Unlike current ARM or Atom based tablets, Microsoft's Surface Pro integrates a full blown mSATA SSD. My review sample included a 128GB Micron C400, while I've seen reports of users getting Samsung PM830 (OEM SSD 830) based drives. Both of these drive options are great so long as you remember to keep a good amount of space on the drive free (15 - 25% free space is a good rule of thumb). Unfortunately, Microsoft only offers two capacities (64GB and 128GB) despite there being much larger mSATA SSDs available on the market. To make matters worse, supplies have been tight of the 128GB Surface Pro, with 64GB models a little easier to come by. 

A few adventurous Surface Pro owners have decided to try to swap out their 64GB mSATA SSDs with larger models. One of our readers (Tim K.) managed to successfully transplant a 240GB Intel SSD 525 in his Surface Pro. The trick is to make sure you clone the original GPT formatted mSATA SSD properly. For this, Tim used Reflect to clone the drive and MiniTool Partition Wizard to expand the data partition to the full capacity of the new SSD.

While he had no issues getting the drive working, his Surface Pro did sustain damage during the upgrade process. As we learned from iFixit's teardown of the tablet, there's a ton of adhesive everywhere and melting/breaking it is the only way to get inside Surface Pro. Unfortunately the cable that drives the touchscreen was pulled up when Tim separated the display from the VaporMg chassis. The tablet works as does the pen, but the display no longer functions as a capacitive touchscreen.

Tim tried to use a conductive pen to restore contact between the cable and the contacts on the back of the display but so far hasn't had any luck (if any MS engineers who worked on Surface Pro are reading this and have any suggestions feel free to comment here or email me). The process of disassembling the Surface Pro isn't easy. It took Tim roughly an hour and a half to get inside. With the knowledge that he now has, Tim believes that he'd be able to get in without damaging the unit but he cautions against anyone else looking to get into Surface Pro. I didn't want to risk tearing apart my Surface Pro review sample, so I'm grateful to Tim for going the distance to prove it works. He's also awesome enough to share photos of the aftermath with us and post a thread in the forums to help other folks brave enough to try this.

John566 over at the tabletpcreview forums managed to get into his Surface Pro safely (it looks like he didn't attempt a complete disassembly, but rather left the cable side of the display in place and just lifted up the other side). He was having issues getting the new SSD (a 256GB Micron C400) recognized however.

Source: AnandTech Forums



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  • techgeekster - Tuesday, February 19, 2013 - link

    SURFACE PRO ROCKS!!! I don't know what the naysayers are talking about. I think that most of them are typing their comments/reviews on an IPad and are bitter. lol!

    I now have purchased two of the Surface Pro's..one for me and one for my girlfriend....and it is AWESOME.

    I sold IPad (nicest one out currently) and my EVO and went all in with Windows 8 with my phone and a new Surface. They both link perfectly with my home PC and my Xbox account which is really cool actually.

    It is 1000x more responsive than my IPad was and the phone crushes my EVO droid phone too. I know people say there aren't a lot of apps yet, but jeez most of the apps on the IOS store are crap anyway.

    Plus, now you can use Bluestacks app to run an emulator on the Surface Pro and you can run 750,000 droid apps on your Surface Pro anyway (I tested it and it worked perfectly instantly) so you have more apps than you will ever use.

    I got office365 and now my girl and me have all of our docs on every device wherever we are and we both have skydrive and share some folders on it for pics and other stuff which is great too.

    The main thing I think Microsoft is missing is advertising this new Tablet/Laptop to the gaming market too. they are missing the boat!!!

    I loaded in Diablo III over the weekend on both of our Surface Pro's at home and my girlfriend and I both leveled up past level 15 and the touch interface actually works perfectly with the way Diablo III has you move. I know I could have run it at the highest settings on my home PC, but the Surface Pro ran Diablo at the HIGH settings and I just turned off the high end shadowing and it doesn't lag at all.

    It can also run Guild Wars 2, Portal 2, World of Warcraft and countless other games that you NEVER could run on any other tablet other than the newest ones and frankly people using an IPad can stick with Angry Birds. lol!

    Just saying that most of the people griping about the Surface Pro are haters and haven't even really used one yet. The integration at my work is seamless too and this year you will see huge migration to it in the corporate world. Flexibility, portability and integration into the enterprise world that microsoft already owns.

    Great job, Microsoft!!!
  • Falcon_CMH - Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - link

    Below I have two list one containing the things I love about the Surface Pro followed by a list of the bugs I would like MS to fix with the Surface Pro.
    Things I love about the Surface Pro:
    Perfect size (minimal/small) and single thing to carry for everything including keyboard/cover.
    Fast Boot time (a few seconds)
    Fast SSD (200 MB/sec writes, 500 MB/sec reads, ran atto246 benchmark)
    Basically a desktop in tablet form.
    Awesome IPS screen that is optically bonded and high resolution
    Killer case Vapor Mg coated (can be dropped with minimal to no damage from waist high)
    Type Cover is awesome
    Fast USB 3.0
    Has micro SXDC slot for up to 64 GB
    I can sync my Windows 8 Phone to it (Any phone manufacturer that supports windows platform)
    Has external video connections that works HD for very high resolution output to TV or monitor
    Metro Interface Rocks
    Start Screen is way better than start button
    Windows 8 Pro (Runs my full development software suite like IIS, MSMQ, SQL Server, Visual Studio 2012 etc., connects, integrates, and is secure through domain)
    Runs Office Pro (you have to buy)
    Online Stores to download apps and content from
    Xbox Music (unlimited cloud based music storage I have 30 GB+ up there, pretty much unlimited free music, requires annual subscription)
    Xbox Games (Starting to deliver more and more)
    Xbox Glass control and interact with Xbox as a second device cool with things like Netflix especially.
    Skydrive (Great place for your data for personal and sharing, 7 GB free)

    The Surface Pro Bugs I wish MS would fix ASAP in order of annoyance:
    Mouse hangs under various and many conditions (have to right click or switch to start screen to get it back)
    Touch Scrolling snags then scrolls fast (happens after a very brief period of inactivity of scrolling)
    Screen goes to sleep when plugged in even when Power Options set to performance and never sleep or dim screen
    Wifi switching from phone tethering to home Wifi or coming back from sleep acts like its connected but it is not and needs disconnected and re-connected sometimes/randomly
    Private Firewall disabled re-enables on its own after reboot (may have been an update that caused this, seems to stay disable now)
    Gets sluggish after long periods of use with MS Solitaire which I believe is heat related slowing down the CPU/Graphics due to temperature
    Gets sluggish to SDD in explorer when playing music at the same time with Xbox Music under My Music with locally stored music not streaming
    Magnetic Power connector is too difficult to connect always
    No documentation or indication on Surface Pro of which direction to insert micro SXDC chip
    When using graphics intensive software/gaming temperatures get too hot
    Sometimes Type Cover disconnects or is not recognized
    Apps from online store are limited selection and buggy but are getting more and more and quality is getting better
  • bountygiver - Saturday, March 9, 2013 - link

    I dont have most of the problems listed. But the wifi problem is there, hope they fix it in the next update like RT.
    Also when type cover is not detected, you can just tilt it towards the screen a bit more and it'll re-enable it.
    And I have to agree, magnetic power is hard to connect when it is facing DOWN. No problem when facing UP.
    Also the app store apps low quality are due to lazy developers. There are some well designed apps and they are really awesome to use.
  • Freibergs2002 - Saturday, April 13, 2013 - link

    Hey ---

    I just wanted to let you know that most of the bugs you described have been fixed via Firmware updates via Windows Update. I've noticed that Microsoft is committed to this surface and is continuing to fix its known bugs....

  • yos123 - Saturday, March 16, 2013 - link

    Surface pro is a great tablet by all means.. I haven't herd any complaints so far. www.windows8web.com/surface-pro Reply

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