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Microsoft's upcoming 10-inch Surface to use Pentium processors
By Thom Holwerda on 2018-07-04 22:30:48

A couple of months ago, it was reported that Microsoft will be launching a cheaper Surface tablet. According to the original report, it was going to include an Intel Core M processor, also known as the Y-series. As we noted at the time, this didn't make sense, given the $281 price point for a Core m3 and the fact that it's supposed to go into a $399 tablet. It would probably be the most inexpensive Core M device ever.

But according to a report from WinFuture, the $399 tablet will include Intel's Pentium CPUs, and that makes a lot more sense. The base model will have a Pentium Silver N5000, which is a quad-core, 32-bit 'Gemini Lake' processor that's clocked at 1.1GHz.

I find this absolutely puzzling. My Surface Pro 4 with its Core i5 processor isn't exactly a speedy computer, and going down to mere Pentium processors surely makes these new rumoured Surface devices even slower. On top of that, didn't Microsoft just make a whole big deal out of Windows on ARM, which would surely be a far better fit for such a cheaper Surface tablet? Or would ARM processor at these price points be even slower? Surely this device will have to be locked into using Microsoft Store applications, since classic Win32 applications will have a lot of trouble functioning properly on such processors.

If this rumour is true, these cheap Surfaces are going to deliver a terrible user experience.

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