Microsoft Surface with Pro

If you like to get your money’s worth out of your purchases, it’s best to stay far away from the 64GB Surface Pro.

Microsoft is confirming to various news outlets today what we’ve for so long feared: In terms of free storage, the Surface Pro is a really bad deal.

Owners of the device will be left with a paltry 23GB of usable space after the installation of system files and onboard apps, which together take up over 60 percent of the device’s 64GB. 

While the situation is a bit better with the 128GB Surface Pro (which leaves users with 83GB of storage), the 64GB model’s numbers are actually worse than those of the 32 GB Surface, which only offers 16GB of useable storage.

Microsoft isn’t alone here, of course, as just about every device ships with less storage space than advertised. The problem is that the Surface Pro takes that trend to a more troubling extreme: $800 for 23GB of usable space is simply an awful deal for consumers.

To rectify the problem, Microsoft recommends that Surface Pro owners turn to things like USB storage, microSD cards, and SkyDrive. Those solutions, however, don’t address the all-too-clear reality: Microsoft is misleading customers by advertising one product and selling them something very different.