When Microsoft announced Surface pre-orders, many consumers were puzzled by the lack of a 16GB option for the tablet. We got a lot of emails from readers wondering what was up, and it looks like we've got our answer. The Surface starts at 32GB of storage, and as it turns out, the user is left with 20GB of usable storage space on that model. That means that Windows RT and the pre-installed Office RT apps use up 12GB of space. In other words, if there were a 16GB model, the user would be left with just 4GB of space for their own documents, apps, and anything else. That would just make for a bad user experience, so Microsoft decided to start with 32GB of storage so that Surface users would still have a substantial amount of free space to use as they see fit. By comparison, a 32GB iPad leaves the user with about 31GB of free space, since iOS and built-in apps take up just 1GB of storage.
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