#73: Buy No More, 23G 64G

We discuss the closure of numerous Canadian Best Buy locations (without knowledge of the staff!). We (sorta) lament the passing of Stickam. We marvel at Microsoft’s ever-worse marketing plan for the Surface with the release of a 64G model–with only 23G usable.

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The whole thing about the Surface specs/naming resonates with something I’ve noticed for a while. All to often you get packaging and marketing gumph that loks like this:

Raw space, Total capacity or Theoretical maximum performance *

  • actual useable or expected usage

And its not that I dislike having the real specs available. Quite the oposite, I get very miffed when they are completely skipped over in favour of clever marketing. I want to know what something is really capable of, or has on the inside. Having said that, I also feel it gets increasingly dishonest when the usable value are in small print and the unachievable values are the selling point.

For example, put media/tablet devices as small/medium/large. Then list the usable space. And stick the full capacity somewhere in the small print.
Do something similar with hard drives and their formatted/raw capacities.

Market computers primarily based on usage and put the specs in the small print. Although, certainly here in the UK, that already sorta happens. By the time you get to the full list of spec, you’re already “filtered” though to the gaming/home/business/etc category. (Plus when I’m giving purchasing advice to friends/family, having those specs visible somewhere is useful to me to convert from geekspeak to “here’s what it’ll do for you”)

And for things like battery life, internet speed and things like that, maybe list a performance range. Minimum expected through to theoretical maximum speeds, with the usual use-case disclaimer. (X Mbps - Y Mbps, performance may be impacted by sportsball tournaments and national disasters)

I know that I, personally, like both sets of information. knowing what usage I can actually expect from something is very important, but i also like to know all the geeky details, too. And I think I’d rather have the useful info easier to read and have to hunt for the techie details.