Microsoft Surface $400 iPad rival has Intel Pentium, Windows 10, benchmarks suggest

More details emerge about Microsoft's budget Surface tablets.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

Video: What makes Microsoft's Surface devices special?

Details of Microsoft's upcoming $400 Surface tablets in FCC filings reveal they are likely to come with an Intel processor, and now it's believed those chips will be Intel Pentium processors.

According to German Windows news site, WinFuture.de, the new low-cost 10-inch display Surface tablets will have Intel Pentium Gold and Pentium Silver chips.

Microsoft is reportedly launching multiple new 10-inch Surface models, aimed at the education market that Apple is vying for with its $329 iPad and which Chomebooks currently lead, at least in the US. Microsoft's current 12-inch display Surface Pro tablets start at $799.

It was thought Microsoft may have opted for an Intel Core m chip. However, for these budget slates, the company appears to be running with Kaby Lake-based Intel Pentium Gold chipsets for the premium versions.

Entry-level models will have the older and less powerful Gemini Lake architecture Pentium Silver chipsets.

Since there aren't many of these CPUs to choose from, these may include the dual-core Intel Pentium Gold 4410Y or Pentium Gold 4415Y, and the four-core Intel Pentium Silver N5000.

SEE: Windows 10 April 2018 Update: An insider's guide (free PDF)

Given the different processor generations, it's likely then that the 10-inch Surface will start at $400 while premium models will cost more.

Also, as spotted by MSPoweruser, the possible LTE version of the 10-inch Surface has shown up on OpenCL benchmarks comparing it with the 2017 MacBook. The device is called 'OEMTX EV2 LTE' and is running on an Intel Pentium 4415Y at 1.6GHz with 64-bit Windows 10 Pro.

Earlier benchmarks for 'OEMTX EV1' and 'OEMTX EV1 LTE' are present on Geekbench benchmarks too, with the non-LTE model using an Intel Pentium 4415Y while the LTE model uses the Pentium 4410Y.

Microsoft is expected to announce the 10-inch Surface lineup in the second half of 2018, which is likely to happen now the devices have passed through the FCC.

The devices are said to feature rounded edges rather than the square corners of the Surface Pro. They'll feature a USB-C port and kickstand and will weigh less than the Surface Pro but will have a significantly shorter battery life.

Microsoft is believed to be developing a new keyboard cover, stylus, and mouse for the cheaper tablet.

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