Microsoft’s Surface (with Windows RT) tablet has only been on sale for a few weeks, and its Surface Pro tablet isn’t even out yet (we heard yesterday that it would be launched in January). But none of those things is stopping the Redmond company from working on its follow-up hardware for next year.
Apparently, Microsoft has three tablets planned for 2013: successors to both the Surface and the Surface Pro, and a new Surface Book giant. We think it’s best to assume that these will arrive towards the end of the year, just like the company’s first tablets did this year, so don’t get your hopes up for new Surface hardware (except the first Pro, of course) coming any sooner in 2013.
Now that we got that out of the way, let’s see what these will be like.
The Surface 2 (or whatever it will be called) will be running Windows RT still. However, it will swap its predecessor’s Nvidia Tegra 3 processor for a yet-unnamed Qualcomm system-on-a-chip. Furthermore, the new ARM-based Surface will have a smaller, 8.6-inch touchscreen (the original comes with a 10.6″ unit).
The new Surface Pro on the other hand will come with a bigger touchscreen than the (by then) old model. The Pro 2 will get 11.6″ of screen real estate. Surprisingly (given the whole ‘Wintel’ thing), it will also ditch the Core i5 processor in favor of an upcoming AMD ‘Temash’ CPU. This apparently is a tablet-specific APU (combination CPU+GPU), and it’s still a long way out at this point. It’s the successor to AMD’s current Hondo APU, but that has just started to emerge recently. So the Surface Pro 2 looks like it’s probably going to barely make the end of 2013 for release. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. After all, if these things happen any sooner, people are likely to get upset (see what happened after the iPad 4 was announced just seven months later than its predecessor).
Finally, Microsoft also has a device tentatively called Surface Book in the works. This will come with a humongous 14.6-inch touchscreen, as well as a 22 nm Intel ‘Haswell’ processor. Such chips will only be ready for mass production around mid-2013.
All of these details come courtesy of @MS_nerd on Twitter, who apparently is a well known leaker of Microsoft-related stuff. So that may mean that this information could in fact be accurate. Of course there’s no way of telling just yet, so let’s wait for the next rumor on the matter to pop up, and go from there.
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