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Microsoft's Cheap Surface to Feature Pentium Chips (Report)

Processor evolution is a flat circle, or at least that's what it feels like, looking at the latest rumors of Microsoft's low-end Surface. Yes, believe it or not, that detachable 2-in-1 may feature Pentium-class processors. Just don't tell Weird Al.

Yes, you read that correctly, this affordable Surface may very well reflect its low price in its performance. The German tech news site WinFuture.de is reporting word from its sources that claim the entry-level versions of this Surface (referred to as Surface "Lite" in a headline parsed by Google's translation tools) will run on the Intel Pentium Silver N5000, which runs at 1.1GHz at its baseline clockspeed.

That won't be the only model available, though with an upgraded version running on Pentium Gold 4410Y and 4415Y chips, which are based on Intel's Kaby Lake architecture. Those machines will run at 1.5 GHz and 1.6 GHz, respectively.

Previous leaks have pegged this device as costing around $400, with a 10-inch display at a 3:2 ratio, making it smaller than the 12-inch Surface Pro, though similar in overall size to the 9.7-inch iPad. Surprisingly, these machines will feature USB Type-C connections, which Surface Pro and Surface Laptop owners may spend as much as $80 for, with the Surface Connect to USB-C Adapter.

We've also heard this device will have multiple storage configurations, including 64GB and 128GB configurations. This laptop may even be offered with LTE connectivity.

Sadly, though, all reports point to this Surface being sold without its keyboard, just like Microsoft does with the Surface Pro. It's a shame, as this pricing structure means the rumored $400 price point will be less than you'll need to spend to use this machine as a laptop. Using a software keyboard on a tablet screen, for typing out long form writing, is likely untenable for those used to physical keyboards.

This article was originally published on Laptop Mag.

  • zodiacfml
    Intel Atom.
    Reply
  • Ilya__
    Pentium is much, much better than Atom
    Reply
  • Gillerer
    I see you've fallen into the trap Intel laid for you.

    * Celeron/Pentium Silver are essentially rebranded Atoms.

    * Celeron/Pentium Gold are the "proper" Core-based CPUs.
    Reply
  • adamboy64
    A nice call back to Weird Al there. I like that :)
    That album was nearly 20 years ago...

    This could be my first laptop, it seems pretty appealing so far, particularly if the cost is kept down. Will be interesting to see how it turns out.
    Reply
  • bit_user
    21116969 said:
    This could be my first laptop, it seems pretty appealing so far, particularly if the cost is kept down. Will be interesting to see how it turns out.
    There are better deals to be found in referb, "open box new", and liquidation sales of last year's models.

    Just over a year ago, I got a Skylake i3 ultrabook for about $430. Sure, it's bigger and heavier, but it's got a 13" 1080p screen and a full-sized proper keyboard. Its CPU will run circles around any of these, and it still gets a 11 hour battery life. And the RAM & storage are upgradable.
    Reply
  • randomstar
    For most practical purposes , the Atom/Pentium family is good enough for Email and web apps, streaming video, content consumption. you really can not tell the difference. Power users and creators will not be satisfied with it, but that is not the target audience.
    What they do need to compete with, however is the $349 Lenovo or Asus mini notebook at office depot- so they need to work out how to make it compete with the keyboard and at 128 GB minimum SSD, 6GB Ram, for around $400.00.
    then it makes sense..
    Reply
  • davo6233
    N5000 is even better than Core M3 7Y30, because its Quad-Core (look at Geekbench)
    I dont know which every website is saying "upgraded version running on Pentium Gold 4410Y and 4415Y chips"
    Its TOTAL FAKE, because 4410Y&4415Y are much slower than N5000
    Reply
  • maplestory5376
    N5000 is indeed much better than both the 4410Y&4415Y (1.5ghz 2 core 4 thread, and 1.6ghz 2 core 4 thread) Versus, the N5000 at 1.1GHZ-2ghz+ turbo, at 4 cores and 4 threads lol
    Reply
  • davo6233
    21127614 said:
    I see you've fallen into the trap Intel laid for you.

    * Celeron/Pentium Silver are essentially rebranded Atoms.

    * Celeron/Pentium Gold are the "proper" Core-based CPUs.


    Your message is total lie. Cuz N5000 silver is much more powerful than gold 4415y, n5000 is even faster than latest core m3

    Reply
  • Ilya__
    21117846 said:
    21116969 said:
    This could be my first laptop, it seems pretty appealing so far, particularly if the cost is kept down. Will be interesting to see how it turns out.
    There are better deals to be found in referb, "open box new", and liquidation sales of last year's models.

    Just over a year ago, I got a Skylake i3 ultrabook for about $430. Sure, it's bigger and heavier, but it's got a 13" 1080p screen and a full-sized proper keyboard. Its CPU will run circles around any of these, and it still gets a 11 hour battery life. And the RAM & storage are upgradable.

    You are missing the point. This is not for people who want a bigger screen and full keyboard. This is a small machine (like an iPad) to use for netflix, email checking, reading books, news, shopping... Something people can throw in a purse and use on a plane or car. And given those usages, this does it better than your i3 Skylake with a 13" and only 1080p
    Reply