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Next-generation Surface RT might be powered by Qualcomm and have LTE capability

Surface RT Qualcomm

Surface RT is great device. You’ve got beautiful hardware, held back by a somewhat under-whelming processor. The Surface RT launched in October 2012, nearly a year after the Tegra 3 system-on-a-chip inside of it did. Now, clearly Microsoft has more planned for the Surface brand than the Surface RT and Surface Pro. Obviously for the Surface Pro we can expect some Haswell magic for their Intel processors, but what about Surface RT? How about Qualcomm?

Bloomberg is reporting that some of the newer iterations of the Surface RT will be powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon processors. Sources with the Verge suspect mention that Surface devices with Windows RT 8.1 are currently being tested with the Snapdragon 800 processor. There are four models of the Snapdragon 800, the one currently being tested in the Surface does included LTE integrated into the chip. One common complaint with both the Surface RT and Surface Pro has been lack of mobile broadband in the devices.

Interestingly enough the report states that Microsoft will continue to make some versions of the Surface with Nvidia inside. Could different sized tablets in the Surface family powered by Windows RT use different processors? Looks like it.

Source: Bloomberg, Via: The Verge



There are 88 comments. Sign in to comment

abond32 says:

That sounds nice.. More options more exposure being sold by carriers. Go Microsoft

Sean D. says:

F*ck me I hope these aren't going to be sold by carriers!

Miistercoool says:

That would be awesome!!

I would love for it to have a better display (1080p), or is that too much to ask?

Yeah, it'd be a great upgrade.

Fndlumia says:

Not really a good proposition until the battery life is sorted

Yes, battery life, the display, the processor, and camera needs to be improved.

L0gic Bom8 says:

Add to the fact that the said resolution isn't noticeable much, except on bigger displays, sadly...

Well the display on the surface rt versus the surface pro's is different. I want the Surface Pro's display on the Surface RT 2.

L0gic Bom8 says:

Know how you feel there...

jarail says:

The battery life isn't really an issue on the RT. It has decent life already. It could be better but it's okay. It's the pro that has major battery life issues. The only thing with the RT battery life I'd like to see fixed is that it tends to drain itself after a few days of idling. My ipad will last a month. Regardless, increasing the screen resolution won't kill the battery directly. If the processor struggled with the higher resolution, that would however kill the battery. With a Qualcom 800, a higher resolution makes a ton of sense.

cybermoose89 says:

Id of thought so if there testing it out with snapdragon 800 chips etc

John20212 says:

Rather than a better display, I would love to see full pen support on the RT like on the pro, main reason I went with the pro was because of the pen, its pricess at taking meeting or lecture notes in onenote 2013.

jaimeastin says:

I agree, I love my rt. I want pen support... I didn't get a pro because my ultrabook fits that category.

jarail says:

Of course, pen support requires a different display..

tcman88 says:

I guess LTE is a must for most businesses, I just don't the benefit of LTE for personal use

Some people substitute it for home internet if they have only light browsing and email needs.

Fiann says:

If I had one of the shared plans where adding it would only be $10/mo I absolutely would pay it. To have internet pretty much anywhere I go? That's pretty amazing when you think about it. We get closer to science fiction every day. Now where's my damned flying car?

Rishicash says:

People can't drive on roads and you want to drive with them in the air?

Menzlo says:

You could make lanes in the air hundreds of miles wide. There's a lot of space up there.

Rishicash says:

Right, but when there is a crash, there is only one direction for them to go. Just imagine all the carnage from above dropping down on us poor souls. 

Fiann says:

Well I think these autonomous cars are a major step in the right direction. Once the technology has had the kinks worked out on the ground then it can be integrated into personal flying vehicles. The human would not be in control except perhaps landing in an emergency situation.

Rishicash says:

Minority Report is a long, long way off my friend. Until then, it's Homer Simpsons and texting while driving!

wldcohso1 says:

Why are y'all so late reporting news.

kwambe5 says:

If you've already seen the news, why come here then? To complain, seems petty. (Food for thought) ;-)

Why are you so rude?

The site is Windows Phone Central, not Surface Central. Scanning the headlines from today suggest they were busy with the real news.

Aaron M says:

Wpcentral isn't always the first to report something. But after years of reading the other sites regurgitating every little idiotic rumor, I've come to appreciate the quality of this site. They are also the only site I know of that takes ownerships of what they report by giving their rumormeter rating.

Rishicash says:

WPC was waiting for you to be nice but gave up.

Musicman247 says:

I'm trying to decide if I want Windows RT or Windows Phone on my mobile device of the future. That seems to be where this is headed.

iamoniwaban says:

? Windows phone and RT are completely different mobile devices. One is a phone the other a tablet. So I guess if you buy a phone (windows) you will have a windows phone and if you get a surface RT you will have a Surface RT.

Musicman247 says:

Windows Phone and Windows RT are both operating systems. They are both built on the same kernel and both run on the same processors (ARM). What I'm saying is that it seems MS might be moving toward putting RT on all its mobile devices instead of having three OSes to support.

iamoniwaban says:

They have more then 3 os's to support.

Mike Gibson says:

If Microsoft had implemented and executed well then the Windows RunTime would have been great. Instead, you have different stores, different Windows RunTime implementations (WinRT and WinPRT, and I assume some sort of WinXRT for XBoxOne), different codebases (e.g. you can't write a complete XAML app in C++ for WinPRT), incompatible settings management (e.g. no "roaming" settings on WinPRT or between WinRT and WinPRT), etc., etc. These issues don't even include the separate fact that Windows 8 appears to be failing in the consumer space.
This is an extremely dangerous time for Microsoft. They are irrelevant in the consumer world now and Windows 8 is irrelevant in the business world. We could see a collapse of epic proportions in the next five years if their competitors execute well.If I was CEO at Apple I would pour billions into transitioning my iOS user base into laptops and desktops. Same goes for Google and Android.

ade333 says:

The business world always skips a desktop OS cycle. Win 7 is huge in business and is still heavily being installed today. Win8 has relatively little additional value, yet adds a higher coat due to, at the very least, basic training around navigation. When Win9 hits, many business users will have exposure to Win8-esque navigation and MS will have refined it even more, making the transition easier. This has been the status quo for a while now. Businesses don't want to upgrade desktop OSes every 3 years... Too much $, too much testing, and too many hours adjusting. Win8 still hit the 100million mark in almost the same time despite that, which actually shows they are doing VERY well in the consumer market.

John20212 says:

Microsoft did screw up a few thing in win8, e.g. most recently I found that you can only manage wifi through cmd and its a pain trying to set up ad hoc network, because Microsoft for some stupid inexplicable reason decided to delete a whole bunch of network settings stuff from the control panel.
But despite its shortcomings I just don't see it failing like you predict, hopefully MS will improve it with win8.1 and add back the deleted settings from control panel and make life a bit easyer on people who hate using cmd for simple tasks that were done in seconds in win7.

Menzlo says:

How 'bout a phone with Baytrail running full Windows 8 Pro and hdmi out? Your phone is your computer.

Dusteater says:

I would love to buy a new Surface RT with a faster processor and some mobile broadband. Hope it comes soon.

jbigelow says:

Surface with LTE would be sexy as hell.

Fndlumia says:

Definitely needs work my Pro runs extremely hot and battery life is laughable, yes it does almost everything my desktop can but it is basically a desktop device as I have to have it plugged in all the time. Haswell is the go and better cooling.

jlynnm350z says:

Do they make a WI FI only Windows tablet? I don't need another device on my data plan, just want a toy to play around with.

iamoniwaban says:

Yes. I can connect to my phone shared if out and about. Or to my home wireless network. It supports wireless N if you need the speed.

Dadstar0410 says:

If you "just want a toy to play around with", get an Android tablet or iPad ;-)

jlynnm350z says:

Just because I'm not a computer genius doesn't mean I don't have the right to a Windows device. Sorry I can't create nuclear fusion from my bedroom. No, I want a Windows tablet, if I have your blessing, Mr. Dadstar. Your not a star to me, :)

Yes, the current Surfaces are WiFi only.

Aaron M says:

My sentiments exactly. Screw getting yet another overpriced data plan.

I want that haswell pro so bad!!!

iamoniwaban says:

Although I do love my Surface RT, had it since preorder. It is very slow while performing the simplest tasks, let alone multitasking. MS needs to put 1) a better processer. 2) at least double he ram.

Aaron M says:

Agree. Surface rt is a great device but the performance was surprisingly disappointing for me.

Neo Nuke says:

Refresh the device. I had less than 1 GB of space and was more careful in what apps I kept and it flies, minus the not so great loading times

dbam987 says:

Broadband access would be awesome on the Surface. Qualcomm inside would be epic.

swizzlerz says:

I want lte with 4g suport as there is no 4g in town yet

dalyjc says:

So what kinda timeframe can be expected until these new RT Qualcomm Inside tablets hit the market?

Evster88 says:

My guess is September. 8.1 will be released by then, so there's nothing holding back the hardware.

Joelist says:

I have an RT and the battery life is fine. Now if they ditched the underperforming Tegra 3 for the much better Snapdragon 800 the performance would skyrocket.

Sounds awesome. My RT is so laggy.

Aaron M says:

Does that really help? I'll have to try it out. Can't see much reason for antivirus on a locked down rt device anyways.

Windows Defender once caught a Trojan for me, so I feel safer having windows defender.

Surface RT battery life is good. Performance is bad and getting worse by the day. Not a day goes by without internet explorer freezing on the simplest web pages. I expected more but am still happy with it until at least 3rd Gen surfaces come out at end of next year

I wish they'd unify the RT vs WP range and just move on to just one mobile OS in the future that runs both smartphones and tablets like android does. Seems a bit pointless to have two OSes that do exactly the same thing

blackhawk556 says:

My RT is underpowered. I honestly can't recommend that anyone purchase it. Xbox music, people app, and other apps take a while to load. I'm going to skip RT from now on.

My Surface RT performs fine and use it as a byod, couldn't work properly without it anymore.

EBynum says:

I've been happy so far with my Surface RT, but I'd actually like to have a smaller one (7"-8"). I have a Nook HD tablet and love how light and portable it is. I have a 7" Kindle Fire HD too, but it's a little heavy for its size. Not crazy about the Kindle's UI either. Anyway, a smaller, light, thin Surface is on my wish list. I'd also love to have a charging cable for my current Surface RT that has USB on one end so I can plug it into a portable external battery pack to charge it when traveling. Would come in handy when there's no access to an outlet.

umovies says:

surface is only gonna get get better with snapdragon 800, amd processors and haswell processors, yes I did say amd. small, medium and large flavors. A surface for every one. And a Nokia one thrown in for good works.

Lenn Liggins says:

If Nokia make one, I'd be all over that one.

jlynnm350z says:

Sam, sorry for off topic but would it be possible for you to make a couple more Halo wallpapers? Thanx

mitch molina says:

rather see a pro at a rt price

Sean D. says:

That's a damn dream for me right now too. Especially if that Pro came with GPS.

Lenn Liggins says:

If the product isn't selling the first thing you do is lower the price.   The comsumer sets the price.  Microsoft won't budge and the units just pile up upsold.  This makes no sense.  Lower the price and get the market first and then raise the prices.

A faster Surface RT would be nice, but I'm ok with the current performance. The device handles what I throw at it.

nsg1000 says:

the surface does not have cell data because not enough people buy them.  Not many 3g ipads sold.  Maybe we should just get a usb dongle to work.

inteller says:

Tegra4 is a better chipset.  Faster and better integrated.  Say what you want about the Tegra3 but it delivers excellent 3D sound, great color saturation and low power touch goodness.  Only fault of it right now (Microsoft's fault) is not using the 5th power saving core for connected standby. Microsoft even said only a 3rd of people buy broadband enabled tablets, and only a 3rd of those get and stay activated.  As long as ATT and verizon foist ridiculous rates to activate those I will never buy.

dbgman says:

Waiting for the surface pro 2 with haswell processor!

mikroland says:

This is a great idea as my 920 seems faster than my surface RT especially in the browser dept. That's the biggest complaint about my surface RT is poor browser performance. They should at least allow 3rd party browsers. Add to that a snapdragon processor with lte and you've got a significant upgrade.

Alex Zapata says:

Dear T-Mobile. If this comes to fruition please allow me to purchase an unlimited data plan for it. Also, dear Microsoft, make sure it has support for all useful bands in the country. In all seriousness though, this looks very promising.

Pakhtun says:

Kill RT already..... if the same apps dont work why even have it? Can anyone explain to my why MS has an RT line?

crazygonzo says:

With all the hardware available (Haswell etc.) the next Surface will be great. Hopefully Microsoft understands already that they need to lower the price or bundle the TouchCover. The Surface Pro 2 will be astonishing and it'll have the battery life fixed (9h) so from the RT I expect: more power (ram, quadcore ?), more pixels (HD), more battery hours (12h), WiFi 802.11ac and less weight (570g ?). Slap a 499$ price tag and add 49$ for the keyboard and it can compete with the other tablets on the market. I would love to see a 128GB model for 699$ equiped with an 11" inch display. Maybe those specs will convince people to buy the RT version.

Duduosf says:

And when exactly is this next-generation coming??

wormy6 says:

In the end I like my surface RT because its portable and has great battery life, but if a new one comes out that is the same in those respects I would upgrade if it were faster!

pippyo03 says:

Can't wait for this!!! I don't know why they didn't include LTE in the first gen