Microsoft to launch Surface 3 successor and iPad competitor on the 13th of July (updated)

Posted 10 July 2018 06:07 CET by Jan Willem Aldershoff

Till now, there was no successor to the relative cheap 2-in-1 laptop/tablet Surface 3 from Microsoft, that was first introduced in 2015. However, that might change this year with the introduction of a device that is for now called the Surface Lite. This should be a tablet with a 10-inch display of which the cheaper models should cost around $400.

Bloomberg first reported about the device in May this year, but Winfuture recently posted more details on the Surface Lite. The 10-inch display is smaller than the 10.8 inch display of the Surface 3 but the 3:2 aspect ratio should be kept, similar to other Surface devices.

Microsoft will most likely use an Intel CPU in the device, either a Pentium Gold or Pentium Silver. The cheaper Pentium Silver processors should power the cheaper Surface Lite models. Because there are only a few Pentium Silver models, it’s likely Microsoft will use the slowest version, the N5000. This processor is based on the Gemini Lake architecture, has four cores and can run at a clock speed of 1.1 Ghz that can go up to 2.7 Ghz in turbo mode. The CPU has a TPD of 6 Watt which would be more suitable for a tablet than the faster J5005 Pentium Silver CPU with a TPD of 10 Watts.

More expensive Surface Lite models are very likely powered by a Pentium Gold CPU. The Pentium Gold processors are based on the Kaby Lake architecture. Due to thermal constraints it will likely be either the Intel Pentium Gold 4410Y or the Intel Pentium Gold 4415Y which run on 1.5Ghz and 1.6Ghz respectively. Both CPUs are manufactured at 14nm and have a TPD of 6 Watts. The low TPD should allow fan-less operation.

Winfuture also reports that the devices appear to have made their appearance in the Geekbench database. The German website found the OEMTX EV1 or OEMTX EV1 LTE, which feature the mentioned Pentium Silver and Pentium Gold CPUs combined with either 4GB or 8GB of RAM and running Windows 10 Pro 64-bit. The fact that there is an LTE version makes Winfuture even more confident that both devices are Surface Lite models.

Also, a recent Reddit thread confirms the reports from Winfuture. The thread has an image showing a note to employees of Microsoft Stores. It shows the Redmond company plans the release of a new Surface product and Type Cover on the 13th of July. In the thread also some specifications and SKUs of the new Surface products are posted.

A user writes, “10 inch, 1800×1200 screen. 562g body with USB-C and micro SD. Available in 4GB RAM / 64GB storage, 8/128, 8/128 LTE and 8/256 LTE SKUs, but I don’t think all of them will come out in one go. Up to Pentium Gold processor. Launches with its own Type Cover and mouse. Starts at $399 for education customers. Tops out at $829 (excluding accessories). Pro in October — yes, Laptop — no.”

The post confirms the CPUs, the availability of an LTE version and also the amount of RAM. It appears the cheaper models will be available from the 13th of July, while in October the more high-end Pro versions should become available.

Winfuture also states that Microsoft is reportedly introducing the devices to compete with the iPad. More expensive versions of the new Surface tablet should compete with the iPad Pro.

Update: Microsoft has now officially announced the device as the Surface Go.

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