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MacBook Air vs surface HD space

Created by thatlad on Feb. 8, 2013, 3:43 p.m.
  • Just read this article which is really quite striking, apple MacBook Air is pretty much similar to windows surface in terms of the space available but apple is using some pretty sneaky marketing.
    http://www.zdnet.com/surface-pro-versus-macbook-air-whos-being-dishonest-with-storage-space-7000011009/?s_cid=e539
  • So what you're telling me is people on the internet are blowing things out of proportion? I never would have expected that.

  • I was going to post something like this last week but just didn't get around to it. I don't know why this is being blown up so much, especially here on Tested. Every single anything that has that conversion rate has it listed on the box.

    Go around and look. Ext. HDD's, Laptops, SSD's, iPods, Tablets all say in some capacity: "1GB=1 billion bytes; formatted capacity may be less" or "Available capacity may vary". I actually went and looked and they all say that.

  • It's not the 128GB that has the storage problem. It's the 64GB Surface Pro that has an absurd amount of space actually available to the user.

    Unless the 64GB MacBook Air (do they even make them?) only has 23GB of space like the 64GB Surface Pro then it's not comparable.

    A 64GB laptop having around 55GB that you can use is acceptable. Having 23GB is just gross.

  • The uproar is about the 64GB Surface Pro. Nobody has a problem with the 128GB version. According to the article, the difference between the 128GB MBA and Surface Pro is ~10GB, ~2GB if you include the recovery partition, but the average consumer won't be able to remove it, so it's a moot point, really. Holy crap that article has been updated many times since it first went up.

    @Sooty: There's an 11 inch MBA with a 64GB SSD. Reportedly has 46~48GB free space. Double the 23GB in the Pro. Now MS is saying there's about 6-7GB more in each model, but it's still little in comparison.

  • @Evelgest: Yeah, but you can trim another 3 or 4 GB of the Macbook's space due to their decimal interpretation of Gigabyte.

    You're looking at around 43 vs 30. And the storage inside of the surface is easily expandable with flash memory. It's hidden, so it's not like you have a card or a usb stick jutting out the side of your machine. Granted, it is an added cost, but it's always an option if you decide that the 64gb isn't enough for you. All of that is usable space, too!

    It's true it's not a perfect implementation, and 43GB vs 30GB is still a pretty big difference (around 30% more, in fact). On the other hand, the Surface can restore itself without an internet connection :)

  • The takeaway I've gotten is Apple are much better at marketing than Microsoft

    That being said, there needs be some standards in the industry. All this bullshit over SI and binary for sizes of disk space needs to be jibbed off. There's no way the manufacturers can guarantee "x amount of GB available" as with updates etc it'll flucuate. They should be able to guarantee at least a ratio on the box "75-80% usable space"

  • @MAGZine: Well, let's be fair. It's a tool you download once. While there is an option to download a recovery disk from apple (As opposed to an external drive), there are options that don't require a constant internet connection.

    Also: flash memory might let you have more storage, but removable media doesn't interact with libraries very well and you have to do drive management for each app that needs to access the removable storage. A one time fix (per app), but not a great solution, and certainly not something the average user is going to realize.

  • @Conmused: I could be wrong, but I think for the most part, issues are going to arrise storing media more than large applications.

    It's not a tool you download once. Your notebook bootstraps the installation from apple everytime you enter recovery mode. If they stored the entire osx recovery, then you'd end up with a recovery partition not dissimilar to Microsoft's/surface's.

    It works, but it's sort of a hack. but lots of technology is built on hacks, because they're cheaper and sometime do the job with little to no disadvantage.

  • @MAGZine: apps on SD arent easy either, sadly. At least, anything from the windows 8 store.

    http://wrtapps.com/2013/01/installing-windows-rt-store-apps-on-to-the-sd-card/

    Uninstall/reinstalling on updates, reformatting, and frankly anything that involves HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE involves a risk of messing something major up. Again, it's a one time fix. But it should have shipped without having to do that. It may "do the job", but it has the disadvantage of not being there day one, or discoverable by average users.

    You can put an OSX recovery disk onto a USB stick or whatever external storage you'd like, and use that instead. So yes, it is similar to surface. It just doesn't start on the harddrive.

    Edit: Aw, boo. Mobile posting lost functionality. No user detection, no link detection. Attempting to fix, not sure if edited posts will notify.

  • The box of the products say 64 GB SSD or Storage. It doesn't say usable space.

    Either way, you should get the 128GB Surface Pro if you decide to get one anyway...

  • @Bloody_El said:

    The box of the products say 64 GB SSD or Storage. It doesn't say usable space.

    Either way, you should get the 128GB Surface Pro if you decide to get one anyway...

    But, the MacBook Air is the better product.

    The Surface Pro is pretty much not usable as a tablet and it isn't even a very good laptop because of the display. (it has some resolution scaling quirks)

    I'm waiting to hear how the Lenovo Helix turns out.

  • @Sooty said:

    @Bloody_El said:

    The box of the products say 64 GB SSD or Storage. It doesn't say usable space.

    Either way, you should get the 128GB Surface Pro if you decide to get one anyway...

    But, the MacBook Air is the better product.

    The Surface Pro is pretty much not usable as a tablet and it isn't even a very good laptop because of the display. (it has some resolution scaling quirks)

    I'm waiting to hear how the Lenovo Helix turns out.

    I would much rather have the Surface Pro than a Macbook Air. And I love the Macbook Air's. Just not for me.

    Battery Life on MBA 11 inch vs Surface Pro is about the same, performance is about the same (if not better), tons of applications available, can use as a tablet (performance is tons better than the iPad.)

    That being said, it needs a keyboard dock like the Transformers so it can be used on your lap.


  • @Sooty said:

    But, the MacBook Air is the better product.

    The Surface Pro is pretty much not usable as a tablet and it isn't even a very good laptop because of the display. (it has some resolution scaling quirks)

    I'm waiting to hear how the Lenovo Helix turns out.

    Have you actually used the Surface Pro? Sure, most of the reviews aren't flattering but I would never judge a product I haven't used myself. You should read the Anandtech review.