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Microsoft justifies Surface Windows 8 Pro battery life and storage

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Microsoft justifies Surface Windows 8 Pro battery life and storage

For those that saw what Microsoft’s Surface RT had to offer and decided to wait patiently for the full Windows 8 version of the tablet, the news about the battery life and later on available storage of the tablets might have dampened ambitions for picking up one of the snazzy tablets.

The Surface with Windows 8 Pro still has a lot of appealing features in its own right, plus it carries-over neatness of the Surface RT, like the kickstand, magnesium frame and relatively light weight. The Surface Pro has a higher definition display and an Intel i5 processor as well as more storage. That extra storage is certainly needed since Windows 8 Pro takes up a lot of space, about 40-ish GB, leaving about 23GB of native space on the 64GB Surface Pro and roughly 83GB off the 128GB tablet.

Having less usable storage than advertised is a given on just about every mobile device out there. From Apple to Samsung, we all know there is storage, and “available” storage, such as life. The Surface Windows 8 Pro is no different and there are some justifiable reasons as it relates to storage and battery life. First, we know that Windows 8 needs some real estate and second, a full third generation Intel CPU is going to require more energy than NVIDIA Tegra 3 found on the Surface RT. Microsoft knew this going into it too.

While doing an “Ask Me Anything” session on Reddit, Panos Panay, the head of Microsoft’s Surface team, explained the rationale for both of these visible concerns that people have. The memory issue is simply a result of what was called a necessary move to have Windows 8 Pro on the tablet. The best option to gain more storage is to utilize the tablet’s microSDXC slot, which can accommodate up to 64GB. Is it ideal? Arguably no, but we readily accommodate such circumstances on our smartphones and other tablets.

When it came to battery life and performance, Mr. Panay was far more detailed:

“The product was designed to take full advantage of Windows 8 coupled with the Ivy Bridge core processor from Intel. We created a product that did not compromise speed, performance in any way. With that, we wanted to be the best notebook/laptop product in its class, but still deliver you the tablet form factor. This product is optimized in every way to take advantage of the full third generation core i5 it runs, yet give the best battery life.”

“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 puts Surface best in its class. That said we picked a smaller battery to be sure we were able to give you the same performance and to keep it thin. This kept the weight under 2lbs, and still kept it thin enough to take advantage of our great Windows work for inking and give you a great inking experience (like pressure sensitive inking, ability to do kanji, great sketching).”


What do you think of the explanation? Does it dampen your excitement or desire to pick up a Surface Windows 8 Pro tablet? It goes on sale February 9th with the 64GB version starting at $899.

source: BGR

38 Comments
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posted on 07 Feb 2013, 02:56 3

1. BackHandLegend (Posts: 80; Member since: 15 Dec 2012)


20 Gigs would be enough for me. Honestly people are riled up for something they're not going to buy anyway. Unless you're a developer/programmer why would you need more than 20Gb and even then why would you have a surface tablet to do such resourceful tasks?

posted on 07 Feb 2013, 09:13 4

23. Commentator (Posts: 2438; Member since: 16 Aug 2011)


Because when I'm looking to store videos, music, and pictures on a device (much less PC games, which easily run close to 20GB) I'd at least want something with a higher capacity than my 30GB iPod from 7 years ago...

posted on 07 Feb 2013, 16:01 1

30. BackHandLegend (Posts: 80; Member since: 15 Dec 2012)


Go buy a flashdrive, external harddrive, or take advantage of the free cloud storage. It isn't that hard. Where else will you get a full computer experience on a device as portable as this?

posted on 07 Feb 2013, 17:19 1

33. Commentator (Posts: 2438; Member since: 16 Aug 2011)


Any ultrabook? Besides, it's not like the 128GB unit is that bad, and I was really considering getting one beforeI decided on a more conventional touchscreen Vaio laptop. 80GB of usable storage is very usable, but 20GB hardly is.

posted on 08 Feb 2013, 00:16

38. jsdechavez (Posts: 708; Member since: 20 Jul 2012)


Yes, almost everyone's got their thumb drives and external hard disks anyway..

posted on 07 Feb 2013, 13:00

27. rusticguy (Posts: 2828; Member since: 11 Aug 2012)


Oh well because Office365 gives a 25GB mailbox :D

posted on 07 Feb 2013, 02:57 10

2. Sniggly (Posts: 7128; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)


f**k the lack of storage. It's a ripoff. If it was only five gigs or soish, like what Android takes up, fine. I can live with that. But taking half of the available storage? Over half? f**k that noise. I'll get an Asus Transformer Infinity, save myself 400 dollars, and have a much better experience.

posted on 07 Feb 2013, 03:01 1

3. speckledapple (Posts: 879; Member since: 29 Sep 2011)


and also not full windows.

posted on 07 Feb 2013, 05:21 2

16. anywherehome (Posts: 971; Member since: 13 Dec 2011)


full windows are good at work....but its enough to have 3 years old PC even when I calculate a lot (mathematics, VBA)
so for 99 % is 3 years old PC with W7 enough

but at home for the best experience I use just Android (phone or tablet the newer the better, I will renew my devices (Android) every year...great innovations)....I don't need Windows at home any more....Android can manage almost everything and in much much a better way (of course if I had iOS, I would need Windows almost all the time)

I want to know the trains: Android app is far better than PC web
I want to know calendar: just a blink at calendar widget in my Android
I want to start wifi: just one tap on a widget

etc. etc. etc....unfortunately there is NO competition for Android....thats sad :(

posted on 07 Feb 2013, 09:34

25. Bilpocalypse (Posts: 301; Member since: 13 Oct 2012)


There are trade-offs there. There are many applications that I would like to use on my tablet that your android solution is currently not capable of running. ie: Minecraft (not PE), Gimp, MS Office, Calibre, NWN, etc.) The Surface Pro is capable of running all of this software, as it is practically a laptop replacement. Its not about competition, its about what works best for you. I like android, but its not for me.

posted on 07 Feb 2013, 09:32

24. Commentator (Posts: 2438; Member since: 16 Aug 2011)


Having full Windows exacerbates the problem. If I'm getting a full-fledged PC tablet as opposed to Win RT, Android, or an iPad, it's because I want to run full-fledged Windows programs, which generally take up much more space than ARM applications. So this PC has less storage than most modern smartphones, uses apps that are much larger, and costs twice as much... you do the math.

posted on 07 Feb 2013, 10:22

26. NexusKoolaid (Posts: 298; Member since: 24 Oct 2011)


The more I think about the way they're going with this, I'm starting to think that Microsoft is really struggling when it comes to adapting to mobile computing. The WP concept shows some promise, but other parts of the company seems to feel compelled to shoehorn their legacy baggage into whole affair. And what they end up with in the Surface Pro isn't a 'Mobile' computing device, but a portable PC - a notebook that disguises itself as a tablet by having detachable keyboard. I can understand WP and I can understand Surface RT, but Surface Pro is just weird.

posted on 07 Feb 2013, 03:02

4. speckledapple (Posts: 879; Member since: 29 Sep 2011)


I think the explanation makes sense. I am sure they wanted to do the most witht he surface and even with some things that are obvious drawbacks, the form factor is pretty good.

posted on 07 Feb 2013, 03:03 1

5. John.V (Posts: 92; Member since: 27 May 2011)


I was tempted to buy one as my daily driver, but I since opted to get something else. Still, I love the portability factor.

posted on 07 Feb 2013, 03:14

7. thelegend6657 (unregistered)


I initially thought It would replace my laptop

posted on 07 Feb 2013, 03:27 1

11. cezarepc (Posts: 577; Member since: 23 Nov 2012)


It could if you have a Type-Cover and a portable power bank.

posted on 07 Feb 2013, 03:08 1

6. clevername (Posts: 1429; Member since: 11 Jul 2008)


don't mind too much. I'm used to storing media in an external HDD anyway to save space and speed up the internal HDD when I don't need the media.
and why do ppl keep saying its not full windows? RT isn't, even though its close, but windows 8 pro is full fledged windows.

my main questions are how much space does windows 8 take in other PC's, and why is there a difference?

posted on 07 Feb 2013, 03:15 1

9. thelegend6657 (unregistered)


But why windows 8 only takes up less than 30gb on my laptop ? Something fishy here

posted on 07 Feb 2013, 04:13 1

14. haseebzahid (Posts: 1833; Member since: 22 Feb 2012)


i heard its the win backup also on the pro which takes ++ space on the surface and also heard that backup can be taken to boot-able USB and the space can freed i cant be sure but lot of people said that better conform the surface pro users

posted on 07 Feb 2013, 03:15

8. joey_sfb (Posts: 3012; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)


I want to know the 40g storage requirement how much is use for bloatware. Can we uninstall them? I really dislike those bundle Android apps.

I disable everyone of them!

posted on 07 Feb 2013, 03:25 6

10. darac (Posts: 2156; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)


I said right awaythat this thing won't compete with tablets, and that it will be awkward to use just by touch (too heavy), or on the lap (poor balance).

Now this guy is trying to compare it with MacBook Air.
IPad killer?
Only Microsoft fanboys were that dumb to see it that way

posted on 07 Feb 2013, 04:05

12. schinnak (Posts: 83; Member since: 26 Oct 2011)


I say go for this instead -http://www.asus.com/Notebooks_Ultrabooks/ASUS_Transformer_Book_TX300/#overview

posted on 07 Feb 2013, 04:12 1

13. Nathan_ingx (Posts: 3013; Member since: 07 Mar 2012)


For loyal Windows lovers i guess...
Won't mind having one though...especially with the processor inside, as capable as a good laptop.

posted on 07 Feb 2013, 04:40

15. OHaZZaR (Posts: 131; Member since: 19 Aug 2011)


All this talk of no compromise, but for them to say that theirs is more "efficient" than the macbook airs battery is hogwash. No one cares about it in terms of "pound for pound" unless you're going into serious portability, in which case the Macbook air is less than half a pound heavier. In the end, this delivers a less than average battery life for a tablet and, in todays standards, pretty average battery life for a regular laptop. Of course, it does come with a 1920*1080 display, but again, there's compromise in battery life and, to a very small extent, performance. Disk space is also a serious compromise, as people paid for 64 gigabytes, that's sort of like a promise that should be kept. I did some research and the 128Gb Macbook air gives users exactly 120.47Gb of storage. Well done Microsoft. Not only is android decades ahead of your garbage but so is Apple. Kudos.

posted on 07 Feb 2013, 05:34

17. jubbing (Posts: 150; Member since: 20 Aug 2008)


Heh, that's my question to Panos!

posted on 07 Feb 2013, 07:36

18. khmer (Posts: 93; Member since: 21 Jun 2012)


You buy what you pay for not faking and lying MS advertised mentions 64GB is at least 60GB of free memory not 24GB. Next time advertised 30GB on 64Gb of internal memory. MS Surface has a very poor display resolution, very poor free memory and sold very high price. Nexus 10 is the best tablet in the world for now after iPad4.

posted on 07 Feb 2013, 09:09

22. lubba (Posts: 1310; Member since: 17 Jan 2011)


Khmer, you need to go back to srok Khmer.

posted on 07 Feb 2013, 07:49 1

19. android_hitman (Posts: 628; Member since: 07 Jul 2010)


This is a full blown PC/Laptop so don't compare it to any tablet because u can't. So stop complaining about the storage. in nowadays everything tends to be in "cloud"
and 1 more thing

if apple would have presented something similar with full MAC OS X running on it with 64/128 GB the world would have pissed it self and nobody would have complain about the storage.

so buy the surface if you like and meet your needs if not go for android tablet or ipad.

posted on 07 Feb 2013, 07:51

20. android_hitman (Posts: 628; Member since: 07 Jul 2010)


This is a full blown PC/Laptop so don't compare it to any tablet because u can't. So stop complaining about the storage. in nowadays everything tends to be in "cloud"
and 1 more thing

if apple would have presented something similar with full MAC OS X running on it with 64/128 GB the world would have pissed it self and nobody would have complain about the storage.

so buy the surface if you like and meet your needs if not go for android tablet or ipad.

posted on 07 Feb 2013, 09:07

21. lubba (Posts: 1310; Member since: 17 Jan 2011)


This is a PC/tablet, not your funpad. The pro is for both work and play. It appears though most of you android/apple minions here like to play more than work.

posted on 07 Feb 2013, 13:01 1

28. rusticguy (Posts: 2828; Member since: 11 Aug 2012)


Buy a decent laptop for $700 ... this is a fail. :)

posted on 07 Feb 2013, 14:39

29. Bilpocalypse (Posts: 301; Member since: 13 Oct 2012)


I have a decent laptop that I'm tired of lugging around everywhere and I don't wan't want the limits of a standard tablet. Its a niche device, and there is a demand for it.

posted on 07 Feb 2013, 16:09

31. rusticguy (Posts: 2828; Member since: 11 Aug 2012)


And i can't even have a full 25GB mailbox on this that Offfice365 provides ... 20GB space? huh ... i am not in "fashion" industry ... more of a developer :)

posted on 07 Feb 2013, 16:10

32. MorePhonesThanNeeded (Posts: 635; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)


Just loving how fans will justify anything from their favorite company. Then the company PR rep goes on about us accepting memory limitations on smartphones and tablets, but what he is forgetting is that smartphones and tablets don't have OS's that swallow more than 5GB's of valuable memory.
People talking about a replacement for a laptop, sure it sounds nice but unless it gets better battery life and the OS doesn't eat up your internal drive space this will find it hard to gain traction with people who use laptops. It's bad enough it has no optical drive, but it has poor battery life and meager HDD space coupled with irregular design that makes it unstable on a lap and as for the recovery sector, if the OS wasn't so damn big the recovery sector wouldn't have been as large either. How do you use that as a reason, that's like saying my shoes are big because my feet are big, it's a bloody given.

posted on 07 Feb 2013, 17:28

34. anonimust (Posts: 19; Member since: 12 Jan 2012)


Simply backup the recovery partition onto a USB drive, and remove the preinstalled applications you don't use. Really what's so difficult about that? Maybe Microsoft should just throw in the usb drive and microsdxc card with the Surface Pro.

posted on 07 Feb 2013, 23:00

36. MorePhonesThanNeeded (Posts: 635; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)


That doesn't answer the issue of why the OS takes up so much space of it's own accord. Why in this day an age is Windows the only OS that has such a massive footprint on HDD. Don't know about any built in programs that are added on that require GB's of space. With all those able minded programmers at MS headquarters, you would think that they would have figured out to streamline their OS to the point where it's efficient in every way possible, but given their track record with Window versions, that answered the question for me.

posted on 07 Feb 2013, 21:39

35. BattleBrat (Posts: 1105; Member since: 26 Oct 2011)


This is a computer, Ultrabooks compete against the Macbook Air. This? This is something different. Music? I have a Walkman for music, I have an iPod Touch for music. I don't really even keep music on my computer at home It is on external hard drives. Movies? Netflix, Hulu, Crackle, and I can access them from my RAZR w/ an HDMI cable (which I have) The Surface Pro is for Work, and that is what I will use it for. Keyboard? I have a cheap windows 7 tablet, I set up voice control. Speech to text is the way to go, kicks typings ass. A keyboard isnt as important, I'll keep one in my bag though...With A voice control program (Dragon, or the built in one) And an on screen keyboard, for when I need it, I'll be just fine

posted on 08 Feb 2013, 00:06

37. freebee269 (Posts: 528; Member since: 10 Aug 2012)


read this article. very interesting take on the storage between the surface pro and the macbook air.

http://www.zdnet.com/surface-pro-versus-macbook-air-whos-being-dishonest-with-storage-space-7000011009/

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