Microsoft’s most recent tablet, the Surface Pro 3, is over ten months old at this point, having launched last May. We’d been expecting the Surface Mini, and then nearly from out of the blue, Redmond dropped this beast of a tablet on us. In the time since, the Pro 3 has held up remarkable well, but the same can’t necessarily be said for the company’s more affordable tablet option. After all, the Surface 2 is pushing eighteen months at this point, and Microsoft’s already made it clear that the Windows RT-running Surface 2 won’t be upgraded to Windows 10. Now we’re hearing a little about possible plans for the Surface 2’s successor, one that would run full-blown Windows.
The new Surface is rumored to launch either at Microsoft’s Build conference (taking place at the end of April through early May), or shortly before it. It would run an Intel chip – either an Atom or something based on the company’s Core M platform – and feature a fanless design. Based on the timing, it’s likely the tablet would arrive running Windows 8.1 when it goes up for sale, with an upgrade to Windows 10 in its future. And again, we’re talking the full version of Windows 8.1 – no more limited tablet edition.
Pricing is expected to firmly establish this new Surface model as a more budget-priced alternative to the Surface Pro 3, though we haven’t heard any specific numbers just yet – though something around the $500 mark would make a lot of sense