Redmond planning Surface RT refresh

Microsoft is reportedly planning to overhaul its anything-but-successful Surface RT tablet.

According to two separate reports from Bloomberg and The Verge, Redmond is dumping Nvidia in favour of Qualcomm.

The refreshed Surface RT is said to feature a Snapdragon 800 application processor under the bonnet, with LTE in tow. The Tegra 4 does not feature integrated LTE which might explain Microsoft’s decision to look elsewhere. It’s worth noting that the current Surface RT, based on the Tegra 3 SoC, lacks LTE as well.

It is still unclear when the updated version will appear. Windows 8.1 and the next Windows RT update are due this autumn, which is probably when we should see the new Surface RT as well. There is still no word on the rest of the specs and we can only hope that Microsoft has opted for a high resolution screen, as 1366×768 just won’t cut it in this day and age.

With new hardware and the inclusion of Office (and Outlook) in the new tablet, Microsoft could actually have a competitive product later this year. However, this won’t address poor pricing and Microsoft’s limited Win RT ecosystem, or the fact that OEMs aren’t too keen to roll out RT devices.

At the Computex show in Old Taipei a few weeks ago, Microsoft failed signally to answer questions about Surface RT, with a senior executive retreating to the “cloud of unknowing”, despite repeated questioning.