Reviews of Microsoft's latest Surface Pro tablet went live late last night, and Microsoft has been answering a number of questions from Reddit's community today during an AMA session. Two hot topics are around the battery life and usable storage. Microsoft previously revealed to The Verge that its 64GB Surface Pro model would only have around 23GB of usable storage, but the company says its initial estimates "were conservative." Final production units are arriving with around 6-7GB of additional space, bringing the total up to 30GB on the 64GB model.
It seems a recovery partition is taking up additional space, but Microsoft says this can be removed. A Surface spokesperson says the company didn't want users to lose a USB recovery key and that it ships with a recovery partition to ensure users can restore quickly if need be. Microsoft admits it was a tough design choice "to make as an engineering team."
Microsoft admits it picked a smaller battery to keep its tablet thin
Storage concerns aside, Microsoft also took the opportunity to directly address battery life estimates. "If you compare it to say a MacBook Air, you will quickly see that pound for pound in battery size vs battery life, you will find optimizations that puts Surface best in its class," says Microsoft. During our own tests, we found that the Surface Pro lasted 3 hours, 59 minutes on the Verge Battery Test, which cycles through a series of websites and high-res images with screen brightness set to 65 percent. While Microsoft's claims may be true compared to an 11-inch MacBook Air, our tests have previously shown that the 13-inch model lasts 5 hours, 34 minutes on the Verge Battery Test.
Microsoft says, ultimately, that it "picked a smaller battery" to keep the weight under 2lbs and keep it thin for tablet inking use. The battery life is certainly disappointing for tablet use, but with hints at future covers that could charge its Surface Pro tablet, all might not be lost.