Microsoft has been reportedly working on a cheaper $400 Surface tablet, and it appears to have passed through the FCC this week. The filing itself (spotted by WinFuture) only reveals a low-powered charger, presumably for a smaller Surface device, but not many other hardware details. Bloomberg previously reported that Microsoft is planning to release 10-inch Surface devices with a more rounded design and USB-C for charging.
The new Surface models are also said to be lighter than the existing Surface Pro, with Intel processors and a full version of Windows 10. Microsoft is also reportedly planning LTE versions of its smaller Surface tablet, along with cheaper keyboard covers, a stylus, and mouse. A cheaper Surface tablet will likely appeal to consumers and students that don’t want to pay for a larger more powerful version. Microsoft originally launched a cheaper and smaller Surface 3 tablet three years ago, aiming it at students before discontinuing it.
Microsoft has not yet acknowledged it’s working on smaller Surface tablets, and it’s not clear when the company plans to introduce this cheaper Surface tablet. The appearance in the FCC is significant, though. Devices don’t typically appear in FCC listings until they’re tested and ready to launch. It could mean Microsoft is aiming to get this cheaper Surface tablet on the market before back-to-school in September or the busy holiday period.