What! Windows RT hogs 16GB of Microsoft’s 32GB Surface tablet

surface rt tablet microsoft

If you thought a $500 Microsoft Surface RT with 32GB of storage was too good to be true (compared to the iPad’s 16GB for the same price) then we’re here to say you’re right. If that was your dream then you may want to start amassing memory cards because Microsoft had to use half of that 32GB for Windows RT, Microsoft Office, and other software.

Microsoft broke the news in a new post titled, “Surface disk space FAQ”, outlining exactly how much space on the Surface RT is available for apps, music, videos, and photos. According to the FAQ, the 32GB version has 16GB of free space and the 64GB version will have 46GB free. We are hoping this isn’t a universal issue for all Windows RT devices, but keep it in mind next time you read about a Windows RT device with an attractive storage size.

Another part of the FAQ explains that 32GB is actually 29GB when using it in the real world. Silly us for trusting the quoted storage sizes. Here’s the official explanation:

The advertised local disk size is shown using the decimal system, while Windows displays the disk size using the binary system. As a result, 1 GB (in decimal) appears as about 0.93 GB (in binary). The storage capacity is the same, it’s just shown differently depending on the how you measure a GB (decimal or binary).

At least Microsoft was kind enough to feature expandable memory through microSD cards that can hold up to 64GB of extra data. There’s also a standard USB port if you are in need of something in the terabyte range for a massive media collection.

Still, Microsoft routinely boasts that the Surface has double 16GB of storage when only 16GB is available to users. Windows RT has enough uncertainty surrounding it with its basically useless classic desktop and nearly empty app store. It doesn’t need this storage drama added to the mix. The Microsoft engineer quoted last month saying Surface RT users would have 20GB of space available only makes things more uneasy.

With iOS and Android optimized for mobile storage sizes, we kind of expected Windows RT to be relatively svelte in terms of gigabytes. It wouldn’t be surprising if Microsoft addressed the size of Windows RT in a future update. Perhaps it will prune it down as time passes and eventually — fingers crossed — phase out the legacy features and classic desktop altogether.

What do you think of Microsoft’s misstep? Is expandable memory enough to make up for less internal storage?

Mobile

You can now use the innovative Red Hydrogen One on Google Fi

The Red Hydrogen One was first announced in 2017 and has been delayed a few times since then. Now, the Red Hydrogen One is finally available, featuring a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, 6GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage.
Computing

Tablet or notebook? Our favorite 2-in-1 PCs give you the best of both worlds

If you can’t decide if you need a tablet or a notebook, then don’t bother. The best 2-in-1 laptops are both, and they can provide all the power you need. Check out our list for the best 2-in-1s for any user.
Computing

Problems with installing or updating Windows 10? Here's how to fix them

Upgrading to the newest version of Windows 10 is usually a breeze, but sometimes you run into issues. Never fear though. Our guide will help you isolate the issue at hand and solve it in a timely manner.
Computing

Get the best of both worlds by sharing your data on MacOS and Windows

Compatibility issues between Microsoft Windows and Apple MacOS may have diminished sharply over the years, but that doesn't mean they've completely disappeared. Here's how to make an external drive work between both operating systems.
Computing

Get ready to say goodbye to some IFTTT support in Gmail by March 31

If This Then That, the popular automation service, will drop some of its support for Gmail by March 31. The decision comes as a response to security concerns and is aimed to protect user data.
Computing

Get the new Dell XPS 13 for $750 with this limited-time deal

Dell is currently running a limited time deal lasting through Thursday, March 28, where you can bring home a version of this year's new XPS 13 for around $750 with the use of a special coupon code. 
Computing

Nvidia faces attacks from AMD, Intel, and even Google. Should it be worried?

Nvidia announced an expanded array of RTX server solutions designed to leverage the power of ray-tracing at GTC 2019. The effort will help Nvidia take on Google's Stadia in game streaming with GeForce Now, and the company's investments in…
Mobile

This is the easiest way to save your iPhone data to your computer

Living in fear of losing your contacts, photos, messages, and notes on your iPhone? Fear no more -- in this guide, we'll break down exactly how to back up your iPhone to your computer using Apple's iTunes or to the cloud with iCloud.
Mobile

Here are the best iPad Pro keyboard cases to pick up with your new tablet

The iPad Pro range can double as laptops, but they do need proper keyboards to fill in effectively. Thankfully, there are loads to choose from and we rounded up the best iPad Pro keyboard cases right here.
Computing

Microsoft’s Clippy came back from the dead, but didn’t last very long

Before Cortana, Alexa, and Siri even existed, Microsoft Clippy dominated the screens of computers in the 1990s to help assist Microsoft Office users when writing letters. He recently made a bit of a comeback only to die off again.
Computing

How 5G networks will make low-latency game streaming a reality

Faster speeds and more bandwidth are some of the many promises that 5G can deliver, but for gamers, the most important thing is low latency. To achieve low latency, carriers like AT&T and Verizon are exploring hybrid models for game…
Deals

Time to do taxes? Save up to 50 percent on H&R Block tax software this weekend

Tax season is stressful, and with new tax laws in effect this year, it's not a bad idea to get some help. H&R Block has you covered: For two days only, you can save 50 percent on its great software so you can file your taxes online and save…
Computing

Stop dragging windows on your Mac. Here's how to use Split View to multitask

The latest iterations of MacOS offer a native Split View feature that can automatically divide screen space between two applications. Here's how to use Split View on a Mac, adjust it as needed, and how it can help out.
Computing

Breeze through security with these checkpoint-friendly laptop bags

Getting through airport security is a drag, but your laptop bag shouldn’t be. Thankfully, these checkpoint-friendly laptop bags will get you and your gear to your destination with ease.