Nvidia won't be the one providing chips for the new tablet
Microsoft is expected to take the wraps off a new Surface model this month, but little is known about the device that could become the smaller tablet ever sold by the Redmond-based take giant.Reportedly called Surface Mini, the new device could use a Qualcomm processor, instead of a chip developed by Nvidia, according to a reporting published today by Bloomberg and citing people close to the matter.
Nvidia has until now provided Microsoft with Tegra chips for ARM-based Surface models, including both the Surface RT and the Surface 2, but it appears that Redmond has decided to switch to Qualcomm processors because they're said to be better optimized for longer battery life.
At the same time, Qualcomm processors, which are at the core of several popular smartphones, such as Samsung's very own Galaxy model, are cheaper and would thus help Microsoft stick to a lower price for the new Surface.
The Surface Mini, which is very likely to run Windows RT 8.1 Update, an improved version of the original Windows RT operating system specifically created for ARM-based tablets, might come with an 8-inch screen that would position it against popular small devices on the market, including the iPad mini and the Nexus 7.
While Microsoft doesn't wish to talk about this new Surface tablet, the company has already started sending out invites for an event in New York on May 20 that could witness the unveiling of this project, although sales aren't expected to begin before June.
As far as pricing is concerned, some people close to the matter previously suggested that the Surface Mini might have a price tag of $250 (180 euros), which could clearly make it a very affordable device and give it a significant advantage in the fight against the two aforementioned devices.
What's more interesting is that Microsoft is planning to retail the Surface Mini as a note-talking device that would also come with a digital pen to easily write down text without using the touch input.
The Surface Mini is also expected to be the first tablet introduced by the new CEO Satya Nadella, who has already received praised for this debut at the helm of the company. Nadella is expected to take the stage on May 20 to reveal all details about the new tablet, which is obviously a major step in Microsoft's reorganization as a devices and services company, a plan started by former CEO Steve Ballmer in mid-2013.