A Detailed Breakdown of Surface Pro's Storage Scheme

Today is the official release date of the Surface Pro, and as such, Microsoft has updated its flagship tablet's product page (or Ultrabook in tablet trim, if you prefer to think of it that way). There are two models to choose from, a 64GB SKU starting at $899 and a 128GB version (currently sold out) starting at $999. There are a bunch of accessories and add-ons available, including Touch Covers ($120), Limited Edition Touch Covers ($130), and a Type Cover ($130).

A side story that's been garnering a lot of attention is the amount of available storage space allotted to Surface Pro owners. The web cried foul when it was discovered that only 23GB of available space would be available on the 64GB model (36 percent of the advertised space), and 83GB on the 128GB (65 percent), but it turns out those figures were based on pre-production models that hadn't been fully optimized. Microsoft cleared the air in a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) session, and now that the Surface Pro is available to order, the Redmond company decided to provide a few more details.

Surface Pro

According to Microsoft, the 64GB Surface Pro has approximately 29GB of storage available for user content, and the 128GB leaves 89GB. Here's how it breaks down:

  Surface Pro 64GB
Surface Pro 128GB
Total Storage as reported by
Windows (binary system)
Storage space reserved for Windows
recovery tools
 -9GB  -9GB
Available storage reported by File
 50GB  110GB
Windows 8 Pro and built-in apps
 -21GB  -21GB
Available storage reported by File
 29GB  89GB

If you need more storage than what's available, you can nuke/relocate the recovery partition, uninstall apps, take advantage of the 7GB of free SkyDrive cloud storage that comes with the Surface Pro, take advantage of the microSD card slot, or us plug in external storage to the USB port.

No matter how you slice it, you'll have at least 49 percent of the advertised storage to play with on the 64GB model, and 75 percent on the 128GB SKU.

As previously mentioned, the 128GB Surface Pro is sold out on Microsoft's website, though at the time of this writing, it shows as being in-stock at Best Buy.