Yesterday there were stories making the rounds that the new 64GB Surface Pro would only have 23GB of usable space. The stories were all doom and gloom – how can this be?? There should be a lawsuit! Total and complete fail. This immediately puzzled me as I have a 64GB Surface RT (not Pro) and I’ve never once worried about disk space. There are a few reasons for this and why this is a non-story.
First, the Surface Pro isn’t a tablet – it’s a computer – and for me this is an important distinction. While it can be used as a tablet it’s really a hybrid laptop – and laptops have always been marketed this way. When the original Macbook Air was released it arrived with a 64GB SSD – just like the Surface Pro. While the Air had more usable space (about 38GB if I remember) it was not upgradeable via MicroSD cards like the Surface. Only now with tablets and smartphones have we become accustomed to 64GB = 64GB available.
I do agree that 23GB of free space is pretty horrible. But let’s remember for under $60 you can add an additional 64GB of space (or simply opt for the 128GB model). The other reason this is a non-issue is cloud/network storage. I have virtually all my data – around 150GB – in Dropbox. Since the Surface runs Windows I can connect to my existing network shares and copy/stream all my media just like I’ve always done. And finally the Surface has a USB port. I have a 500GB pocket drive with a huge amount of media on it (TV, Movies, Music) and when I travel I just take that drive with me. I don’t have to deal with any iTunes bullshit and there is no change to my behavior as I’ve used this drive for years with all previous laptops.
I do agree that Microsoft has 2 big problems, marketing and 3rd party app support. Fortunately with the Surface Pro 3rd party app support is no longer a big issue as it runs virtually every Windows app ever written. As for it being a fail – 1080p display, kick stand, folding keyboard, stylus, under 2 lbs, 13mm thin, MicroSD, MicroHDMI, USB, 2 cameras and runs any Windows app for $900. Not sure why that’s a fail.
It’s easy to see the Surface Pro as an expensive tablet rather than the affordable and unique Windows 8 convertible that it really is. My prediction – Apple will release a hybrid iOS/OSX device within 24 months. The convergence of mobile and desktop is beginning.