UPDATE 10:30 p.m. ET: Microsoft jumped the gun and announced the Surface Go late Monday. The Surface Go is an intriguing low-cost detachable for travelers, education buyers, and others who want to launch into Microsoft’s well-made, attractive Surface 2-in-1s on a tight budget. See PCMag’s hands on.
It looks like Microsoft is getting ready to introduce a new Surface device.
On Monday, the company teased the upcoming product with a tweet that said “Where will Surface go next?”
That same tweet hints that Microsoft is making the announcement on Tuesday; it shows a picture of four Surface products, all of which display tomorrow’s date and the time “6:00.”
What might this new Surface device offer? All signs indicate it’s designed to be affordable.
In May, Bloomberg reported that Microsoft was working on low-cost 10-inch tablet to compete with Apple’s iPad. The device will reportedly retail for $400, include a USB-C port, and be 20 percent lighter than the current Surface Pro models, which currently start at $799.
However, the upcoming product probably won’t be packing a lot of processing power. The tablet will reportedly use Intel’s Pentium Silver and Pentium Gold Y-series chips, instead of Intel’s more powerful Core processors.
It wouldn’t be the first time Microsoft launched a cheaper Surface tablet. Back in 2012, it introduced the Surface RT tablet, which started at $499. However, the device had one big limitation; it ran an operating system that was incompatible with existing Windows 7 and XP programs. The Surface RT failed to attract a major following and it was eventually phased out in favor for Surface Pro tablets, which run the traditional Windows operating system.
In 2015, the company launched another $499 tablet called the Surface 3, which ran Windows 8.1 and used an Intel Atom processor. But that product also struggled to attract sales, and by the next year, Microsoft discontinued its production.
Despite Microsoft’s spotty record on offering low-cost tablets, the company has nevertheless been expanding in hardware through new Surface laptops and PC convertibles. Reportedly, the Microsoft is also cooking up another Surface device called “Andromeda” that’ll feature a foldable display and be small enough to fit in your pocket. However, The Verge is reporting that Andromeda won’t be arriving this year and the company could decide to cancel the project at any time.