Ed Bott Disputes The Amount Of Free Space On The Surface Pro

6 February 2013

Ed Bott, ZDNet:

Recovery partition takes up 7.81 GB of disk space. On either Surface Pro model you can copy the recovery partition to a bootable USB flash drive and reclaim the space. You can also uninstall several hundred megabytes’ worth of built-in Windows 8 apps, such as the Travel app, resulting in free space equal to 38 or 98 GB on the two Surface Pro models.

In addition, you can add extra storage capacity in the microSDXC card slot. (Currently, 64 GB cards are the maximum you’ll find through normal retail channels, but larger capacity cards are in the pipeline. The SDXC spec supports cards up to 2 TB in size.)

Still, 38 GB out of 64 GB is still about half the space gone on the baseline model. That is a lot, especially considering to achieve that amount you have to also own an 8GB USB key and deal with the hassle of copying the recovery partition. I concede, however, that the numbers quoted last month were too high.

What I can’t agree to is the premise that an SD card slot is a satisfactory replacement. SD cards are slow, easily lost and generally finicky. Using an SD card as your primary file location on any OS is terrible; SD cards are treated like second-class citizens. Take this post explaining how to move Metro apps to the SD card as an example of the annoyances involved.