Microsoft's Budget Surface Tablet Makes FCC Debut With Rumored Intel CPU

In recent months, we've heard reports that a new, low-cost Surface tablet will be released to the public very soon. Now even more evidence of the entry-level tablet has passed through the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). 

The things that clue us in to the fact that this is an entry-level device is that it comes with a 24-watt power supply versus the 36-watt power supply found on the current-generation Surface Pro tablets. In addition, a 7.5v battery is used instead of a 7.66v battery. Both of these are indicators that the power needs of this tablet are as great as its Surface Pro siblings. 

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WindowsFuture, which uncovered the FCC listing, also has surmised that the new Surface tablet has an Intel processor rather than a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 or Snapdragon 850 SoC. The publication came to this conclusion because that tablet uses a separate Qualcomm Wi-Fi/Bluetooth module, whereas a Snapdragon SoC would have those components integrated.  

A report from mid-May suggested that the new Surface tablet, codename Libra, will have a 10-inch display (down from 12 inches on the Surface Pro) and a more organic/curved design. This will also reportedly be the first Surface-branded device to come with native USB-C connectivity and will be available in 64GB or 128GB capacities. For those that want on-the-go LTE connectivity, that will be an option as well (just like on the Surface Pro).

The current Surface Pro starts at $799, and it's rumored that this entry-level model will retail for around $400. For comparison, Apple's 9.7-inch iPad starts at $329.