Three more Microsoft Surface tablets may arrive in 2013

Although Microsoft is just getting started with its Surface tablets, a source says that the company may launch three new devices in 2013.

Although Microsoft is just getting started with its 2012 Surface tablets, the company plans to launch three new devices in the next year, according to a well-known source of leaks.

The so-called "MS Nerd" posted details about these supposed Surface tablets on a protected Twitter feed. Neowin spotted the tweets and posted the Windows tablets' details.

According to this source, Microsoft will release another ARM-based Surface tablet running Windows RT. But instead of the Tegra 3 chip in the existing Surface, it'll have a Qualcomm processor, and instead of a 10.6-inch touch screen, it'll have an 8.6-inch display.

The second-gen Surface with Windows 8 Pro, meanwhile, will reportedly go the opposite direction, with its screen size expanding to 11.6 inches. And instead of using Intel's Core processors, MS Nerd claims it'll use an AMD Temash APU, which might not be as powerful, but would hopefully get better battery life than the estimated four- to five-hours in the upcoming Surface.

Finally, MS Nerd says Microsoft is planning a third device, called the Surface Book, with a 14.6-inch display and an Intel Haswell chip. Haswell is the successor to Intel's Ivy Bridge processors, which Microsoft uses in the Surface with Windows 8 Pro.

A mostly reliable source

MS Nerd is a fairly reliable source for Microsoft leaks. In March, the anonymous individual accurately claimed that only a subset of Windows Phone 8 features would come to older hardware (in the form of Windows 7.8). Earlier, MS Nerd was right about the development of Windows Phone 7, and the impending demise of Zune hardware. The source also posted extensive details about Microsoft's abandoned Courier tablet.

But the source isn't always spot on. MS Nerd's claims that AT&T would get two Samsung Windows Phones 8 devices, and that Sprint would get a QWERTY slider from Nokia, have both proven false, at least for now.

MS Nerd also accurately called many of the details on Nokia's Lumia 920, including the 720-pixel display and the Snapdragon S4 processor, but was wrong about the PureView camera, which has an 8.7-megapixel sensor, not 12 megapixels as claimed.

In other words, don't take MS Nerd's words as gospel. While the source is often gets things right, plans can change, and specific tech specs are always tough to call far in advance. The one thing that seems certain, in any case, is that Microsoft isn't nearly finished making its own Windows 8 hardware. Get ready for a lot more angst from PC makers.

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Jared Newman

PC World (US online)
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