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Microsoft's budget Surface tablet could run on Pentium chips

Heads up, iPad.

The current Surface Pro tablets run on Intel Core chips.
Sarah Tew/CNET

The possibility of a $400 Microsoft Surface tablet coming out in 2018 got a boost this week from FCC filings and hints of cheaper chips.

A budget Surface would be designed to better compete with Apple's iPad, leaving the current Surface Pro to challenge the iPad Pro.

WinFuture reported Wednesday that sources inside the company say the new device will use Intel Pentium chips, which are less expensive and less powerful than Core chips. Current Surface Pro tablets use Intel Core chips and start at $800.

Meanwhile, a series of FCC filings this week backs up reports that a new Surface device will launch this year.

Some details about the rumored tablet have come via Bloomberg, which reported earlier this year that the new Surface will have a 10-inch screen. Current Surface Pro models feature 12-inch screens.

Microsoft declined to comment.

First published, July 4 at 10:58 a.m. PT.
Update, 12:20 p.m. PT: Added Microsoft's response.

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