A couple of months ago, it was reported that Microsoft will be launching a cheaper Surface tablet. According to the original report, it was going to include an Intel Core M processor, also known as the Y-series. As we noted at the time, this didn't make sense, given the $281 price point for a Core m3 and the fact that it's supposed to go into a $399 tablet. It would probably be the most inexpensive Core M device ever.
But according to a report from WinFuture, the $399 tablet will include Intel's Pentium CPUs, and that makes a lot more sense. The base model will have a Pentium Silver N5000, which is a quad-core, 32-bit 'Gemini Lake' processor that's clocked at 1.1GHz.
But that's not the model that you'll want. Based on the Kaby Lake architecture, you'll find Pentium Gold 4410Y or 4415Y in the higher end models. Those are dual-core chips clocked at 1.5GHz and 1.6GHz, respectively, but you'll definitely get better performance than with the quad-core Pentium Silver.
The device will be offered with either 4GB or 8GB of RAM, and it will ship with Windows 10 Pro. Aimed at the educational market, you might have expected it to arrive with Windows 10 Pro in S mode, but that is not the case; however, there is a setting coming in Redstone 5 that will allow you to convert it to S mode. There will also be an option for 4G LTE connectivity.
The screen size will be 10 inches at the standard 3:2 aspect ratio, so it will be significantly smaller than a Surface Pro. According to the report, Microsoft wants to compete with Apple's iPads on pricing, and the higher end models will compete with the iPad Pro.