Rumor: Microsoft testing new Surface RT with Snapdragon 800 chipset

This shouldn't really be too surprising to many people, but the latest rumors surrounding the Surface RT state that Microsoft is currently testing a new version of the tablet with Qualcomm's Snapdragon 800 chipset inside. Bloomberg claims that Microsoft will update the tablet with new chips from Qualcomm, while NVIDIA will "continue as a supplier for some versions", presumably including the existing model with its Tegra 3 chipset.

Meanwhile, The Verge is citing separate "sources familiar to Microsoft's Surface plans", stating that a Windows RT 8.1 Surface device is already in testing at Microsoft, powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 chipset. The report accurately states that the ARM-based chip has integrated LTE radios, but it's unclear at this stage whether a future Surface will come with mobile broadband capabilities.

Why isn't this news surprising? Recently Microsoft appear to have been clearing out their remaining Surface RT stock, offering low prices to students, offloading 10,000 units to educators across the United States, and deeply discounting the tablet at TechEd earlier in the month. It seems likely that a refreshed Surface RT will make an appearance towards the end of the year, after the current model has been on sale for a year.

Source: Bloomberg, The Verge

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The 'average' person who thinks they want a tablet wont be going out and getting a 'crippled' windows RT tablet. If they do they will bring it back for a refund. The 'average' consumer wants an iPad and no crappy MS adverts will convince them otherwise.

It is still a tablet, with all of its inherent limitations; especially in the content creation arena. As long as buyers realize that a tablet is not a viable substitute for a laptop or desktop, they won't be disappointed. Just keep a proper perspective on just what each form factor along with its appropriate Operating System can do well.

TsarNikky said,
.....

For 80-90% of the consumer space, any tablet is a viable substitute for a laptop or desktop.

Content creators already know their tools won't run on ARM devices.

I absolutely love my Surface, but im definitely getting a Pro next time... Not because there are things I need to do that RT cant, id just rather have a Pro

SteveyAyo said,
....

Same.
Give me Haswell in a Pro that can be passively cooled and make the damn thing thinner and lighter.
Deliver it with a stylus and I'm all in!

I think the reason they're keeping RT (or Windows on ARM) is because eventually, Windows Phones will be running Windows RT... and won't be a separate OS like it is now.

Thats what everyone has been waiting for. Now the Surface RT will finally sell in numbers that MS can be proud of....NOT!

The Surface RT has failed and the only way to move the unsold product is to provide huge discounts to poor unsuspecting educational customers.

derekaw said,
Thats what everyone has been waiting for. Now the Surface RT will finally sell in numbers that MS can be proud of....NOT!

The Surface RT has failed and the only way to move the unsold product is to provide huge discounts to poor unsuspecting educational customers.

If your opinion had a friend it would still be lonely

Thing is he's right. A Windows machine is expected to do Windows tasks and today that means running x86 software, its the very essence of a Windows PC. Without that and without the same apps that are available to other ARM devices what use is a Windows RT device? Will having a better processor make it any more attractive when it doesn't do anything different from today's models?

Snapdragon 800 or not Windows RT still doesn't have a good selling point to consumers or businesses. MS should just use a Bay Trail chip and still get the benefits of performance and battery life along with the core Windows advantages.

Exactly how can it compete with the ipad which can run windows x86 software, the full version of office and join an active directory domain.

Every windows rt review ever

I sense sarcasm, but Windows RT can't authenticate on Active Directory, it can access resources on a Windows Domain defined by the Administrator, but it does not gain all the benefits compared to an x86 device joining a Windows Domain, example Group Policies, App Locker, Direct Access, Branche Cache.

iPad and Android tablet can't run x86 Windows software and still, they sell like hot cakes.

So Surface RT, if it was priced right, could sell just as well.

Plus the Surface can run Hulu natively in the browser which the iPad and Android devices can NOT... this alone is honestly a deal breaker to me with those other devices

+TruckWEB - I agree with what you said above. The reason the Surface RT is not selling is all about pricing. It was overpriced right from the beginning. I have an Asus VivoTab RT and I love it, but it cost me $200.00 less than the Surface RT. I believe the Surface Pro is in the same place. It is way overpriced. Microsoft has hard time understanding that a lot of people in the world do not have $499.00 + $129.00 for the type cover for a tablet. A lot of money for a tablet that does not run the full version of Windows 8. You can go out and buy a new laptop for about $599.00 and run everything.

Give it a 1080p (or better yet a 2560x1600) screen and I'll be buying day one.
I'd love to get a Surface to replace my iPad (even Windows RT is a lot more flexible than iOS), but I just can't go back to non retina displays.

That's the same problem I have. Just can't compare the screen of the Surface RT -VS- my retina iPad.

I'd switch, but give it some resolution!

d3rf3l said,
Give it a 1080p (or better yet a 2560x1600) screen and I'll be buying day one.
I'd love to get a Surface to replace my iPad (even Windows RT is a lot more flexible than iOS), but I just can't go back to non retina displays.

Well now that Windows 8.1 will better auto-scale the desktop UI (metro already scales very well) then we should see higher res screens coming on 8.1 devices I'd hope.

1Pixel said,
Stop with the Apple "retina" marketing BS. Call it what it is - a high res display.

Yeah, high res, or to be more exact, a high ppi display.

Personally, I think the display on the Surface RT is brilliant. It is really bright, vivid colors. I don't really buy into the high PPI displays. I only really want a bright display, with really vivid colors. I find the iPhone retina to be a little...washed out for me.

1Pixel said,
Stop with the Apple "retina" marketing BS. Call it what it is - a high res display.

It actually has meaning though. So it's not marketing "BS", leave Samsung out of it

1Pixel said,
Stop with the Apple "retina" marketing BS. Call it what it is - a high res display.

It actually has meaning though. So it's not marketing "BS", leave Samsung out of it

Joswin said,

It actually has meaning though. So it's not marketing "BS", leave Samsung out of it

What meaning would that be? Pixels are apparently too small to see? Because thats wrong.

And on each "retina" display the ppi is different and quite low on the Macbook Pro's compared to 1080p phones or even the iPhone, so you can easily see each pixel if you get close enough. Theres no standard or meaning at all to "retina". It's a marketing buzzword for people like you.

People like you? Stay classy.

What I was stating was that 'Retina Display' actually describes something. It's not some whizzbang description like 'TURBO CACHE' or 'POWER BOOST 3.0'. If you want to be pedantic about it go ahead. Such internet arguments are for people like you.

Joswin said,

It actually has meaning though. So it's not marketing "BS", leave Samsung out of it

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Retina_display

"Retina Display is a BRAND name used by Apple for liquid crystal displays which they claim have a high enough pixel density that the human eye is unable to notice pixelation at a typical viewing distance."

"Retina® is now a registered trademark."

Sounds like marketing term to me.

well I guess in that case MS would get my money.

i am waiting for either a way more powerful RT surface or an equally slim, long battery full version surface. but i guess that will not happen anytime soon.

im still convinced thou, in the long term RT will not survive. the power efficiency and performance increases in such a rapid pace, there will be devices someday that offer enough batter and power without the need for a crippled OS such as RT. until then, RT is useful for some niche application scenarios.

typu said,
there will be devices someday that offer enough batter and power without the need for a crippled OS such as RT

Intels Bay Trail will offer that later this year. It will either match or outperform the Snapdragon 800 on performance, while battery life should be atleast as good and it will be going in slim tablets and phones. But i think RT has a future still. MS need to support ARM. Theres more ARM stuff out there than Intel and AMD CPU's combined. As the Windows apps grow most people will not have a need for x86 software.

This is a LONG way off but over time Win 8/RT apps will get much better, more advanced and the desktop will mostly be reserved for professional work only, not the average consumer.

That would be a good choice as the Snapdragon 800 is now the fastest ARM SoC around, for both CPU and GPU performance:

http://www.anandtech.com/show/...m-mobile-development-tablet

Power consumption is expected to be about the same as the Snapdragon 600 (as the 800 uses a new smaller manufacturing process) which is also good.

I'd prefer MS just used Intel's upcoming Bay Trail which will likely have performance atleast as good as the Snapdragon 800, with battery life that atleast matches it too, and the ability to run x86 software. Bit of a no brainer, but i guess MS need to push Windows RT.

1Pixel said,
That would be a good choice as the Snapdragon 800 is now the fastest ARM SoC around, for both CPU and GPU performance:

http://www.anandtech.com/show/...m-mobile-development-tablet

Power consumption is expected to be about the same as the Snapdragon 600 (as the 800 uses a new smaller manufacturing process) which is also good.

I'd prefer MS just used Intel's upcoming Bay Trail which will likely have performance atleast as good as the Snapdragon 800, with battery life that atleast matches it too, and the ability to run x86 software. Bit of a no brainer, but i guess MS need to push Windows RT.

The thinking is that this could be for the new 8" Surface mini which will be RT anyway you look at it.

Bay Trail would probably not even come close to the graphics performance though. So basically you exchange GPU power for x86 compatibility. And honestly if this is indeed an 8" tablet, I would take the former over the latter any day.

tanybeen said,
Bay Trail would probably not even come close to the graphics performance though. So basically you exchange GPU power for x86 compatibility. And honestly if this is indeed an 8" tablet, I would take the former over the latter any day.

The graphics in Bay Trail are based on the GPU in Ivy Bridge/Core CPU's (HD 4000, much faster than Snapdragon 800's GPU but it could end up being a crippled version of HD 4000 so who knows). And the CPU performance will likely be atleast as good. It's also just cool having full blown Windows 8 on a device so small, especially with HDMI output. You can easily turn such a small device in to a desktop-like PC for real work.