If an upgraded Surface tablet with an Intel "Haswell" processor and more RAM is what you've been waiting for, then good news: reports released Wednesday claim those changes are in the works.
Both Neowin and WinSuperSite published reports confirming that the upgraded Surface will include a fourth-generation Core i5 as well as an additional 4GB of RAM, for a total of 8GB. So far, that's all that the new tablets supposedly offer, except for a new kickstand with not one, but two positions.
WinSuperSite's Paul Thurrott noted that the shift to Haswell will tack on some additional battery life, for a total of seven hours. That's good news for Surface fans, as the five hours that the original Surface Pro claimed seemed overly optimistic under normal use.
Neither site divulged pricing details, although they said that the new Surface tablets are expected to be priced at around the same as the current Surface tablets. The Surface will look the same as the existing model, the sites reported.
At the end of August, Microsoft permanently dropped the price of the Surface Pro with a $100 discount that prices the Surface at $799 for the 64GB version and $899 for 128GB.
Microsoft also slashed the price of its standalone Touch Cover accessories by $40; regular covers now cost $80, and Limited Edition covers are $90. Pricing for the Type Cover, which has actual mechanical keys compared to the Touch Cover's pressure-sensitive sensors, remains at $130. The Surface RT tablets also received their $150 discounts, to $349 for the 32GB version, and $449 for 64GB.
Will it matter?
However, it's unclear, obviously, whether the small number of Surface fans will do anything more than collectively shrug their shoulders In July, Microsoft revealed that its Surface revenue, including both the Surface Pro and RT tablets, plus accessories, was just $863 million, less than the $900 million charged against its profits for discounting the Surface tablet. The results of that move won't be revealed until Microsoft reports its earnings for third calendar quarter, most likely sometime in October. Microsoft is scheduled to hold an analyst meeting on Sept. 19.
While the inclusion of Haswell is undoubtedly a step forward for the Surface tablet, it's hard not to simply shrug. On the other hand, Microsoft has traditionally offered Office and other software goodies to increase the value of the Surface tablet.
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