Rumor: Microsoft preparing three new Surface tablets for 2013 release

Rumor: Microsoft preparing three new Surface tablets for 2013 release

Summary: If the claims are true, we'll be seeing 8.6-inch, 11.6-inch, and 14.6-inch models available sometime next year.

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Despite signs that its Surface tablets haven't yet set the world on fire, sales-wise, Microsoft appears to be moving full-speed ahead on plans to expand its lineup in 2013 with models of varying screen size, including a whopping 14.6-inch version.

According to MS Nerd, who has proven accurate in past leaks of Microsoft plans, the computing giant has a trio of new Surface slates in the works, including a "Mini" model. While not as small as an iPad mini, this Surface RT supposedly comes with an 8.6-inch screen and uses a Qualcomm processor rather than an Nvidia Tegra one. 

Having made a nod toward the smaller tablet market, Microsoft then thinks bigger with the other rumored new Surface flavors. One would be 11.6 inches and surprisingly make use of AMD's forthcoming Temash processors instead of Intel chips. Then there's the Surface Book, with a laptop-sized 14.6-inch screen powered by Intel's upcoming Haswell CPUs and presumably endowed with some convertible features. These larger Surfaces would run Windows 8 Pro instead of Windows RT.

Don't expect the new models in the early part of next year, since neither Temash nore Haswell platforms will have launched. But if these rumors are true (and past MS Nerd leaks have proven correct on a number of occasions), then Microsoft's hardware partners will have even more reason to have their feathers ruffled as Surface moves into additional form factors. 

[Via PC World]

Topics: Microsoft Surface, Microsoft, Tablets

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103 comments
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  • Good thing

    I've got Surface RT and I am very happy with it. Really cool device.
    New Surface models are good sign and it is good motivation factor for others to make it even better or cheaper.
    It is always good to have a choice. If you don't like - you don't buy it. If you like it - choose and go for it.
    Bokani
    • I wish MS would just switch to Haswell for all surfaces next year

      Its so much better than any arm. And they could sell RT ones that were upgradable to pro.
      Johnny Vegas
      • Haswell chips are reportedly very expensive.

        And it's not like the Surface is a bargain to begin with.
        matthew_maurice
        • The Surface is a great bargain

          To get from the Apple universe what you get with the Surface RT, you would need an iPad and a MacBook Air and your solution would be less convenient (2 devices to lug around) heavier, and significantly more expensive.

          Surface RT is a tremendous bargain, both financially and mobility wise.
          toddbottom3
          • In your opinion.

            Of course that doesn't make it true for anyone else.
            matthew_maurice
          • So just to be clear

            "Surface RT is a tremendous bargain, both financially and mobility wise."

            This is opinion because you don't like it.

            "And it's not like the Surface is a bargain to begin with."

            This is fact, just because.

            Got it.

            I mean seriously matthew_maurice, if every time someone made a statement on ZDNet, you replied with:
            "In your opinion.
            Of course that doesn't make it true for anyone else."
            there would be twice as many talkbacks on every single post.

            So are you going to keep replying to every post ever written with "that's your opinion"? You're going to be busy.
            toddbottom3
          • Is there anything more subjective than "bargain"?

            You really need to learn what the word "fact" means.
            matthew_maurice
          • Wow

            Love my job, since I've been bringing in $5600… I sit at home, music playing while I work in front of my new iMac that I got now that I'm making it online(Click on menu Home)
            .......http://goo.gl/vhxN5
            JonathanWiki
          • Of course everyone but bottomfeeder knows

            his opinion is considered worthless.
            non-biased
          • "Surface is cheap" - toddbottom3

            "Surface RT is cheap from every angle" - toddbottom3

            At last we agree on something.

            Buyer beware: You get what you pay for.
            gregv2k
          • Bull

            MacBook Air will run just about all OSX software, and the iPad will run iOS software.
            The SurfaceRT, however, will run ZERO legacy Windows software. So claiming equivalence just highlights your ignorance (not like that is news to anyone).
            Tremendous bargain my ass.
            .DeusExMachina.
          • Funny

            Hearing you say bull is just funny. Again, I don't get involved in the iOS/Android/Windows dung slinging matches, but I don't like FUD being spread around either.

            Windows RT will run the same apps as the Pro version from the Windows store. You WILL be able to run the same apps on your RT tablet as your notebook with Windows 8 on it. PROVIDED the platform takes off (I wouldn't discount it, having used both versions for a while now it's actually pretty good despite some of the things you hear). True, 32 or 64 bit Intel Windows (Legacy as you call them) programs will not run under RT. You are right. But, the programming basis of the "old" programs and the new "Windows store apps" is VERY similar, meaning that porting from legacy to Windows store is actually quite easy IMHO (yes, I do some programming and finding the porting extremely easy).

            What do I mean by all this?

            Legacy software will slowly transition to Windows Store App, as developers then immediately have compatible software for tablets, thus make more money.

            Only things like Photoshop/Premier/Video or 3D renderers, that sort of thing will probably remain non-ARM only (not fast enough for now I would think, but looking at the evolution since 2010 who knows?) It may be possible in a year or two.

            RT will grow faster than you think, and the software for it I expect to grow very fast also. Don't count MS out on this one. I've got a gut feeling this is not a Vista type thing.
            Ramrunner-5dd3e
          • And again, BULL

            Please bother to know what you are talking about before you respond. To wit:

            "Windows RT will run the same apps as the Pro version from the Windows store."
            Wrong. While 90% of the apps in the store will run on RT, 10% are desktop only.

            "You WILL be able to run the same apps on your RT tablet as your notebook with Windows 8 on it."
            Even more wrong. Sorry, even if your first point were 100% right (and it's not) this is 100% wrong. Adobe CS5.5 will not run on your Surface RT.

            "But, the programming basis of the "old" programs and the new "Windows store apps" is VERY similar, meaning that porting from legacy to Windows store is actually quite easy IMHO"

            Bull. Tell that to Microsoft! If porting is so easy, why were they COMPLETELY unable to port Office to RT until the gave up an bolted a win 32 backend onto the OS, just so Office could run? This backend is NOT accessible to ANY other developer.

            RT will grow slower than you think, and the software for it I expect to grow very slowly also. Go ahead and count MS out on this one. I've got a gut feeling this is another Vista type thing.

            Oh look what I did there. See how that works?
            .DeusExMachina.
          • made a complete idiot out of yourself

            Yep I see what you did there acted like a total douche and ended up making yourself look like an idiot. Why would you take his statement out of context trying very badly to make a point which in reality was pretty much the same words you edited out to place your "your wrong" comments. The guys was trying to make a simple and true statement to try and correct some of the misinformation about the platform that even you yourself seem to be guilty of disseminating. It appears you don't understand a basic concept with widows 8 and its app development. There are tradition .net application that still make use of older API s and programing paradigms and live in the desktop app and then there are (windows store app) ones using the new windows UI design language and winrt, please note that is the windows runtime not windows RT. All windows store apps can be used between widows version if the developer checks the box in their project if for some reason the uncheck arm then windows rt is out why developers are doing this is beyond me but there a re a few that did. Knowing that little tidbit please reread tour comments and note the use of windows store app that's the proper term for the project type. Currently he is correct if the platform succeeds then it is very obvious the direction ms is head and the desktop will be fully deprecated and we will be in this new touch world. Yes the desktop was left in rt wndows in general because there was not enough time to port everything over but its all being ported the next office come ld very well be full winrt by the time it launches. Windows itself is on a much faster rev cycle possibly yearly for major releases now so things are changing quit fast and ms is not down and not out. They've already had several updates and are working on a major feature pack/ upgrade for this year and Corporate IT has been waiting for windows 8 more then you know it offers us everything users want from the iPad form factor in a way we can manage with existing infrastructure. And I know for me and several others the start screen has some interesting possibilities with virtualized apps and customized screens for user types. Windows is not dead its just changing the while world is shifting its computers.

            how do I know these things I'm educated I know how to read and research for myself I am am developing apps for the entire windows ecosystem oh and I do this all day everyday its my job
            @...
          • ...

            Using your logic: The iPad runs ZERO legacy OSX software therefore the iPad is a dismal failure.

            On the other hand:

            All Windows8 tablets, hybrids, laptops and desktops can run most Windows desktop apps as well as all "modern" apps.

            WindowsRT devices will happily run 99% of "modern" apps plus any desktop apps(e.g. Office) that provide a bridge while Microsoft rounds-out its "modern" app portfolio.
            bitcrazed
      • Yes, but nope

        Haswell is a successor to Ivy Trail... of course it's more powerful than ARM. It's also more power hungry... even their special lower power models will only be laptop-class, which ok, includes Microsoft's Surface Pro. And that ultra low power version is targeted toward >$1000 Ultrabooks... Intel will be getting their pound of flesh. The ULP chip will have a chunk of DRAM on it, as a power saving measure, and Intel's going to price this at $275-$300 to OEMs. That's not exactly the chip you want in a $350-$500 tablet. Not to mention it's still power hungry compared to an Atom.

        And even if you had a ULP Haswell at a tablet price, who's going to market that as a Windows RT device? For one, Microsoft doesn't sell Windows RT for the x86, so you couldn't. Secondly, Windows 8 on a tablet costs the OEM less, since there's no requirement to license Office as well -- they can leave that choice up to the customer and deliver a lower cost tablet.

        The real competition for Windows RT price points will be Intel's Atom Bay Trail, which boosts performance to, well, this year's new ARM levels: the four core A9 processors and the two cost "next gen" processors like Apple's A6 series and the Samsung ARM Cortex A15 series in the Nexus 10. That's not just a speedup but a die shrink, 32nm down to 22nm, so it'll do great on power, most likely. But that's not until 2014.
        Hazydave
      • somebody

        Flagged that post from JV? This site is going downhill fast.
        TKR1
    • Great news!

      And they will weigh 4, 6, and 8 lbs respectively, with at least 2 hours battery life :)
      harvey_rabbit
      • Where did you read that?

        Surface RT 10.6" is incredibly light, even lighter than a MacBook Air which we are constantly told is THE benchmark to meet. Do you have evidence that the 8.6" Surface will be nearly 3 times heavier than the 10.6" Surface? That doesn't really seem likely.

        But I'm happy to read whatever supporting evidence you care to post. By not posting any supporting evidence, you admit that you were wrong.
        toddbottom3
        • I like to compare my Surface RT to an iPad, not a MacBook

          iPad weights from Wikipedia:
          Wi-Fi model: 1.5 lb (680 g)
          Wi-Fi + 3G model: 1.6 lb (730 g)[6]
          iPad 2: 1.325 lb (601 g)
          3rd generation Wi-Fi model: 1.44 lb (650 g)
          3rd generation Wi-Fi + 4G model: 1.46 lb (660 g)
          (I haven't seen any new iPads yet, are they lighter or heavier)

          From microsoft.com/surface: Surface RT: 1.5lbs

          and, while we are at it, thickness matters too (again, Wikipedia and the Surface site):

          1st generation iPad:0.50 in (13 mm)
          iPad 2: 0.34 in (8.6 mm)
          3rd generation: 0.37 in (9.4 mm)

          Surface RT: 0.37in

          They seem pretty comparable. The major dimensions are very different (the Surface is wide-screen (a la HTDV) while the iPad is more like my mother's TV). However, they both feel about the same size.
          Flydog57