A few days ago I reported on a rumor about an 8″ Surface Mini running Windows RT on a Qualcomm CPU. That smaller device is confirmed, and and so is the Intel-powered Surface rumor.
“There’s definitely a new Intel-based Surface,” a chip industry source told Cnet, who added that the media attending the event may “go back” with the Intel-based product. “From what I can assess so far I think it’s going to [have] a new power-optimized Haswell variant,” the source said, not an Atom processor like Intel’s Bay Trail.
And that new Intel-based model is not expected to be a smaller version of the Surface like the Qualcomm-based product, another source added. This person also believes it will be a Haswell-based product.
This is probably a sign that we will be seeing the launch of Surface Pro 3 running Windows 8.1. The existing models have a 10.6″ screen and sport a Core i5 CPU. Starting with a retail of $900, they’re pricy buggers.
Microsoft has long positioned the Surface Pro tablets as a line of premium desktop-replacement tablets, and that’s why they gave it a CPU usually found in laptops and desktops.
But does anyone actually need that much power in a tablet? Looking at the disappointing sales Microsoft has been posting every quarter (most of which are the cheaper Surface models), I would say few consumers are interested in spending so much on a tablet.