Samsung’s Ativ 500T Windows 8 tablet-laptop convertible has a number of strong points — including Intel’s new dual-core Clover Trail Atom SoC — but storage capacity certainly isn’t one of them. According to the Ativ Smart PC’s box, it comes with 64GB of available storage. In reality, after you factor in all of cruft, crud, and bloatware, actual available storage is less than half of that.
Windows 8′s Storage Manager represents this as 64GB of total space with two Recovery Partitions, a Windows RE (Recovery Environment) partition, and an EFI partition.
Device Manager claims that device’s internal storage (an MMC memory card) only holds 59GB total, with 52GB available for applications.
Both of them agree on one thing — the actual amount of available storage is approximately 51GB. Now the fun starts.
The fully patched version of Windows 8 is 12.6GB. The swapfile, pagefile, and hibernation file come to 4.14GB altogether. Samsung installs another 2.4GB worth of software, including such beloved gems as Norton Antivirus. Some of the company’s choices are mind-boggling, given the limited free space.
A basic English install of Adobe Acrobat Reader weighs in at 113MB. That’s absurdly high for a PDF display program, but Samsung takes it one step further. It installs every language pack available, which kicks the installation up to 491MB. Samsung’s multi-language documentation accounts for 330MB of the 481MB listed above. Norton Antivirus and the other Symantec “products” eat 571MB.
Some of the software, like Cyberlink PowerDVD, isn’t automatically junk, but including it here makes no sense. While it’s true that Windows 8 can’t play DVDs natively, the tablet doesn’t ship with a DVD drive. External DVD drives typically require 2x USB 2.0 connections; the 500T only has one. The chances that you’ll be playing a DVD on this tablet, in any configuration, is pretty small.
The last factor to consider is Office 2013. SAMSUNG BP70A Battery doesn’t ship the 500T with Office pre-loaded, but for millions of people, it’s a guaranteed install. If you don’t install it, out-of-the-box storage available on the 500T is roughly 32GB, broken down as follows:
If you do, total available space is 30GB.
Most of the applications listed above have requirements that Samsung couldn’t change, but where it could have made a difference, it doesn’t. There’s no reason to install 709MB of language files in a situation where every megabyte counts. The inclusion of crudware like Norton Antivirus on a $749 high-end tablet is inexcusable while PowerDVD’s presence is downright odd. All of it points to sloppy thinking, greed, and the wrong mindset for the tablet market.
Limited storage capacity a serious problem
32GB of useable space on a tablet advertised as offering 64GB is, in our opinion, false advertising. In a quick poll, most writers here in the ExtremeTech bunker said they’d be extremely unhappy with the situation; several would consider returning the tablet outright. Even if integrating its new high-end 128GB eMMC chips wasn’t an option, Samsung could have ameliorated the problem by shipping the 500T with a 16-32GB USB flash drive or a complementary MicroSD card.
Failing that, it could’ve owned up to the problem and admitted it openly.
The entire point of buying into Clover Trail — buying into Intel’s x86 architecture — is to purchase a device that’s capable of Real Work. 30-32GB of useable storage is too low to take seriously. It’s not what customers paid for and it’s certainly not worth the $750 asking price.
What Samsung doesn’t seem to realize is that Windows 8 tablets aren’t going to be judged solely against the iPad. They’re absolutely judged against equivalent systems with monitors, particularly when a tablet like the 500T comes with a dock by default. It’s one thing to accept a slightly smaller storage allocation in exchange for an ultra-lightweight system, but there’s no getting around the fact that the ATIV 500T claims to offer 64GB and delivers half of that.