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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Looks like the Surface with Windows RT has slipped to a 3 week shipping time for those who want to order one without one of the black Touch Cover accessories. The 32 GB tablet will now be delivered by November 8 for those who took their time to decide if they really wanted one or not. Pre-orders for the 32 GB and 64 GB models with black Touch Cover are still on track to be delivered on October 26th. If you were hoping to get a Microsoft Surface tablet on launch day without a Touch Cover, then it looks like you're gonna have to head to your local Microsoft Store or Best Buy.