Microsoft’s second Surface tablet hasn’t even hit the streets yet. But there’s already a rumor going around that the company is working on three new tablets which could launch in 2013.
Long-time Microsoft leak source MS_Nerd posted some details on a Twitter account (which is private). But the folks at Digital Trends have posted most of the details. Take them with a few grains of salt, since nothing’s been confirmed by Microsoft.
There will reportedly be updates for the Surface RT and Surface Pro, as well as an entirely new product called the Surface Book.
The next-gen Surface RT is expected to run Windows RT, just like this year’s model. But the device may have a Qualcomm processor instead of an NVIDIA Tegra 3 chip.
It’s also rumored to have an 8.6 inch screen instead of the 10.6 inch screen found on the existing Surface RT and upcoming Surface Pro tablets.
That would make the new tablet closer in size to the iPad Mini or Google Nexus 7, perhaps signifying that Microsoft wants to position the Surface RT as a portable, inexpensive (relatively) tablet for customers that don’t need the full Windows experience on a mobile device.
Rumor has it that the second-generation Surface Pro tablet could have a larger 11.6 inch screen and it could drop the Intel Core i5 Ivy Bridge chip for an AMD Temash chip.
That’s an APU (accelerated processing unit) which combines low power consumption with decent graphics performance. AMD’s new chips will feature a system-on-a-chip design with the graphics, CPU, memory controller, and I/O functions all on a single chip.
Interestingly, Temash chips will be AMD’s replacement for today’s Hondo processors such as the AMD Z-60. Hondo chips consume less power than most AMD processors, but they also offer significantly lower performance.
If this rumor is true, it sounds like the second-generation Surface Pro could have a bigger screen, but a slower processor than the models expected to hit the streets in January.
Hopefully that means they’ll also have lower price tags.
The Microsoft Surface Book it said to have a 14.6 inch display and an Intel Haswell processor.
Haswell is Intel’s upcoming 4th-generation Core Family processor line, and it’s expected to put a heavy emphasis on reducing power consumption.
In other words, we may see upcoming computers which perform as well or better than today’s notebooks and tablets with Intel Core i3 or faster chips, but which sip power more like Intel Atom-powered devices.
That’s a good thing, because a 14.6 inch screen is going to suck a lot of power. Fortunately there may be room for a big batter in the Surface Book. The name suggests this tablet will be some sort of convertible notebook-style tablet.
While Microsoft offers optional keyboards for the current crop of Surface tablets, it’s possible that the Surface Book could be the first model to have one built in.