all, I wouldn’t get a touch screen or digitizer. But more importantly If I wanted to run my Windows applications, I would have to install a copy of Windows along with some sort of emulation software to run it. Bet that would take up space :)
            Listen, I just checked out a Samsung Ultrabook at my local best buy, it came with a 128GB SSD. For laughs I checked the available space on this device….. 56GB. Looks to me since the Surface won’t have the extra crapware, you might be getting more space than the average Windows Ultrabook with the same size SSD.

        • http://www.facebook.com/james.gusman.37 James Gusman

          As they have been lol and will continue to do so while Microsoft continues to sink like the titanic because of its stupidity and failures not only to consumers but business market as well

          • http://www.rwalrond.com RWalrond

            If consistently generating record revenue and record profit quarter after quarter is a sign of a sinking ship. Then were do I sign up to put my business in the same horrible position?

      • Alpha0ero

        Did you read my post before poppin’ off smart guy? I said “Now, it would be interesting to know what the 45GB consists of i.e. bloat ware, OS, recovery partition etc. etc”. It’s called a caveat.

    • okay

      If you’re going to skirt the issue with disproportional examples, how about you image that you get a 1TB hard drive and it comes with 23GB of usable space. Then would you see the issue?

  • http://www.facebook.com/hingethunder Mark Matheson

    Then service pack 1 comes out and you either have a few gig less or you don’t have enough storage on the system drive to install it… hmmm, what to delete…

    • http://www.facebook.com/alexander.nevrmind.7 Alexander Nevrmind

      FYI, I just had to delete programs off my iPad yesterday in order to update to the new OS. Where I needed 1GB free outside of the size of the install.

      • http://www.facebook.com/hingethunder Mark Matheson

        Well done for filling your iPad but Apple didn’t fill it to the degree MS filled their Surface in advance of you using the item, did they?
        MS should have put a 160GB drive in, created an OS partition and used the ‘user’ partition for a cache and any user content, still claimed it was 128GB and that would be more honest than the current offering.

  • GEE

    Really? Are we that stupid? Of course, there is less available than the 128gb. It is Windows, not Symbian!

  • TheHumanOracle

    It does raise a concern on how the OS has bloated to over 40Gb !

  • jcfan1979

    Would it really kill them to have more storage available and actually have 128GB free to use? I think not. If they won’t do that they should give you and extra 20GB of Skydrive for two years or something.

    • http://www.facebook.com/alexander.nevrmind.7 Alexander Nevrmind

      That’s my point give more Skydrive storage space.

  • soggybiscuit

    Epic Fail Microsoft, what ate my harddrive

  • frankwick

    I would like to remind every the Surface Pro is a normal laptop. Like any laptop, it comes with X GB of storage and the OS and included apps take up Y. In this case: 128-48=83 GB

    • Il Baffo

      128 GB, formatted in NTFS, gives:
      111,6 GB available for data.
      -4 GB for the Hybernation FIle
      -2 GB, at least, of Swap File
      -18 GB, fresh install, of Windows OS and basic apps (64 bit uses more than 32 bit ’cause of duplicated libraries for both architectures)
      -4 GB of restore files (the Windows 8 DVD iso image)
      =83 GB… and the windows direcotry is gonna grow

      I have nothing to complain about the PRO, but on Windows RT this could be a problem for many people

  • WillemEvenhuis

    Ow, Microsoft. Will they ever learn? Only 23 GB storage on the 64 Gb! Its only a small consiliation that the sdhx of up to 64 GB is offered. I still believe more in the power of offline than online storage. In daily life it is my experience that robustness, affordabilty and reliabilty of a constant online connection still has to prove itself.

  • Ocelotty1

    Oh Nooooooes, WTF man, Game Over Game Over.

    Back on Earth however: Just add a 64GB SD card; back up Win 8 to an external pen drive & delete that restore data on the Surface,

    Run decrappifier & finally grab one of your Grandfathered 25GB Skydrive accounts & you’re good to go, or at least I will be :)

  • Steve Leighton

    So, for around a grand, you can now choose an iPad WifI+WLAN 128G, or a Surface Pro 128G with lots of ports, or a really nice ultrabook 128G of various persuasions. You’ll get 80-90G free or thereabouts of fast SSD for programs, data, whatever. It will be fast, sleek, smooth, and there will be plusses and minuses. So, really, if you have a grand to spend, are you going to get honked over 10G or a feature here or there? You can get a couple TB of fast external for under $200. If you try to squeeze by with 64G, then you know what trade-off you are making. If it works for you, do it, if not, pony up the cash and “suffer” with your 80-90G. If you like tweaking, do all the stuff — create your own restore and get back the recovery partition, or delete other stuff you don’t need. Remember the time and pain and bucks we spent to get at that memory above 640k? If you don’t like tweaking, what do you care? This is a real first world problem folks. if you don’t have a grand, there are some really decent (not as nice but decent) options for half as much. Microsoft isn’t forcing anybody to do anything here. Vote with your wallet and buy or don’t buy, Microsoft, Apple, Google, Amazon, Acer, Samsung, HP, Dell — they all get that message. They probably don’t pay much attention to these.

  • NGM123

    It is what it is, next.

  • jxb767

    Meh , I have tones of external USB hard drives, am just waiting to see the review on this thing.

  • tomakali

    Ill buy this, when it hits 1TB SSD internal storage

  • plsburydoughboy

    Why is this a surprise, really?