While the latest Surface Pro generation that Microsoft advertised as “the most versatile laptop” last year is still arguably a great Windows 10-powered alternative for Apple’s market-leading iPad Pros, the Redmond-based tech giant cannot compete at a lower price point.
That’s where the entry-level 9.7-inch iPad is trying to fight off sub-$400 Chrome OS laptops and tablets, but a new Surface “line” is also expected to enter the arena soon with 10-inch screens, USB-C connectivity and a maximum of around nine hours of battery life between charges.
We’ve suspected for a while that Intel is still supposed to supply the processors for this low-cost Microsoft Surface family, a theory supported by recently published FCC certification documents.
But if you perhaps hoped you’d get an Intel Core M-series chip for less than the $799 currently charged for the cheapest Surface Pro configuration, a certain “master of cheap scoops” is here to crush your unrealistic dreams.
Still, you could do a lot worse than the Intel Pentium processors expected to power what WinFuture’s Roland Quandt calls the “Surface Lite.” That’s by no means a final name (or even a likely one), and it’s unclear where Quandt found this information.
But the tipster’s anonymous sources are usually reliable, so there’s really no reason to doubt the Surface Lite roster will include models with Intel Kaby Lake and Gemini Lake inside. Specifically, an ultra-affordable version almost certainly packing a Pentium Silver N5000 processor, and slightly pricier SKUs based on Pentium Gold 4410Y and/or 4415Y silicon. That’s not bad at all for a budget-friendly Windows 10 tablet.