When Asus chose to release the Transformer Prime only in 32GB ($499) and 64GB ($599) models, I couldn't help but scratch my head over the lack of a $399 16GB model. Presumably it was because either the 16GB original Transformer didn't sell nearly as well as the 32GB version, or because the company was trying to market the TP as a more upmarket device. Whatever the case, it's had me thinking (especially in light of all the new tablets that were announced during MWC): how much storage is enough for the average person?

Specifically, if you were going to buy a tablet, what size option would you choose? The question is a little more tricky than that, though; we can't forget that many tablets now include microSD slots. But I'm more interested in seeing which model of tablet people are interested in purchasing than seeing how much storage space they actually need total.

As a result, the question becomes: if some magical tablet existed that were offered in 16, 32, and 64 GB variants, and each size had a sub-variant with and without a microSD slot (for a total of 6 different models), which model would you pick?  Note: when voting, exclude the necessity of a microSD slot for modding purposes. We're talking about storage needed here, nothing else.

Vote in the poll below, then feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.

How Much Built-In Storage Do You Need In A Tablet?

View Results

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Aaron Gingrich
Aaron is a geek who has always had a passion for technology. When not working or writing, he can be found spending time with his family, playing a game, or watching a movie.

  • TomVal

    Unable to wote, no form elements available :(

  • TomVal

    OK - after submitting a comment, for elements appeared ... strange

    • Aaron Gingrich

      Yeah, the site was having a bit of a hiccup there, I think. I was having issues too.

  • Rob

    16gb with MicroSD
    16gb because it's the cheapest and I could still get more storage if I run out with a MicroSD, simples.

  • Kwineon

    I feel like this is different for 3g over wifi. A 3g device can stream anywhere, a wifi device may be stuck offline for extended periods requiring more storage space

    • Aaron Gingrich

      A very, very good point.

    • George C

      Data caps, you'll still want storage.

      • Jimmy

        Not if you have an unlimited data plan.

        • George C

          How many providers actually offer true unlimited data anymore? The number grows smaller and smaller.

        • http://riteshtripathy.wordpress.com Ritesh

          Which are how abundant exactly and in how many countries?

        • Phreqd

          "Not if you have an unlimited data plan"
          Haha! Silly boy still thinks that unlimited plans really mean unlimited!

    • MicroNix

      However, unlike a phone which *is* carried everywhere, my tablet normally stays within the confines of my home. I was never one to fork out a data plan for something frivolous like a tablet that isn't my main means of communication. This would be totally different if I used it for my job but since I don't there's no need for all the extra.

      16GB + SD slot

  • Jim Thomson

    Since the tablet is imaginary, so is the amount of money I have to spend on the biggest and the best.

    • Aaron Gingrich

      Only the tablet is imaginary, and only because a tablet that comes in such varieties doesn't exist.

  • Barton

    Depends on the price difference. But it has to have a microSD slot. I'd rather have a 2 gigs inside and a slot, than 128 gigs inside and no slot.

  • Roger

    With quadcores and apps eventually coming up to speed that will utilize the power and have updates made often, along with cache memory for eventual photoshop or movie ripper apps,start me off with 250GB, then check back later.

  • Shaizer

    They probably didn't release a 16GB version for $399 because the price point would be too low for all the other features included in the tablet, if they did release the 16GB version for more than $399 people would start complaining as this doesn't follow the apple trend of keeping introductory prices the same, when really internal memory has a small effect on the cost of making the entire tablet. $499 for a 32GB tablet of this calibre is an amazing price and there's nothing really to question or complain about.

    • Harrison

      Exactly, the margins weren't high enough.

  • Opinion-Man

    Frankly I think 64GB and less, even with a microSD slot, is a joke for a tablet. True, they're all basically giant phones and follow the same technology but I can't be the only one who expected more capacity.

  • ErOR

    64GB and a sd card slot minimum.

    Flash is so cheap nowadays I don't see why they don't do it, as long as they dont charge extra $200 or something crazy just to have more internal storage.

  • http://www.theandroidsite.com Ben Marvin

    16GB + microSD is enough for me. But it's nice to know the option exists for a 250GB model, if I need it. Archos, FTW.

  • mcstraun69

    Expandable storage (sd cards) is so important these days. This is where apple fails. What if you a have an 8 gb ipod to expand the storage you need to buy a AGAIN. 16 gb internal is ideal. (I prefer if apps are on internal storage than on sd card [i think they run smoother]) Plus a 32 GB sd card for media.

    One more point to note in this is how does cloud storage affect this decision since it is a growing factor. (maybe it all falls back to data plan/speed)

  • Chris Bozsik

    I'd definitely go with the 16gb+microSD. If the 32gb version is going to be $100 more than the 16gb version than I'll get the one with less space and either spend $20 on a 16gb microSD to bring it up to 32gb or just buy a 32gb microSD for $30 and have a halfway between 32 and 64.

    And for the record if there was a 16GB Transformer Prime for $399 I'd probably buy it.

  • Leif

    On my phone (Galaxy Nexus) 16gb are more than enough for me.

    On a tablet (Transformer Prime) I picked the 32gb version since there I play more games, read newspaper/comics and save a high res portfolio which requires more space than general apps I use on my phone.

    Usually I don't like to use micro sd cards that much because in the past I already had problems with those, but it''s still nice to have. Everytime I travel I'm glad to be able to insert micro sd and sd cards or just attach a hd drive to my prime to watch some movies.

  • Alex1x

    As long as I get microsd, even 8GB is ok. What is always being over looked which is THE MOST IMPORTANT factor in my android decision making is RAM. 1GB minimum, but I want 2GB already!

  • sipsik

    I need 4-8gb + sdcard. Everything I need is in the cloud already. If I'm away from home(wifi) and want to watch some movies, I have a sdcard for that purpose. whatever is larger than 16gb is marketing bs.

  • mcstraun69

    I wouldn't Pay $100 extra just to double my storage by 16 or 32 GB when I can get a solid San Disk 32 GB SD card for $40. This is just a marketing strategy used by companies especially the GREEDY apple.

  • Manuel Bocchia

    I chose 64gb+SD because the day I own a tablet, I want it to be able to carry as much info-movies-books-series-apps-and-games as it can, since data plans in my country are extremely expensive hehe, and having a SD card slot is great for data transfer, and just in case...

  • Tkun

    I would go with a 16GB with microSD slot. I already have a couple of high-capacity microSD card slots, so I don't need a huge amount of internal memory. Plus, since if I had a tablet, I wouldn't be storing a ton of music on it (my phone's my main music player), that would make for even less reason to need a lot of internal space.

  • Neven Salom

    Can't wait for 128GB SD cards to be released for mobiles and tablets. They already have them for cameras, so they should really roll them out this year, I think. I found a 128GB class 10 SD card (not microSD, SD, for cameras, etc.), at about £100-130. Not bad. And companies charge you £100 more for different models that have more internal storage, like 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, frankly, it's ridiculous. Companies need to up their game when it comes to making and selling hardware. Everyone's doing the same thing, following other companies and trends, like sheep.

  • Dan

    I would go for 32gb of internal storage with expandable because I already have a Xoom and I use about 15gb on average and I prefer to have a decent amount of space left just in case. If you like to play tablet games then 32 is right for you, although I don't know how much space future games will take up.

  • Jason

    As much storage as you can cram into the thing.

  • J-Dog

    From those I've talked to, it seems tablets are a good desk/lap top replacement. The few I've talked to said they almost exclusively use their tablets now. And I really see me following suit when/if I get one.

    That being said, I probably would set a lower limit of 32GBs on any tablet I'd consider buying, and of course aim for a higher amount of storage (so I guess my ultimate device, given the options, would be 64GBs).

    As to SD cards, I'd call them almost mandatory. Obviously they're good at suplimenting the limited on-board storage - I could have 32GBs of music accessible without loosing any files stored on the tablet. But they're excellent for backups. When my phone suddenly without warning decided to no longer power up during a reboot all I had to do was extract the SD card & insert it into the replacement handset & I was back up & running in seconds. And it's a great replacement for the various CDs & DVDs I have labeled "Fall 2002" (for example) with all of my coding projects, research papers, etc from that semester... Files I want to keep, but don't need frequent/immediate access to.

    Going back to the computer replacement idea - I'd actually LOVE to see tablets (& I wouldn't mind seeing phones either) switch from SDHC to SDXC format SD cards. While the currently used SDHC cards are limited to just 32GBs, its SDXC cousins are limited to 2TBs. With a tablet being able to hold 2TBs (+ its on board 32GBs) it'll defiantly be a desktop replacement...

    • djembeman

      I'm using a SanDisk 64GB SDXC Micro SD Card in my Droid Bionic right now. Just had to format it with my phone and boom. I have an 80GB phone.

  • Kuroshima

    I have a 16GB OG Transformer (TF101) and I must say that I don't feel the need for more internal memory. 16 GB for apps, and a MicroSD Slot is enough. Also, I'm not paying 100 bucks for more GBs, when a micro SD card costs a fraction of that.

    Personally, I feel that devices without MicroSD cards are a big Fail! Take note Samsung and Apple!

  • collo

    I usually get as much as I can afford because I keep my items for the long haul. I don't ever want to say "Darn, I should have gotten more."I

  • Stranger

    As little as possible for two reasons: 1. speed, the more data you put on a flash memory the slower it gets (reads and writes) and 2. security, the smaller the memory is the higher chances to rewrite something you deleted with new data (otherwise deleted files will stay there hidden forever available)

  • Julian

    16GB is enough for apps, so I dont want to pay 50€ or more for the upgrade to the 32GB model (which is currently for the old Transformer), when a 32GB microSD costs less than 50€ (which leaves me with more space for less money).
    For things like my music collection, movies etc. even the 64GB wouldn't be enough so for that we need a USB drive anyway.

  • Shadow187

    i belive 32gb plus sd card that must be thr optimum for a smartphone tablet needs more so 64+sd card taht is for me the optimum i got a phone with 16gb build in plus sd card and a barely manage to keep my things in it

  • Eddie

    As long as there's a microsd card I'm okay. HTC lost me as a customer when they released the sensation XL without a slot (due to this being a wp7 clone), so off I went to Samsung

  • Shane

    I have had a 64gb iPad and then downsized to the 32gb iPad2. I've never used more than 10gb of storage on either. I used more storage on my various android phones on the SD card mostly from system backups from flashing custom ROMs. On a tablet where we are excluding uses related to modding, you only need as much storage as you have music, videos and photos that you need to store locally. I don't really need to store much of those at all locally since I can stream from the cloud as necessary 99% of the time.

  • mef

    Err... Archos offer a microSD slot and go up to 250 GB
    Great deal for anyone who wants a media player as it does full HD.

    However, you'd also have to put up with totally appalling build quality and customer service that is..ahem, rather Gallic in disposition.

  • Lazarus Dark

    16gb plus sd. I already have a 32gb sd card and will probably pick up a 64gb when they get just a bit cheaper. Now, all my mp3's will fit on a 32gb card, but I am trying to move to flac so I need 64gb (I only ever used mp3 because of portability and the ability to play mp3 through my car stereo/usb, but I would have prefered to use flac all along). That said I have the 32gb VW Gnex right now. I almost didn't get it because of the lack of SD, but in the end decided it was the only phone I really wanted despite that negative. I figured I could get by with 32 on a daily basis and may keep my OG Droid in the car for additional music storage on its sd card (I may even try to custom mount it as a nav/entertainment system using wifi hotspot on the Gnex to feed the old Droid)

    I think going forward in the next generation, if we are going to start putting on Ubuntu and using the phone as the main pc, this may be the way: in a padphone like ecosystem, you would have 32gb on the phone, then plug it into the tablet. The tablet should have a standard laptop drive like the Archos but make it upgradeable, so you can put any size laptop drive in it. It will be heavier, but this is meant as a full laptop replacement. Connect keyboard as needed. This would meet a large number of peoples needs

  • Latise

    Why pay more for space when micro SD can be added for a fraction of the cost the OEM charges to get it internally? I have a 32 GB XOOM because that is what the WiFi version comes with, but if given a choice I'll take 16 GB and a slot every time. I have more than 64 GB of media anyway, so until internal memory surpasses 128 GB for a reasonable price in a tablet running vanilla android or close to it, I'm going to choose the minimum storage size available unless the tablet I want doesn't include a micro SD slot.

  • Paul

    One thing you forgot to mention in your article that is a viable option that may influence how much extra onboard flash one would need: a USB port.

    The reason is that if a USB port exists (as it does on the docking keyboard for the transformer), then it allows for many more storage options, such as an external drive, USB keys, etc. I say that because there have been useful cases where I connect a large external drive to mine to be able to share several files easily. There are larger storage options available for USB-based external storage than there are for SD cards.

  • Rob

    16GB minimum, 32GB preferred. Not sold on need for SD card support. I have Dropbox and insynchq (GDocs storage); with Wi-Fi at home (and to some degree at work & a few public places) plus tethering capacity on my phone I think I can leverage cloud storage for anything exceeding the fixed storage on the device. Yes, I know that means I may be without access from time to time, but I go for long periods of time without the need to access large portions of my cloud stored content.

  • john wilkinson

    All comes down to cost in the end...

  • Jamesy

    "Presumably because the original 16gb transformers didn't sell as well"

    Where did you get this from? I've never even met anyone with a 32gb transformer, and the addition of a microsd card made the extra $100 a hard sell.

  • Esa

    Gig or two for apps, rest I stream.

  • will

    See here's the deal. As a tablet dealer I know you really need very little internal storage as long as you can A) insert a micro sd B) access wifi/3g/4g. It has already been proven in the kindle Fire that people are even willing to do with just 512 mb

  • Noel

    32GB plus micro SD card slot, 64GB if no micro SD card expandable. If i have to carry a tablet around instead of a laptop, it better have ample storage for my stuff and then some

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000183131898 Reno Rozay

    i need a 64gb plus a sd card slot im greedy i find new apps every day 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000183131898 Reno Rozay

    i need a 64gb plus a sd card slot im greedy i find new apps every day 

  • http://profiles.google.com/andrewc513 Andrew Chandler

    Everything of mine is in the cloud(Spotify, Dropbox, Netflix, etc), so space is irrelevant as long as I have at least 4-8GB for working with random files, and the option for external storage(microSD).