Microsoft has revealed exactly how much free disk space that users can expect to find on a brand new Surface tablet. According to a recently published tablet FAQ, only half of the storage on a 32GB Surface tablet is usable. Consumers that buy the 64GB verson have a better ratio with 46GB still on tap but even still, you start out with less than 75 percent of the system's overall capacity.
Redmond says that the total size as reported by Windows on the 32GB tablet is 29GB. 5GB is reserved for Windows recovery tools while another 8GB is used by Windows RT, Microsoft Office and built-in apps. On the 64GB Surface, Windows initially reports 59GB of usable space before the same 13GB of space is allocated for the OS, recovery tools and apps.
While there's significantly less storage out of the box than meets the eye, Microsoft's tablet does have an advantage over some others on the market. Surface supports microSD cards in addition to traditional USB storage which means there's plenty of options available to add more space should you need it.
Microsoft also makes an effort to highlight the fact that cloud storage using SkyDrive is another valid option for more space.
As you may know, Windows RT is a stripped down version of Windows 8. That of course means that Surface Pro tablets will have a full version of Windows 8 in tow which consumes even more space. It'll likely all work itself out, however, as Pro tablets will start at 64GB and have higher storage options.