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Microsoft's rumored $400 Surface could come with much less powerful chips

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Rumors about a new line of cheaper Surface tablets that could compete with Apple’s lower-cost iPads began to surface in May, and now sources speaking with WinFuture.de have divulged divulged that the cheaper models might run on Intel’s less powerful Pentium chips.

Earlier Bloomberg reports and an FCC filing gave some initial details — the tablet will have 10-inch surface screens (instead of the current 12-inches on the Surface Pro), rounded corners, USB 3 for charging, a weight that’s 20 percent lighter, and a price of $400.

Up until now, not much has been known about what’s driving these tablets, but the source tells WinFuture.de that they will house much less powerful chips than the current Core i5 and i7 models offered on the current, more expensive Surface Pros. According to the source, the cheaper version of this smaller Surface will have an Intel Pentium Silver N5000, and the more expensive version either the Intel Pentium Gold 4410Y or the Intel Pentium Gold 4415Y.

Microsoft hasn’t confirmed it is working on smaller surface tablets, although as The Verge previously pointed out, the FCC filing is a good indication that the company has tested them and is ready to launch sometime soon. Microsoft originally launched a cheaper Surface 3 tablet three years ago aimed at students, but it was discontinued.

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