Do Tablets Really Need Expandable Storage?

Sections: Mobile Computers

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micro-sd cardcNet published a round-up on Friday of their top tablets with expandable storage. I read it, and, while glad to see them recommending a Nook HD+, I was underwhelmed by their selection. Which made me wonder. How necessary is expandable storage anyway?

Surface tablets were first on their list, which was ironic. Windows RT gobbles up so much internal storage that expanded memory is not really an option. It’s more of a requirement. The other tablets were solid offerings, but they weren’t exciting. Nor do any of them have the popularity of the iPad or Nexus tablets.

I own three tablets (Nook HD–8GB, Nexus 7–32GB and iPad 2–16GB), and, with the exception of the Nexus 7, I went for the lowest memory option. (The 16GB Nexus 7 was sold out when I went to buy it.) The HD does have a micro-SD slot, and I have a card slotted. I checked my storage usage, just out of curiosity: 3.61 GB available internal storage and 222 MB used on my card. Yeah, don’t need the card. My iPad is pretty full because I have a bunch of TV episodes I haven’t watched yet. If I needed space, I could delete most of them with no trouble. My Nexus 7 has 25GB available. Not running out of room there anytime soon.

Granted, I may not be considered a power user, and I’m not a frequent gamer, but I’ve had so few issues with storage that I just don’t feel the need for the slot. Even my iPhone is only about half full, and I use that device heavily, every day.

Mind you, my first computer had 128 K of memory, so I might be a bit biased. 😉

I recognize that some users do need the extra memory, and I’m glad the option exists, but I think Google and Apple made good decisions by not adding expandable storage.

What do you think? Is extra storage so important that it drives what device(s) you’ll buy?

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  • Carter Dotson

    We need expandable storage because it’s ridiculous that it costs $200 to go from a 16 to 64 GB iPad when $55 buys you a 64 GB microSDXC card.

    It’s all efforts to either push profitable incremental storage upgrades and to force cloud service usage instead of supporting common standards and we should resist it.

  • Juli Monroe

    Good point, Carter. I hadn’t thought about that angle when I wrote my article. As I said, I tend to go for lower storage devices, so I hadn’t thought about the incremental storage costs.