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back to article Is your Surface Pro a bit full? Slot in an SD card, it's not from Apple

There's massive internet coverage today of a major "issue" with the forthcoming Microsoft Surface Pro slab, the latest attempt by Redmond to unseat Apple's iPad line from its global tablet throne. It's being widely reported that the Surface Pro arrives with a lot of its onboard storage already full up: but this is a foolish …

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Anonymous Coward

Surface

No thanks....

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Anonymous Coward

Insightful?

Yes please!

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Are you for real

Seriously are you for real?? This story has nothing to do with the lack of expandable storage on the ipad.

This issue here is that your buying a device with 64gig of storage that doesn't have 64 gig of available storage.

Furthermore, as the owner of a Asus Vivo tab RT I can tell you that the addition of an SD card is little help. It may give you more space for photos and documents but you cannot use this additional space for Apps.

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Re: Are you for real

I am seriously for real!

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Anonymous Coward

I'd be pissed if I bought a device that claimed 128Gb and I actually only had about 80-something Gb - that is the story.

Some people may need huge storage - most do not. I've had loads of phones in the past where I could add a micro-SD card - never needed to. My 32Gb iPad can stream most of it's content and even not on wifi I still have a huge amount to watch / listen to as I do not feel the need to carry my full music library with me (100Gb+) in the same way when I used to us CDs I never needed to carry a few hundred CDs with me either.

If I did have the need for a lot more storage I have a wifi enabled hard drive that had 500Gb on it and can stream to multiple devices at once - it's rarely needed but sometimes useful.

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The other part to the story I have issue with is this...

"No fiddling about trying to stuff gigabytes up into cloud services through narrow pipes, no wireless transfers: just easy rapid copying from old card to new bigger card (probably using a costs-pennies USB gizmo plugged into an actual computer)."

You don't copy anything rapidly from one sd card to another especially over USB and especially not at the 64GB size point. Copying photos off of 8 or 16GB professional grade flash cards takes long enough. Poxy little files from 64GB would be a nightmare. Rapid compared to cloud yes. Rapid in terms of localised storage transfer rates, no.

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Anonymous Coward

Pretty sure the Apple camera connection kit lets you plug in a SD card and transfer media onto the iPad. Yes it's not internal but you can delete stuff and copy more on - not a big deal.

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Anonymous Coward

Not that big of a deal!

Spooky! From beyond the grave....

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Surface Pro vs MacBook Air not iPad

Surely the Surface (running WinRT) is competing with an iPad, and the Surface Pro's main Apple competition is the MacBook Air? In that they both run the full versions of Microsoft and Apple's OSs, and are both spec'd to run full applications. You just get a touch screen thrown in with the Surface Pro.

By all means continue to criticise the Surface Pro for using more space for the OS than the MacBook Air does, but at least compare like for like.

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Apps on SD?

I was led to believe that you can't install apps on an SD, certainly not Metro apps anyway and if you can they would be much slower to access. Surely the problem here is that you are going to run out of room very fast for apps after installing Office and your favourite Windows progs and thereafter will be totally crippled when you want to install new apps. External storage for data is not an issue on any tablet. I tend to use wifi storage and streaming mostly, but I did jailbreak my iPad so I can use SD card data on it too should I ever need to.

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Holmes

Lets try to put this in to some context...

The best think about surface pro is it has an SD card slot, you cannot do anything else with it - do to lack of apps and support, but you *can* put a SD Card in it, well fcuk me sideways.

The worse thing about Apple iPad is it doesnt have a SD card slot. I have an iPad 64 gig, still never managed to fill it, so i dont really care - since i can do so much else with it, since its the best and most popular thing on the market.

Cheap and nasty driod tablets - ewww for touching one - latched on to this USP (lol) early on, when the could tone down specs and let the users upgrade as and when required.

So now, we let the downvoters have a go - i wonder what the lowest downvoted post is? This one by tomorrow. Its funny how the do-no-evil-andrio has the most haters-fandois, probably cos they know they are cheap copies of the real thing. ho hum, is it friday yet?

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FAIL

Re: Lets try to put this in to some context...

Surface Pro is a real-live computer with an i5 processor. Basically every application written since the Windows 95 days will run on it.

And the 'cheap and nasty' Androids... Do you mean the classic 'it's not alumin(i)um' or the elitist 'I paid more so mine's obviously better'? Either way, it's hard to take a post like that seriously.

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Gimp

Re: Lets try to put this in to some context...

iPad 64gig spellchecker isn't very good, is it?

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Re: Lets try to put this in to some context...

Dear Mr.Hugendong, you are obviously a dick of the highest order.

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Ah.....

Oddly I finally understand the lack of an SD Card on an iPad.

Its not about forcing upgrades, well ok, perhaps it is bur it looks like its more about driving a shift to "the cloud".

Ok, so connections are slowly and limited, and from what I understand icloud is an issue, but thats the game plan, so in theory your iPad should never be full as you have terrabytes of online storage and you can access anything and weather its in the cloud or on the device the access is seamless/ It should be cheaper than buying a new SD card, and oh, guess what no copying from old card to new card, oh and even better easy sharing between your devices....

Perhaps SD Cards are a throw back to the times when we needed floppy disks to transfer data between machines, and to increase a machines capacity.

Perhaps its more a case of Apples reach exceeding its grasp.

*shrugs*

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Anonymous Coward

Think is I actually need LESS storage on my iPad than I did several years ago. All my music is in 'match' and I keep a few playlists local, I can stream any media I have bought from Apple and store some more local if I wanted. I don't see why most people would need to carry 128gb with them - it's basically lazy or someone who is going off-net for a long, long time.

32Gb iPad holds a ton of stuff - movies (not via Apple) are mostly around 1-1.5Gb each through handbrake, music and photos take up very little - I really can't see the need to carry round a load of extra micro SD cards but then i think about where I am going / what I want rather than having to carry the whole lot with me.

There again I also go on holiday with the clothes I need + maybe a spare - I do not feel the need to pack all the clothes I have.

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Anonymous Coward

fair shout!

We thought you needed more storage. Sorry, now we know you're fine we'll stop putting sd card slots on our tablets. Any other features we can drop please let us know!

Love

Microsoft

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winsxs

The extra storage will be required for the ever expanding side-by-side folder

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MicroSD

Carrying a couple of Micro SD cards around in no problem. It is an easy and practical means of providing extra storage. I must admit I would like a 256 gig SSD. There isn't enough information about the Surface Pro to know if one can upgrade the internal SSD.

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FAIL

Not enough storage? There's a workaround!

So yeah, add an SD card to work around not having enough inbuilt storage but it won't work properly.

It's okay though because there's workaround for the workaround:

http://winsupersite.com/article/windows8/surface-tip-microsd-content-libraries-metro-apps-144658

Maybe there's a workaround for that. Thanks Microsoft!

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Anonymous Coward

It's not exactly a tablet machine as we come to know them now, ie. a phone OS running on an ARM device.

Surface Pro is more like a compact touch screen laptop.

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FAIL

So essentially you should treat the Surface as if it has no internal storage, buy your own, and this is a selling point.

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Holmes

Is your battery a bit empty?

Is your battery a bit empty? Tuff shit, you'll have to plug it in because your Surface Pro isn't from Apple.

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Gimp

What do you put in all those gigabytes?

Deca-gigabytes on a mobile device invariably get filled by vast quantities of music, videos and ever-more-bloated games. If you don't have these, then you really don't need more than a few gig.

So now look at it from Apple's perspective. They really want you to buy stuff from the iTunes store; music, movies and games. All of this stuff is stored online, and is easily accessible from any WiFi hotspot; effectively giving the iPad unlimited storage as long as all your stuff is from iTunes (or iTunes Match).

Giving the iPad an SD slot is giving users a reason not to buy stuff from iTunes.

Rant about it all you like, but the decision not to include an SD card has nothing to do with component cost, nothing to do with aesthetics, and nothing to do with not understanding the user base. It has everything to do with

Apple's iTunes business model.

Call me an iSheep if you will, but I bought into this philosophy a while ago. I'm lucky enough that money isn't my primary concern, opting instead for convenience. I have about 250 movies on iTunes, plus a hundred or so albums (about 50% ripped and uploaded to iTunes Match). I typically have 12 or so movies on my iPad at any given time, plus the music I want, and when I want to watch or listen to something else on the road, a WiFi hotspot is never far away. For home, I have three Gen2 AppleTVs, which gives me full access to my movie library plus my music when and where I want, with no need to sync.

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One Word: Cloud

Are you all living in the stone ages? ;) Google Drive, Dropbox, iCloud, to name a few are all options for storing one's files offline.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: One Word: Cloud

Store stuff on the cloud offline, huh? LoL...

Anyway, most of my media consumption is done offline. On the subway, on the train, at airports, on planes, at the shore, on the boat, at the lake.

Really, most of the time I'm actually capable of connecting to the cloud, I'm not at leisure to enjoy any media I might store there. So there's really no point in storing my media in the cloud.

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Trollface

Don't think I've seen a Lewis post for quite some time, and you return with such an excellent troll.

Hats off to you sir! I look forward to the year ahead :D

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Anonymous Coward

It does not matter how much storage you have - it will not be enough for some people. My whole iTunes library is about 3Tb+ so I guess I need a 3Tb+ iPad - no I just put the stuff I actually want on it, the rest I can sync or stream from Apple. Now how do I fit this 3.5" drive inside the iPad?

I still have an old iPod with 60Gb drive (still works fine) - used to store all my music on it - despite probably only listening to a few percent of it. Today my iPhone / iPad has access to more than it could hold streamed via iTunes Match but again it's nice to have access to it but I only need to store a very small amount actually on the device for when I may not have network coverage (rare these days).

People seem stuck with this idea you have to take the whole lot with you - it's just not realistic when you have a large library.

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Anonymous Coward

I don't need to care how much space my music takes, as with an Xbox Music subscription I can stream whatever I want whenever I want (or download it for off line use if I really wanted to....)

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FAIL

The best form of defence...

This 'article' comes across a little like a kid who defends their poor behaviour by pointing out how much worse the behaviour of somebody else supposedly was.

The Surface is ill conceived, barely works without being tethered by cable, be it a hard drive because of storage issues, power because the battery will not last 5 hours or a mouse because nobody sits there working between a keyboard and poking at the screen.

Utterly pointless. Until Microsoft zealots turn on Ballmer nothing will change.

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Apple plans to create a central file store and grant read and write access to external drive storage.

It will be introduced to commerate 10 years since the death of Steve Jobs, in IOS15.

Here's how it will be reported by Wired:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gHZzb42s3y4

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Anonymous Coward

Is your surface pro a bit full?

Yes? Well uninstall Windows and Office and get 50% of your memory back. Simple!

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So, in other words, you can pay more money (on top of the $800 you already spent) to get enough storage.

That's the difference between the iPad and the Surface: With the Surface, you have the option to spend money to get enough storage. With the iPad, you have the option to actually start with enough storage.

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what is the problem ??

Its a full windows PC ?? so it has a bigger application pool then any other tablet, particularly for productivity.

You can install applications to an sdcard, it has similar battery life to the closest sized MacBook air, or similar spec windows ultra books, but its thinner and lighter.

my windows 8 media center takes up 21GB, there is a 2 GB recovery partition ? hardly the end of the world is it. Plenty of space for an ultrabook form factor.

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FAIL

The Reg

Pressing well-known buttons on its readers since ages.

Apart from that: MS selling the Surface Pro with 64 GB is just asking for trouble. You buy this thing if you want to run "real" Windows software and real Windows software is not written with such puny storage in mind. Use it as you use a PC (and that's the point of it, isn't it?) and this thing will run into a quite hard wall in no time.

And if you want to soften that wall by inserting an SD card don't expect it to be as fast as the integrated flash. Nobody likes to talk about it, but these things are SLOW.

I still hope MS was wise enough to integrate a somewhat standard SSD there, so you can actually put in a larger SSD. If the storage is soldered in here people won't like this a bit, I tell you. An iPad is just an appliance, but a "real PC" with "64 GB of HD and that's it" is a bit poor if you ask me.

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Mushroom

Just wait a while...

The Android interface IMHO does touch screen best. While MS and Apple battle it out, they will be eating up market share. Frankly, I'm not especially impressed with the mutant that Windows 8 has become. And Apple has their heads so far up their own asses these days that they don't seem to realize that crippling their devices by making the only I/O der Gestapo iTunes will kill them in the long run.

At least MS isn't crazy enough to limit access to the filesystem. I just hold my tongue any more when I see Apple users that are restricted to using proprietary chargers (that have now changed as well), no micro-SD card slots, and can't simply drag n' drop files to/from their devices. I guess if you make a prison pretty enough people will forget they have no freedom in time. And my Android phone also "just works" But I can customize the living hell out if it if I want to and am not forced to buy my hardware from one (lacking) manufacturer.

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Silver badge

The prevailing opinion from many here seems to be "it's Windows, it can't possibly be any good, and anyone saying that it is is a fanboy."

Alright then, I'm a developer, and I use Linux 95% of the time. I also don't like tablets, because I want a device that expensive to be good at creating content as well as viewing it, and to me an iPad is an expensive picture frame.

I quite like the Surface. In fact, I'm quite fond of Windows 8, which is already running in the triple-boot setup on my Mac - I'm posting from it now - and I'll be buying a copy today (upgrading an old copy of XP so I can keep my retail 7 licence). I had a play with a Surface the other week and it's nifty. It's quick, easy to use and - admit it - attractive. I've been thinking this about Metro ever since I got my hands on a Windows Phone. It's very accessible and stupidly fast, two things I wouldn't normally associate with MS.

The Surface Pro appeals to me more because it can drop to desktop and run proper stuff. It might not be the right choice for me in the end because 5 minutes into doing any work on it, I'm going to want a Linux terminal (can you dual-boot them?). But to use, they're really quite good.

Windows 8 is a lot better than people say it is. It's faster, has some useful tools built straight in now, such as ISO mounting, and Metro isn't nearly as intrusive as I thought it would be. Same goes for the Surface; it's a lot better than the general haven't-used-one-but-its-Microsoft-so-it-must-be-shit consensus says.

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Mushroom

You can boot the other partition in VMWare if you like. I dual boot my Mac with Win 8 and currently have the Win 8 partition booted in a VM. I used to do it years go with Linux/Win

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Bronze badge

Having used Windows tablet PC since the days of Win-XP and Win8 since the day it was released (actually testet it since the first previews):

Win8 takes time getting used to it AND the will to leave behind old concepts. Ones you do that, give it a few hours and accept it is not "same stuff they cloned from grandpa Xerox" it is a fine system both on desktops (dual monitor) and Tablet-PC (12''/core i5) There are quite a few nice changes "under the hood" like changed WLAN startup (Win7 never managed to re-connect to the NAS forcing me to enter passwords, Win8 does it(1)), smaller footprint than Win7 and improvements in Handwriting-recognition and speach-recognition. And if you are a "keyboard worker" (I do software development) you start liking the "no mouse needed" approach quickly. W8 can be controlled "keyboard only" and FAST!(2)

Touch is (ironically) still so-so, It works fine in Modern(Metro) that is well designed for it, IMHO as good as Android 4.1 but for the desktop I still prefer a WACOM stylus (3). And for normal Websites/Forums this beats fingers even on a Note 10.1 tablet for speed/precision.

(1) I am a "wireless" household, even my desktop uses WLAN

(2) Okay, it took a while to accept that you switch of the box with the power key

(3) Truth be told: I ALWAYS prefer one, don't like fingerprints

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Anonymous Coward

Re. microSD and Apple

I am constantly getting told off because SWMBO is running out of space on her 4S.

Even if apple charged £100 for an "approved" 64 or 128GB microSD they would still clean up, the

market for this is substantial.

Am currently looking into making a custom Li+ replacement battery for the *phone which uses the

safer LiFePO4 tech, but also has QI induction charging built in , quad microSD slot and a wifi micro-hotspot that acts as a secure expanded memory for the phone.

The problem is getting *Tunes to cooperate and behave like it is accessing the Internet not an external storage.

Ideas peoples?

AC/DC

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Anonymous Coward

Ideas peoples?

Gets a betters phone?

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Gimp

My iPad has a near-limitless storage solution

In the vanishingly rare case of our 16Gb iPad being full (of what, exactly?) we have this thing called a "computer" which we "synch" to - removing archive data for long-term storage and adding anything new that might be wanted when mobile.

It's Magical! (tm)

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Anonymous Coward

I use a tablet with an SD card and own multiple SD cards. It costs very little for the cards and since my TF700 has 64gb I haven't installed any apps to it. If people buy tablets that don't have sd that is their own fault but please apple and nexus users don't pretend that you're do want expandable storage when your machine is full.

And as far as the cloud goes, yeah that's a good idea pay the storage guys to store it and the telecom to access it and exprience less reliability.

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Anonymous Coward

Ive never seen the point

Of comparing horse hit with bull shit.

You cant polish either...

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WTF?

Plenty of room for multiple tablets

I have an iPAD Retina 64Gb and use it min 2 hours a day and have long since left my laptop in the drawer. The other day I had a chance to play with a friend's Surface RT and I have to say it is really nice. The screen is gorgeous and Windows-wot-was-Metro works beautifully on it (unlike on my work desktop). Until you've used it, don't knock it. I think the Surface Pro will be even better for all the much discussed reasons, even given the price.

Point is: Tablets are the way forward and whether Android, Apple or MS, they're where we're all headed and it is the desktop that is a lumbering Argentinosaurus..There's plenty of room for co-existence here, and many corporates will be very interested in the Surface Pro.

Oh I forgot... You can't like multiple vendor's solutions, you have to take a religious stand and bash Android/Apple/Microsoft/BlackBerry because recognising that they all have a place or an audience would be like...open minded or something.

Kinda like religion or politics today... sigh

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Bronze badge

Re: Plenty of room for multiple tablets

Yes, lot's of room. Just make a criteria list or three (Must have, shiould have and nice to have), tick of the points and buy the one that fits best. I.e for me "Induktion Digitizer" (Stylus) ist a "Must" and "Wacom" a "should". So quite a few systems simply are out since they are "capacitive Digitizer only". Would like a Retina display WITH a Wacom :) but the only non-Windows system in production is the Note 10.1 (and that failed in other areas for me)

For me the end result typically is "Windows/x86" (except Application Server, there it is SOLARIS) and once you buy into an "ecosystem" it has benefits to stay there like data exchange, one UI for all devices(1), one set of software for all but others happily mix systems (Win and iOS are the most common followed by Win and Android)

(1) I am currently getting rid of smartphones in favour of a ATOM tablet and either build in UMTS or a MIFI router - depends on LTE coverage / build up speed

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Where is the problem?

Okay, I would have preferred MS to deliver recovery disks and not a recovery partition. But that is easy to cure. Generate the recovery disks, remove the partition and either re-install the box or expand the base partition. Problem solved, you should have about 35-40GB on your 64GB SSD free (based on experience with an ASUS EP121 / Win8)

Still not enough space and not interested in the 128GB model? Well, get a fast 64GB SSD and install your non APP programs there (Or just the data). Works like a charm (doing it since 2011). Not as fast as the internal SSD but still useable. If data storage is your only problem - add USB devices. IIRC there is even a battery powered external SSD that does WiFi so you can keep it in your pack.

The final question is always "what do you want this for". I use my tablet pc as a notebook with inbuild graphic tablet and not so much as a media player (also it can do SD quality movies just fine and the Surface could do HD nicely) so I do not need Terrabytes of memory. YMMV but worst case : Bring an externa USB drive and play the discs (Been there, done that and beamed it over to the 42'' Samsung)

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Anonymous Coward

Unfit for publication.

A device claiming to have X gig of memory arrives with most of that X gig already used up by operating system bloat. And you claim that this is in fact acceptable - and then introduce an opportunity to slag a different device unrelated to the topic.

Just stupid. Not as stupid as your other hobbyhorse, but stupid nevertheless.

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