A new - and affordable - Microsoft Surface tablet might arrive this week

A new - and affordable - Microsoft Surface tablet might arrive this week

A new - and affordable - Microsoft Surface tablet might arrive this week

Microsoft once had a similar entry level 10-inch tablet, the Surface 3, but the new one is more powerful and cheaper (the Surface 3 launched at $499). The Surface Go comes with a 10-inch display with 1800 x 1200 pixels resolution and 3:2 aspect ratio. With the Surface Pro, Microsoft is looking to attract new, first-time Surface device users. There's 4GB RAM and 128GB of SSD as a minimum for $399, or for an additional $150 you can grab 8GB of RAM and 256GB of SSD at $549 total. Bloomberg's sources also suggested that this Surface will continue to use Intel processors rather than the ARM SoCs inside the company's past thrusts into the lower-priced tablet space.

The Surface Go may start at $399, but you can easily spend hundreds more if you add crucial functionality like a keyboard, more RAM, and extra storage.

Rumours around a budgets Microsoft Surface device have been floating around for a little while now, with the latest rumour suggesting a Friday 13 July announcement. However, the vast majority of devices, including most smartphones, still rely on regular old USB to work, meaning that Surface Go owners might need to get in the habit of carrying around some adapters. Microsoft has promised an LTE model will come later this year, though.

First, as a tablet, the Surface Go will square off against Apple's productivity-focused iPad Pro, which starts at $649 for a 10.5-inch model. Other specs include a 5MP front-facing camera with Windows Hello and an 8MP rear auto-focus camera.

On the inside, there is a Pentium Gold 4415Y processor, and RAM is either 4 GB or 8 GB.

Also like the Surface Pro, Microsoft even managed to squeeze a microSDXC card reader into the Surface Go under the kickstand.

Surface Go will be available for pre-order starting tomorrow in 35 countries. You have to buy a Surface Go Type Cover (black) for $99 or a Signature Type Cover with Alcantara (Burgundy, Cobalt Blue, or Platinum) for $129. Comparatively, that difference in price amounts to half as much starting storage and memory, and neither a USB-C port nor microSD slot.

And it will nearly certainly be announced tomorrow. According to the leak, the tablet and a complimenting Type Cover will be available via the Microsoft Store. Microsoft says, however, that it's worked with the chipmaker to "optimize power, performance, and battery", noting that most should get nine hours of battery life from the device. So far, Microsoft hasn't disclosed details pertaining to screen and weight but they'll appear online in due time once pre-orders open up.

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