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Microsoft's Cheap Surface to Feature Pentium Chips (Report)

Processor evolution is a flat circle, or at least that's what it feels like, looking at the latest rumors of Microsoft's low-end Surface. Yes, believe it or not, that detachable 2-in-1 may feature Pentium-class processors. Just don't tell Weird Al.

Yes, you read that correctly, this affordable Surface may very well reflect its low price in its performance. The German tech news site WinFuture.de is reporting word from its sources that claim the entry-level versions of this Surface (referred to as Surface "Lite" in a headline parsed by Google's translation tools) will run on the Intel Pentium Silver N5000, which runs at 1.1GHz at its baseline clockspeed.

That won't be the only model available, though with an upgraded version running on Pentium Gold 4410Y and 4415Y chips, which are based on Intel's Kaby Lake architecture. Those machines will run at 1.5 GHz and 1.6 GHz, respectively.

MORE: Which Laptop CPU is Right for You?

Previous leaks have pegged this device as costing around $400, with a 10-inch display at a 3:2 ratio, making it smaller than the 12-inch Surface Pro, though similar in overall size to the 9.7-inch iPad. Surprisingly, these machines will feature USB Type-C connections, which Surface Pro and Surface Laptop owners may spend as much as $80 for, with the Surface Connect to USB-C Adapter.

We've also heard this device will have multiple storage configurations, including 64GB and 128GB configurations. This laptop may even be offered with LTE connectivity.

Sadly, though, all reports point to this Surface being sold without its keyboard, just like Microsoft does with the Surface Pro. It's a shame, as this pricing structure means the rumored $400 price point will be less than you'll need to spend to use this machine as a laptop. Using a software keyboard on a tablet screen, for typing out long form writing, is likely untenable for those used to physical keyboards.

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Henry is a senior writer at Laptop Mag, covering security, Apple and operating systems. Prior to joining Laptop Mag — where he's the self-described Rare Oreo Expert — he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. You can find him at your local pro wrestling events, and wondering why Apple decided to ditch its MagSafe power adapters.