Microsoft Surface Pro Battery/Storage Issues Addressed In Reddit AMA Session

By Alexandra Burlacu | Feb 12, 2013 01:01 PM EST

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In a Reddit Ask Me Anything (AMA) session, Microsoft addressed disk space and battery life issues with its Surface Pro tablet.

Microsoft's Surface Pro is about to hit stores, launching at a special event in New York City at midnight on the evening of Friday, Feb. 8. The launch comes more than three months after the RT version of the device went on sale.

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The Surface Pro has had its fair share of reviews ahead of the big launch, but opinions have been mixed. The slate's battery life and storage capacity were among the top areas of concern, and the Surface team took it to Reddit to address these two issues.

Microsoft's general manager of the Surface team Panos Panay led the Reddit AMA, along with a number of Microsoft engineers. Panay offered lengthy, detailed responses to address the issues with the company's latest tablet/ laptop hybrid that runs on Windows 8 Pro.

Battery Life 

"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 put Surface best in its class. That said, we picked a smaller battery to be sure we were able to give you the same performance and to keep it thin," reads an excerpt from the AMA. "This kept the weight under 2 lbs... While these trade-offs are challenges as much as they are opportunities, we think given the performance and experience you will be getting, it is an exciting product."

Storage Capacity

When it comes to the storage capacity, one Reddit member asked Microsoft why it didn't offload the disk recovery image to a drive so it could free up more space on the tablet. In response, Microsoft representatives said that doing so would risk losing the flash drive and the data on it. The company chose to include the files on the tablet instead, which enables users to make their own backups if they want.

The storage issue made headlines last week after Microsoft said that the 64GB version of its Surface Pro tablet would ship with only 23GB of storage space, while the 128GB model would pack only 83GB of available space. During the two-hour AMA, the Surface team said these were in fact "conservative" estimates.

"Our final production units are coming with ~6-7GB additional free space," wrote the team. The reduced capacity is actually the available space left after the operating system and apps take their toll.

For users who consider the storage capacity to be insufficient, the Surface team suggested extending that capacity via the memory card slot, plugging in an external drive, or using SkyDrive.

"Windows does provide tools that allow you to free space by easily removing applications you are not using as well as move the recovery image to a USB thumbdrive."

One thing that's certain after the whole Reddit AMA is that Reddit users sure know how to ask relevant questions. Microsoft's Surface team did its best to answer as many questions as possible, in an effort to shed some light regarding its Surface Pro tablet.

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