Microsoft Surface goes 4G with reports of Qualcomm chip

Reports suggest the Microsoft Surface tablet is going 4G with new Qualcomm chips and Windows 8.1.

Richard Trenholm Former Movie and TV Senior Editor
Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
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Richard Trenholm
2 min read

Microsoft is resurfacing the Surface. Reports suggest a new, 4G Microsoft Surface RT tablet is on the cards as Windows 8.1 comes our way, the updated slate powered by Qualcomm chips.

Bloomberg reports that some new versions of the Surface will run Qualcomm's Snapdragon 800 processor, which could mean adding 4G extra-fast Internet.

There are currently two versions of the Surface: the Surface Pro model runs on Intel chips and uses the same full-fat Windows 8 software as a laptop or desktop computer, so you can install any apps. The Surface RT runs on a mobile Nvidia Tegra chip and will only install mobile apps through the app store.

Qualcomm chips, with support for 4G technology LTE, look set to power the 4G Surface. But Nvidia isn't completely out of the picture: Nvidia chips will still appear in "some versions".

Microsoft is clearing shelves of the current Surface, offering discounts to schools and students during the summer. If Microsoft really is gearing up for a new Surface, perhaps the new model will arrive with Windows 8.1, as a showcase for the new software.

Windows 8.1 is the next generation of Microsoft software, due later this year. It'll add new features -- as well as reportedly bringing back familiar features from previous versions in response to flak over the audacious but divisive new design.

Each different type of Windows device will get an update: Windows 8.1 for the desktop, laptops and tablets,  Windows RT 8.1 for basic tablets, and Windows Phone 8.1 for Nokia Lumia and other smart phones.

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