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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  1. Norman Hartnell

    Tablet computer has slot for SD card

    Is this news?

    1. Richard 120

      Re: Tablet computer has slot for SD card

      No, that's why there's a big bold Comment

      1. TheVogon

        Re: Tablet computer has slot for SD card

        Or just delete the recovery partition and get another ~ 10GB of useable space. And be prepared to use a bootable USB key if you ever need it.

    2. Shagbag


      Surface is a deperate attempt to stay relevant in the consumer mobile computing space.

      Surface Pro is a joke.

      jeez I can't even believe I bothered to post on this topic. It's over. And MSFT has lost. Come to terms with your grief Windoze fanbois.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Irrelevance

        Problem with Surface Pro is it's trying to compete with el-cheapo laptops and ultra notebooks and everyone I speak to either has no interest in it or has reviewed it and decided against it.

        I'd actually say more people are looking at switching to Macs than Surface.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Irrelevance

          Actually more people seem to be looking at ways of using Apple iPads than any full sized laptop or Surface computer.

          1. Darryl

            ...looking at ways of using Apple iPads than any full sized laptop or Surface computer.

   in "So we bought these iPads because the boss thought they were shiny. Now we have to come up with some way to use them to justify the expense."

      2. nexsphil

        Re: Windoze fanbois

        The number of fanbois a company has is directly proportional to their astroturfing spend. And my god, there's clearly been some spend today.

        1. RAMChYLD

          Re: Windoze fanbois

          However, as I said before, my problem with Windows devices of any kind is a different one. As long as I'm being denied off Zune and XBox Live access, I'd happily plonk down money for an Apple device or even an Android tablet on the sole reason that I could actually buy movies and music as well as play online on these. If I get a surface, I'd be stuck playing offline games because XBox Live isn't available in my country, and can't download music and movies because the same issue applies to Zune. The latter isn't a real problem, but the former is a major dealbreaker.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Windoze fanbois

            Trying buying Angry Birds for an iPad, in say South Africa (ie anywhere outside US, UK, Europe), guess what you can't..Apple hasn't got around to making the app available there yet. Ditto most music/TV/movies. You need to fake a US credit card as the "local" iTunes stores has pretty much nothing in it.. Lets balance the boring anti-MS stuff shall we?

        2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

          Re: Windoze fanbois

          there's clearly been some spend today

          I propose a variant of Godwin: when you accuse someone, directly or indirectly, explicitly or implicitly, of being a shill, without presenting solid, independent evidence, you lose the argument. Period.

          And, of course, it's a violation of the Register Comment Guidelines, specifically article 7. I, for one, would be most happy to see more-aggressive enforcement of this item by the Reg moderators.

          Accusing someone of shilling adds nothing to the discussion. Either the supposed "shills" have valid, interesting points to make, which remain interesting regardless of the source; or they do not, in which case readers are perfectly capable of ignoring them. The only way anyone accumulates ethos in a quasi-anonymous forum like this[1] is through their body of posts; so any reader capable of critical thinking[2] will disregard any hypothetical astroturfed posts unless they contain content that would be equally valid coming from an independent source.

          [1] Because even those of us who post under our real names offer no proof of identity. I can tell you I'm the world-famous software-developer-philosopher-bon-vivant Michael Wojcik, but for all you know I'm the former Chicago alderman Michael Wojcik, or the New Jersey high-school principal Michael Wojcik, or a dog.

          [2] Too much to ask?

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Windoze fanbois

          I wonder how you get hired to become an internet shill? If the pay was up to scratch I'd happily waste a companies money making pathetic pointless attempts to big them up on internet forums. :D

    3. Steve Evans

      Re: Tablet computer has slot for SD card

      No, just Lewis trolling the Apple fans.

      Oh God, look what he just made me do... Defend Apple fans!

      1. Giggitygoebbels

        Re: Tablet computer has slot for SD card

        Tell you what.Microsoft surface,apple,dell,hp,acer and other OEM all suck.Apple sucks for obvious reasons,take a 300$ netbook,slap in the mac os x,and sell it the same price i can use to build my own i7 surface is a joke and a failed attempt to follow apple.Dell,hp,acer etc uses crappy motherboards,crappy power supplys,cheap ram modules etc.they did it so that it is almost impossible to upgrade.both the psu and motherboard only allows 2 sata connections.if i build on my own (which is the only way to not get scammed),while fanboys are buying mac pros,i can use the same amount of money to get a dual cpu motherboard with xeon e5-2687w and raid 10 some 256gb ssds.and speaking of ram...32gb?yeah can fit into budget.Definitely.

    4. Peter Simpson 1
      Thumb Up

      Re: Tablet computer has slot for SD card

      It's not just the iPad -- my Google Nexus 7 also lacks an SD slot. Happily, you can buy a cheap adapter cable which allows an SD card to be attached temporarily to the USB port.

      //how else would they be able to get more money for the 32G version?

    5. Lusty

      Re: Tablet computer has slot for SD card

      "Is this news?"

      No, the real news story would be finding the guy that has actually swapped an SD card in one of these devices after inserting it just after purchase. He'll also be the guy who has the spare battery but he's certainly not among my friends and colleagues, and nobody I've asked has met him either.

    6. N13L5

      Yet another paid shill addicle?

      Under Gates, at least to some degree, Microsoft cared what its customers wanted.

      Now, the equation has changed:

      Microsoft doesn't give a crap what its customers want, and hence, Customers have stopped giving a crap about Microsoft.

      Its not Market developments unseating Microsoft, its their own awfulness and incessant scheming for tollbooths and other purely self-interest driven actions. The pinnacle of this behaviour was Sinofsky, coming to your desktop as your master, telling you how to do things, rather than the obsequious butler he should be.

  2. Volker Hett

    Ok, fine so far

    but on a 32GB iPad I have more free storage then on a 64GB Surface Pro and with Windows 8 I need much more storage for programs compared to apps on Android or iOS.

    This is the full laptop replacement the iPad and the Android slabs never intended to be and Windows 8 plus Office 2013 will use up 64GB in no time. Add all the stuff you expect on a notebook with i3 or i5 CPU and 128GB is not much.

    1. Ian McNee

      Re: Ok, fine so far

      And on my 32GB Nexus 7 I have even more free space than a 32GB iPad. And it's 3G. And it's half the price of and iPad. And it's a third of the price of a Surface Pro. And it flies like hot shit off a shovel.


      If I work hard I can see that some people for whom budget is less of an issue can justify an iPad. Surface Pro? Less so.

      1. Volker Hett

        Re: Ok, fine so far

        I still have the first iPad. I might buy the upcoming 8 inch Samsung for it's wacom digitizer. I use sketchbook pro a lot.

        1. Silverburn

          Re: Ok, fine so far

          still have the ipad one as well, all 16gb of it, and have yet to run out of capacity.

          What am I doing wrong? Should I load more pr0n on it?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Ok, fine so far

        And it's Android so likely to get malware.

        For a company the saving in cost between a Nexus 7 and iPad / iPad Mini is insignificant over the lifetime and when you factor in service and TCO.

        1. Lusty

          Re: Ok, fine so far

          @AC speaking of TCO does Nexus even have enterprise management features? (fandroids, have a good read of the Apple website before you jump on this post)

        2. Spanners Silver badge

          Re: Ok, fine so far

          And it's Android so likely to get malware.

          True. In fact it is apparently nearly as easy as an Apple device. Both of them, however. are far less likely than Windows to get hosed in this way. I don't know whether the Surface and other Windows8 devices have any specific viruses or whether they are relying on the excellent collection of existing ones from earlier versions. I am sure experts will see that new ones are out soon anyway.

          As to the main theme of this article. I have an 8MB Nexus7 and my "stuff" lives in clouds - mostly Googles. I think they have plenty room for me.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Ok, fine so far

            Good for you, your data is safe in Google's cloud. In fact, that email you sent your Gran, saying "Gran, you won't believe how much nasty pron there is out there, be careful"... Google has scanned it and you'll be served up with some nice Granny pron website links next time you check the news. Enjoy.

    2. Volker Hett

      Question to the thumb downers

      what software do you use on a Windows computer?

      I have full Office, SQL Server Express and Visual Studio Express on my 128GB SSD Ultrabook.

      And yes, I know how to install Software to different locations, move Userhome to another drive and run software from a network share. It's actually what I earn a living with.

      But on the road I need it locally, not much fun running Office via VPN from a network share over a shaky EDGE connection ....

      Virtual Desktops are a solution for this, but those work fine from Android and iOS, no need for Surface Pro there.

    3. hitmouse

      Re: Ok, fine so far

      "but on a 32GB iPad I have more free storage then on a 64GB Surface Pro and with Windows 8 I need much more storage for programs compared to apps on Android or iOS."

      You've got that the wrong way around. Most files can't be shared between applications on iOS so you if you're working on a compound document or producing something for the web etc then you need one copy of the file per app.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Can use USB-OTG on the Nexus 7 as well, without rooting.

    1. John Robson Silver badge


      Yes, you can - but that isn't as nice as inserting an SD card.

      Heck, I'd settle for having to open the case to insert it - yet I still want to get one later this month (hoping I can do a deal with my mobile comms provider)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: But...

        True, but it's much better than no space increase at all! I can see that being an eventual standard going forward, plug in a SD card reader via USB-OTG, rather than cables and whatnot.

    2. Green Nigel 42

      Nexus media importer

      As I understand it the Nexus has to be rooted for full import/export & file editing to USB OTG connected storage.

      Using Nexus Media Importer App allows access & of course import on the none rooted, but no editing & exporting.

      So if still true, it is good as it forces you to keep running of Apps on the internal memory, and data on the removable. However not as tidy or useful as a SD slot.

  4. Danny 14

    well, err

    I thought just about all tablets except the ipad had this capability? Even cheapy chinapads

    1. S4qFBxkFFg

      Re: well, err

      The Nexuses don't have it either now, which is a bit of a shoot-yourself-in-the-balls move from Google.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: well, err

        Not at all. Cloud is the future. I THOUGHT i needed a SDCard, but I don't. 16GB on my nexus is more than enough. I have 30GB of music in the cloud, and I just pin/unpin the stuff I want stored locally (which is usually just playlists and a handful of fav albums).

        Trying to store everything you digitlaly own (or more likely stole) is real failure, as next year you will need a new phone/sdcard whatever.

        1. JEDIDIAH

          Re: well, err

          It's funny seeing people trying to defend the cloud trying to fixate on music. It's funny because any other use case tends to quickly fall apart. Not that the music use case is terribly robust either.

          You can either pretend that you are living 20 years in the future with networks that actually match the hype of today, or you can actually get to take advantage of what tech has to offer.

          Actually getting to do stuff is much more satisfying than bogus smugness about the Cloud.

          If anything, wireless network dependence is going to drive tech churn much more than using local storage. You're going to need this week's phone/tablet just to take advantage of the wireless network du jour.

      2. Dave, Portsmouth

        Re: well, err

        Presumably part of the reason Google dropped the SD slot from the Nexus was because of the trouble it caused with apps not wanting to be installed there, things going a bit screwy when someone pulled the SD card out, and that it ultimately just wasn't fast and "neat" enough to need people to manage two different storage areas on a "pick it up and use it" tablet?

        If they could design some faster SD cards and get Android to treat the SD card + internal memory as a single, large, seamless and fast storage area (or even move things dynamically between the two, like hybrid SSD + hard drives), then it'd be an awesome idea... although you'd need to glue them in so that people didn't accidentally lose all of their data... in which case you might as well make them smalled by soldering them to the board... and so you might as well benefit from economies of scale by using the same memory as for the internal memory... oh...! :o\

        1. sabroni Silver badge

          Re: well, err

          Dealing with removable media isn't a new problem. If android isn't robust enough to deal with an sd card popping out then it needs fixing. And i don't mean by removing the card slot!

        2. mickey mouse the fith

          Re: well, err

          "If they could design some faster SD cards and get Android to treat the SD card + internal memory as a single, large, seamless and fast storage area"

          I used a script (a2sd i think) in my old android phone that did just this. It let you partition an area of the sd card as an extension of internal memory. it was an option in the rom i installed, 3 terminal commands and a reboot and it was done. It worked flawlessly, as long as you didnt take the sd card out obviously.

          Dont really need to use it in my current device as its got a shitload of internal memory anyway.

          Ipads lack of expansion storage is ridiculous considering how much it costs, my sub £80 chinatab has sd+usb host/otg slots and it must cost pence to add them. Cloud storage is a shit copout as well, using it over the rubbish mobile network round my way is beyond painful.

    2. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: well, err - Tablets & SDCards

      No they don't. Look at the Kindle Fire for example. There are plenty more that don't. I seem to recall even some from Samsung but I might be wrong.

      IMHO this is not a killer item.. I don't think I've ever used the SD slot in my Laptop either. My camera uses CF media.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Really? Is this just a story for sake of bashing Apple?

    Nothing in this story that no didn't know, boring..

    1. tirk

      El Reg *exists* to bash Apple, climate change... basically anything that will generate traffic. Sad but true, to quote Metallica.

      1. Annihilator

        El Reg *exists* to bash Apple

        Satirically true, but it's a ballsy move to criticise the iPad by praising the Surface Pro! ;-)

        It's sadly a symptom of the public's perception that the iPad *is* the tablet form, and have set expectations against it. TBH, I'd assumed that android tablets suffered the same storage conundrum, my HTC Desire did anyway.

        No-one bats an eye at your PC coming with 20GB of storage taken up by the OS and apps. Hell, no-one bats at your 500GB hard drive actually being ~475GiB.

    2. AceRimmer

      The story exists to counteract the large number of tech articles which have appeared over the last 24 hours praising apples bold move and saying that the android tablet manufacturers will be shitting themselves:

  6. Efros

    Or for $200

    You can buy a wireless 1TB HD. Been testing one of these, and despite the HD manufacturers attempt to torpedo it with really horrible apps and software (HD manufacturers really need to employ some decent GUI writers), the hardware is very good. For the time being, i.e. until it dies, I'll stick with my W8 128GB SSD and 8GB DDR3 laptop, and still be quids/bucks better off.

    1. Volker Hett

      Re: Or for $200

      Were talking about a Windows 8 Pro computer with intel X86 CPU. Try loading Office 2013 from a portable wireless HD, not much fun!

      I'm really frustrated with my decision to buy an Ultrabook with only 128GB. Even with Win7 Pro and Office 2010, admittedly the full version, VMware Workstation and VMWare Server tools there is not much space left.

      1. JEDIDIAH

        Re: Or for $200

        Never mind msoffice on an x86 tablet. I don't even like using wireless for media transfers on an ARM phone or tablet. Wired interfaces are dramatically faster. Transferring anything "into the cloud" is even worse.

      2. Steve Todd

        Re: Or for $200 @Volker

        Not much speed difference from an SD card though. Unless you spend cash on a high spec card you're going to top out at 20-30Mbyte/sec on your SD card. Bad news for apps like Office.

  7. Chris 171

    Raison d'être

    Do people really need telling that apple mobile products are just wallet raping hobbled devices?

    Far far to limited to be called a 'smart' device in my eyes, its only smart is taking the 30% cut so the marketing team can keep the cool cannon firing.

    iTwats gotta love em.

  8. Nanners

    There are these things called...

    USB adapters for the ipad. You can us an sd card with ipad too.

    1. jason 7

      Re: There are these things called...

      Not exactly the most elegant or robust solution though.

      16k ram packs spring to mind.

    2. John Robson Silver badge

      Re: There are these things called...

      Well, you can - but only for a limited subset of strorage

    3. Alister

      Re: There are these things called...

      But only if you want to look a fool, wandering around with your iThing with a USB adapter and an SD card reader hanging from it.

      1. tirk

        Re: There are these things called...

        Whereas you'll look a real genius trying to do "proper work" on a TIKFAM abortion!

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: There are these things called...

        All these anti-apple comments from people who have no idea how it actually works - the USB adapter lets you COPY the data onto the iPad - you do not leave it hanging off the bottom - well you could but there is no point. You copy the data then you unplug it.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: There are these things called...

          And if it's more gb of data than the Ipad has? Hmmm...

    4. chekri

      Re: There are these things called...

      "USB adapters for the ipad. You can us an sd card with ipad too."

      My last laptop didn't have a built in webcam, according to your logic I could just carry around a webcam taped to the lid.

      Oh and for sake of calrity, I have an iPad and use the SD card adapter - it s PITA at best

    5. Nanners

      Re: There are these things called...

      It's a simple camera adapter people, have you never heard of them? It's not even a dongle, and I can use what ever sd card I want with it. Jeeze...

      1. sabroni Silver badge

        Re: There are these things called...

        Of course! Whenever i run out of memory on a device i look on amazon for a camera adaptor! C'mon people, that's gotta be better than using an "sd card" in a "slot"!

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Most of your stored data shouldn't be on your devices, it should be in the cloud already.

    This is especially true of 'always connected' mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones.

    1. chekri

      "Most of your stored data shouldn't be on your devices, it should be in the cloud already."

      When raw image formats are supported then maybe, right now I would have to bring every raw file down to the device to render it as it cant be viewed on any cloud platform i know of

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Rubbish. Science Fiction. The wireless infrastructure simply isn't there yet. Connectivity is sporadic, and when it is connected, there isn't enough bandwidth for full cloud use to be practical, and if you somehow manage to get enough bandwidth, its too expensive to make full use of. And that's before we even get started on the reliability of the cloud services, privacy issues, copyright issues, and so on.

      In 10 years, this may all change. In 20 years, I'm sure most of it will. But right now? Nah. Its just a toy.

      1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge


        some of us don't want to be connected ALL to some network all the frigging time.

        some of us have better things to do.

        Headline News,

        New Software releases drive up rates of Internet Addiction.

        Pah. Bah Humbug. Where the Grumpy od git Icon when you need it eh?

      2. MrXavia

        Even wifi is not 100% reliable, I can't 100% reliably stream to my TV, let alone rely on mobile connections!

        I like my data in my hand/wallet

  10. Anonymous Coward 15

    Windows machine comes loaded full of shite

    More at 11.

    1. Mystic Megabyte

      Re: Windows machine comes loaded full of shite


  11. taxman
    Big Brother

    Limited capacity

    causes limited uses - particularly in the Corporate arena.

    HDDs can be encrypted and locked down. Great, so there is potential for use in Public Sector.

    Tablets? Well to some extent yes. But you cannot lock down SD cards securely - and they are more likely to be lost than USB flash drives. And use of WiFi.....unless fed through a VPN I'd rather have it disabled.....which is damn near impossible on the iPad (yup 3G is ok if using the fruity provider).

    So although there are clammerings from the masses for new shiney toys, for anything that is being used out of an office I'll stick to a laptop thanks.

    Until matters improve.

    1. Callam McMillan

      Re: Limited capacity

      I'm not sure of the exact mechanics of it, but the S in SD stands for Secure and if memory serves, a card can be quite securely locked down.

    2. Yet Another Commentard

      Re: Limited capacity

      "And use of WiFi..... I'd rather have it disabled.....which is damn near impossible on the iPad"

      I believe the latest iOS update may resolve that for you...

      1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

        Ipad WiFi

        Airplane Mode possibly?

        It works fine on my old Ipod Touch.

    3. Andy Nugent

      Re: Limited capacity

    4. Daniel B.

      Re: Limited capacity

      Um... Blackberries have the option to encrypt stuff stored on the SD card. The problem could be that not all OSen support this, and that when they do, it isn't interchangeable with other devices or PCs.

  12. wowfood

    The problem is

    The way it's advertised. If you're told. "Hey buy this tablet, it's got 64gb of space" joe blow is going to expect 64gb of space, not 40 (or however much it is)

    It isn't as noticable o the iPad and android so people didn't cry about it back then, but with the microsoft attempt stealing half your storage it just stands out too much. Perhaps if they advertised it as "40gb free storage" rather than 64gb people wouldn't whine as much.

    Personally I'm avoiding it just because I dislike the metro interface.

  13. JDX Gold badge

    must cough a minimum £639, maybe £739.

    Unless you, like, sell the old one.

    1. sabroni Silver badge

      Re: must cough a minimum £639, maybe £739.

      Sell the old one, buy a new one, copy all your stuff over. Easy! Or is there a tiny flaw in this plan...

      1. Mystic Megabyte

        Re: must cough a minimum £639, maybe £739.

        >>Sell the old one, buy a new one, copy all your stuff over. Easy! Or is there a tiny flaw in this plan...

        Yes, you just sold the old one with all your data on it!

        1. Steve Todd

          Re: must cough a minimum £639, maybe £739.

          And you're too stupid to back the old one up and erase it before you sell it?

          Moving from one Apple device to another is about as pain free as you can get. Restore the last backup and you're done.

          1. sabroni Silver badge

            Re: must cough a minimum £639, maybe £739.

            @Mystic Megabyte: It's called a rhetorical question.

            @Steve: it's not easier to back up a device, sell it, buy a new one and restore than it is to slot in a bigger SD card. This discussion isn't really about what's possible, it's about what's convenient. Isn't convenience supposed to be the great thing about Apple devices?

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just buy a new one!

    "It's not so simple if you're an Apple lover. If your iOS device ever fills up, you will have no remedy but to buy a new one. "

    Actually you could determine which device better fits you needs, and get the one with best cost/benefit (Apple, MS, whatever solves YOUR problem). You could plan which apps and data you need on the device. If it gets filled you could erase some stuff you don't really need on the device, send it to a HD, cloud, whatever. If this persists then, and only then, you may consider buying a new one.

    But I digress, we're bashing Apple, no need to make sense.

    1. sabroni Silver badge

      Re: Just buy a new one!

      Or, if you've got an sd card slot just get a bigger card. But we're defending Apple here, no need to contemplate the possibility that a feature missing from iDevices could be useful.

      1. Steve Todd

        Re: Just buy a new one!

        64GB is your limi, they don't make bigger microSD cards, and it has to be microSD. 64 + 38GB (the amount you have free if you delete the recovery partition) = 102GB, and that's still a fiddle as you'll have to shunt stuff between card & SSD to get them to fit. Last time I checked 102GB was less than 128GB.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Just buy a new one!

      My first iPad was a 64gb but actually with all the cloud stuff and a bit of organisation I found it was not being used so next time I bought a 32gb version - still have stacks of photos, music, apps and everything else.

      I actually have a wifi hard drive now (although rarely actually need it) - it's more to share data with multiple users with different devices - but with it I have 500Gb of 'data' plus the internal storage.

  15. LPF
    Thumb Up

    But the thing is.....

    They stil sell more than any other single manufacturer by a wide margin. I mean Android slaes are made up of like what 40 companies plus, Apple one, so they must be doing something right!

    1. Burch

      Re: But the thing is.....

      Employing children?

  16. adamsharif


    It's all well and good being able to add to the capacity by means of an SD card or similar, but I'd imagine that this type of storage is significantly slower than the onboard storage.

    I remember when I had an HTC phone which had a microSD slot that apps would load a lot quicker from the onboard flash memory. I know there are faster generations of SD cards, but can they compete with the onboard memory?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: but can they compete with the onboard memory?

      do they need to?

      SD cards are used as expansion to mainly store video, music, photos (and of course meeting notes). SD cards are more than fast enough to handle realitime HD video write and read so why would you need something faster? Why do they need to complete with onboard memory? It's not like you want to play video at 1000x speed is it?

    2. Charles 9

      Re: Optional

      Depends mostly on the card. A Class 4 SDHC Micro is probably not going to be as speedy as onboard Flash. A Class 10, OTOH, should get you pretty close, and all SDXC Micro cards are at least Class 10 (as UHS-1, the minimum speed of SDXC, surpasses SDHC Class 10--it was specced for 1080p recording).

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    No thanks....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Yes please!

  18. darkbaron

    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.

    1. sabroni Silver badge

      Re: Are you for real

      I am seriously for real!

  19. Anonymous Coward
    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.

    1. Mark 65

      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.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    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.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Not that big of a deal!

      Spooky! From beyond the grave....

  21. Andy Nugent

    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.

  22. Jonathan 29

    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.

  23. Longrod_von_Hugendong

    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?

    1. Darryl

      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.

    2. hplasm

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

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

    3. Mystic Megabyte

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

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

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    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.


  25. Anonymous Coward
    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.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      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!



  26. billium


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

  27. groberts116


    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.

  28. Tim Hale 1

    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:

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

  29. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  30. Anonymous Coward

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

  31. Lusty

    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.

  32. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

    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.

  33. sfarkhan

    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.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      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.

  34. b166er

    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

  35. Anonymous Coward
    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.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      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....)

  36. messele

    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.

  37. General Pance

    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:

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is your surface pro a bit full?

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

  39. Jwcorey

    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.

  40. Deadly Chicken

    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.

  41. uhuznaa

    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.

  42. Unicornpiss

    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.

  43. Greg J Preece

    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.

    1. matt williams 1

      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

    2. mmeier

      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

  44. Anonymous Coward
    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?


  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ideas peoples?

    Gets a betters phone?

  46. Lallabalalla

    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)

  47. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ive never seen the point

    Of comparing horse hit with bull shit.

    You cant polish either...

  49. John Butler

    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 minded or something.

    Kinda like religion or politics today... sigh

    1. mmeier

      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

  50. mmeier

    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)

  51. Anonymous Coward
    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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