Microsoft’s affordable Surface tablet could arrive sooner than anyone thought


With rumours of the imminent launch of Microsoft’s folding Andromeda tablet fading from view, attention has turned to the forthcoming affordable Surface tablet.

According to speculation, Microsoft is planning a sub-$400 tablet to compete with Apple’s entry-level iPad. Now, a new report has claimed it’ll be here sooner than anyone thought.

MSpoweruser cites leaked information suggesting the ‘Microsoft Hardware Display and Type Cover set’ will arrive in Microsoft Stores on Friday July 13. That’s this coming Friday.

Another member of the same Reddit thread also posted a purported spec sheet, corroborating what we’ve previously heard about the device; Pentium processors up to gold, up to 8GB RAM with 256GB of storage and LTE for on the go connectivity.

It appears the $399 price point will be for education customers, rather than the general public and that excludes the new Type Cover and mouse accessories.

There’s no word on how much it’ll cost everyone else, although the leaker does claim that the top end model will be a whopping $829 (excluding accessories), which isn’t that affordable at all.

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In terms of the display, it’ll be 10-inches, as previous reports have suggested, while the resolution will be 1800 x 1200, the leaker says. USB-C and microSD will be on board and the tablet itself will purportedly weigh 562g.

Last week it emerged that Microsoft would be using Intel’s Pentium processors (quad-core Silver and dual-core Gold) for these tablets, rather than the previously rumoured Intel Core M range. The latter would have made it much more difficult to keep the price down.

The company is believed to be sticking with Intel, rather than adopting its Windows 10 on ARM strategy for this device. That answer could lie in the education focus, ensuring all older apps remain compatible.

Would you be interested in a lower cost Surface device running Windows 10 Pro or Windows 10 S? Let us know @TrustedReviews on Twitter.

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