Microsoft’s cheaper Surface tablet passes FCC, to run on Intel Pentium chips

Microsoft Surface

Microsoft’s cheaper Surface tablet has been rumored for quite a while now. The device recently popped up on Geekbench and the US FCC to reveal some interesting new details about what to expect from it.

As per the evidence gathered up so far, this budget Surface will be priced at around $400 to challenge Apple’s $329 iPad. The company is apparently planning to grant it a 10-inch screen, a rounded design instead of a sharp-cornered one, and pack 9.5 hours of battery life.

Budget Microsoft Surface Processors

Microsoft is reportedly working on a cheaper stylus to go along with its cheaper Surface. WinFuture claims that the brand is going to adopt Intel’s low-cost Pentium Gold and Pentium Silver chips to further drive down rates.

This is a bit of a surprise since many would have expected Microsoft to stick to Intel Core M or Core i series chips. This will probably make the tablet a lot less powerful than its Pro counterparts. There aren’t a lot of budget Intel processors around, so it’s easy enough to make a guess at which SoCs the product will run.

The entry-level Surface will probably operate on a Pentium Silver N5000 chipset. It’s a 1.1GHz quad-core X86 SoC from Intel’s older Gemini Lake family. The more costly variants might favor the dual-core 1.5GHz Intel Pentium Gold 4410Y and the dual-core 1.6GHz Intel Pentium Gold 4415Y processors. Both are based on Intel’s newer Kaby Lake architecture.

Also See: Microsoft’s dual-screen foldable Surface device gets leaked

Geekbench has records of devices named OEMTX EV1 and OEMTX EV1 LTE in its database. These are probably codenames for the low-cost Surface. The aforementioned SoCs are powering it, along with 4GB or 8GB of RAM and Windows 10 Pro.

The US FCC recently listed the budget Surface tablet and stylus in its database as well. That’s a big indication that Microsoft is readying the device for launch soon. We’ll let you know when it does.