People itching for a new 2-in-1 powerhouse may have heard of the stellar reception towards the 2017 Surface Pro – but may not exactly have the kind of money to shell out for such a device. If rumors are to be true, a budget-friendly Microsoft laptop may actually be in the works, which can provide both financial relief without compromising quality – especially for students. The clue lies in an FCC filing that hints towards a $400 Surface laptop.
Fans of Microsoft’s Surface lineup have been expecting newer additions to the laptop family, and among the things they’re expecting is a much cheaper iteration of the previously-expensive Surface tablets. If a new Federal Communications Commission filing is any indication, however, it seems a cheaper Microsoft Surface model might not be too far off the table. Interestingly, this also suggests Microsoft may be trying to get the right kind of regulatory approval to make sure it gets its new not-so-secret tablet out to the market.
Unfortunately, the paperwork submitted to the FCC won’t be including the full specifications and pictures of the device – at least ones that can be accessed, as those are confidential. However, there are certain details that could provide useful hints towards the nature and purpose of the device in question.
For instance, the system will be using what appears to be a driver for a secret Qualcomm Atheros Wi-Fi/Bluetooth module. Having a separate chip made it almost a guarantee that this new Surface tablet will also possess an Intel processor. If a Qualcomm ARM chip is being used, then this means the Bluetooth and Wi-Fi will be fully integrated into the system-on-chip and will be using a different driver.
Hints towards a new power supply also exists, being a unit running on 24W. It’s noted that Microsoft did use 24W-based power supplies, although current models of the Surface Pro do use 36W-based parts instead. This remains consistent with the expected price of this tablet, which is pegged at $400, and a much smaller screen at only 10 inches.
The new device itself is being expected to be shipped sometime during 2018, and it’s pegged to be a device that would be extremely helpful and useful for students. Some original reports claim the device would be a “break” from the Surface products, as this time it will have rounder styling, and will do away with the Surface Connect port and instead use a Type-C USB drive for charging.
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