01.CHOICE refers Microsoft to watchdog
CHOICE has requested that the ACCC investigate the Microsoft Surface tablet for potentially misleading advertising claims.
Microsoft sells two Surface models advertised as a "32GB version" and a "64GB version". However, these products come with pre-loaded software which reduces the available hard disk space considerably.
According Microsoft’s own website, the 32GB version has only 16GB of available hard disk space and the 64GB version has only 45GB of available hard disk space. However, this information does not appear on the actual Surface packaging, so it's unlikely consumers will be aware of it when making their purchasing decision.
CHOICE purchased a 32GB model for a recent tablet review, and confirmed it had only 16.4GB of available hard disk space out of the box.
Disappearing hard disk space
While it is not uncommon for tablets to have less available hard space than the advertised amount, CHOICE believes that the Surface tablets have much less than consumers would consider reasonable.
For example, the 32GB model of the Google Nexus 7 used in the CHOICE tablet review had 27.33 GB of available hard disk space, or 85% of the advertised amount. Meanwhile, the 16GB Apple iPad 2 had 13.43GB of available hard disk space, equivalent to 84% of the advertised amount.
This compares to the Surface devices, which have just 50% of the advertised hard disk space in the case of the 32GB model, and 70% in the case of the 64GB model.
LA man sues
Microsoft has also attracted the ire of Los Angeles resident Andrew Sokolowski who filed a lawsuit against the tech giant, even seeking class-action status.
However, the CHOICE team first became aware of the discrepancy last November after the Microsoft FAQ page admitting the shortfall was posted to the social media website Reddit.
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