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Report claims Microsoft switching to Qualcomm for Surface RT processor

updated 07:24 am EDT, Wed June 19, 2013

Nvidia to remain supplier for some versions of Surface

Microsoft is working on a version of its Surface RT slate computer that uses a Qualcomm processor, according to a report. The change in chip comes at the same time as Microsoft drops the price of the tablet for educational users, in what appears to be a clear-out of current Surface RT stock ahead of a device refresh.

Sources of Bloomberg claim that the next Surface RT will be something from Qualcomm, but fails to mention what specific chip is being used. If true, it is probable that Microsoft will opt for a processor similar to the Snapdragon 800, complete with its integrated LTE modem, in order to introduce high-speed mobile broadband. While the change will effectively cut out Nvidia as a main supplier for the device, the same sources state its Tegra chip will still be used "for some versions."

A possible refresh of the Surface RT in the coming months could coincide with the release of Windows 8.1, which will see a number of improvements to both Windows 8 and Windows RT. At the same time, Microsoft could release a seven-inch version of the Surface RT, since it lowered the requirements for Windows tablets using Windows 8 and RT back in March.

On Monday, Microsoft lowered the price of the 32GB Surface RT for schools, from the usual $499 retail cost down to $199. The Next Web writes that the versions with covers will cost $249 when bundled with the Touch Keyboard cover and $289 with the Type Keyboard cover, with all three versions discounted for schools and universities until August 31st.

by MacNN Staff



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