Microsoft may have promoted that their Surface RT features 32 GB of storage, but the tablet only boasts closer to 16 GB capacity in reality. Good thing, the company’s FAQ page, laid out exactly how much usable storage is available in the said device, as well as where the unusable part went.
Inside Surface RT’s Storage Capacity
The OS itself, together with the preview version Microsoft Office and other built-in apps, takes 8 GB of storage. Windows recovery tools take 5 GB.
As for the remaining 3 GB, the Windows’ File Explorer calculates that 1 GB is equivalent to 1,073,741,824 bytes. This means that the difference in formatting could produce lower number of gigabytes.
The 64 GB Surface RT also has the same amount of unusable storage, which brings down the device’s actual capacity to 46 GB.
Surface RT: Measuring Up Against Competing Tablets
It appears that Microsoft is not the only manufacturer that advertises their device’s storage capability more than what is actually available. This is due to the similar combination of OS requirements, preloaded software, and differences in calculation.
However, the Surface RT still has the largest difference in actual versus advertised storage. Apple’s 32 GB iPad comes with about 28 GB of available storage, while the Google Nexus 7 has a bit more than 13 GB usable out of the box.
On the other hand, users can eke out a little more storage from the Surface RT by uninstalling some of the modern-style apps that come built-in with the tablet. It also sports a MicroSD card slot for expandable memory storage of up to 64 GB, and a USB port that can support external hard drives and flash drives.
Also integrated with the device’s OS is the SkyDrive service, which can provide 7 GB of online storage for free. However, none of those options can be used to install more apps. For that, users will need to have a Surface RT with greater storage capacity.
People may love or hate Microsoft, but it doesn’t take away the fact that all companies over-advertise their device’s capabilities to some degree. The Redmonton-based company should also get some credit for explaining the actual storage capacity of their tablet, as well as how users can add more storage space on their device. However, it would be easier for consumers if manufacturers would make these numbers clear, instead of writing it on fine print or on a separate FAQ page.