Surface Pro: Microsoft Defends Storage, Battery Life

Dennis Faas's picture

In a recent "Ask Me Anything" session on Reddit, Microsoft's Surface team addressed concerns about the Surface Pro, which hit stores over the weekend. At the top of the list: worries about the device's storage capacity.

As we reported a few weeks ago, while Microsoft advertises that the Surface Pro ships with either 64GB or 128GB of storage space, the actual space available to end users is much lower.

Microsoft Clarifies Storage Situation

At the time, reports indicated that buyers of the 64GB version would be left with just 23GB of available storage space. Those picking up the 128GB version, meanwhile, would be left with about 83GB.

In addressing this issue, Microsoft Surface team lead Panos Panay had this to say:

"We designed Surface Pro ... to have the power of full Windows 8, the ability to have a simplified and fast upgrade to full Office, and the confidence of a recovery image already available on your device ... Initial reports out regarding available disk space were conservative."

Panay suggests that the actual Surface Pro storage numbers are 6-7GB higher than earlier reports indicated. If true, that would mean 64GB and 128GB Surface Pro owners would have access to roughly 30GB and 90GB of storage space, respectively. (Source:

Microsoft: There's Good Reason for Smaller Battery

Panay and the Surface team also fielded questions about the Surface Pro's battery life. In a recent test by PC Magazine, the device lasted just under five hours before requiring a re-charge.

Some experts have suggested that this is simply too short for a tablet computer that costs close to $1,000. (Source:

But Panay and the Surface team say they had a good reason for placing a slightly smaller battery inside the Surface Pro.

"If you compare it to say a MacBook Air, you will quickly see that pound for pound in battery size vs. battery life, you will find optimizations that put Surface best in its class," the Surface team said.

"That said, we picked a smaller battery to be sure we were able to give you the same performance and to keep it thin."

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