Microsoft's very interesting Surface Go 4 and Surface Pro 10 plans are starting to leak

Microsoft's very interesting Surface Go 4 and Surface Pro 10 plans are starting to leak
While it certainly doesn't seem hard to anticipate what comes after the Surface Go 3 and the Surface Pro 9, the "when" of the equation is a different story, especially as far as Microsoft's next low-cost Windows tablet is concerned.

Inaugurated back in the summer of 2018, the Surface Go family of (relatively) compact and affordable slates received a second edition in May 2020 and a third generation in the fall of 2021. Now the Surface Go 4 is expected to see daylight no earlier than the fall of 2023, although according to the generally well-connected folks over at Windows Central, "things might get pushed back" even further.

An eye for an eye and an ARM for... improved battery life

Whenever this undoubtedly productive new alternative to Apple's "regular" iPad will end up going official, it should do so packing an ARM-based processor in its entry-level configuration. That may sound like a possible downgrade from previous Intel-powered Surface Go models, but in reality, things will probably not be as bad as you think.

Quite on the contrary, as Windows Central expects the cheapest Surface Go 4 units to come with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 7c SoC likely to offer "similar" performance and superior energy efficiency for "longer-lasting battery life" compared to a Go 3 with Intel Pentium inside.

As you may or may not know, battery endurance just so happens to be one of the main weaknesses of the 2021-released Surface Go 3, at an estimated 11 hours between charges, with 2022's Surface Pro 9 powerhouse, meanwhile, promising to last up to 15.5 hours with a 12th Gen Intel chip under its hood and as much as 19 hours in a 5G-enabled Microsoft SQ 3 variant.

Even though it's obviously way too early to predict whether or not the Surface Go 4 will be able to come close to such impressive numbers, it's important to keep in mind that this ARM rumor is good news rather than bad, possibly even allowing Microsoft to add optional 5G connectivity to the next installment in its budget-friendly tablet series.

That's little more than a guess at the moment, mind you, with the Go 4 also tipped to maintain the compact body of its forerunners while incorporating some "minor design changes", and unsurprisingly, offer Intel power as well for folks who think they might need (and afford) that.

Quality or quantity? How about both?

While Apple's iPad Pro is sold in two sizes and could even gain a third one relatively soon and Samsung is expected to follow its ultra-high-end Galaxy Tab S8 trio with a very similar three-model Tab S9 lineup, there's only one main Surface Pro 9 version.

But things might change with this year's Surface Pro 10 family, predicted today to consist of two different members with two different screen sizes. Curiously, Windows Central is not referring to this next-gen high-ender by that name yet, so it remains to be seen if Microsoft is preparing some sort of a rebranding effort to go with the looming size expansion.

Unfortunately, we don't know much about the specifications of the first-ever 11-inch Surface Pro variant either, which is apparently codenamed Luxor. While its size could make it look more similar to the 10.5-inch Surface Go 3 and Go 4 than the 13-inch Pro 9 and Pro 10, the screen bezels are likely to be slim enough and the 120Hz refresh rate technology smooth enough to give the latest 11-inch iPad Pro a run for its money.

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In other words, Microsoft is all but guaranteed to add not one but two models to our list of the best tablets money can buy later this year and possibly another device to the top budget tablets roundup.

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