Microsoft's low-cost Surface may use a modest Pentium chip

Don't expect a powerhouse.

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It's no secret that Microsoft is working on a lower-priced Surface between leaks and FCC filings, but just what's going to power this 10-inch tablet? There might be a clue. WinFuture sources have claimed that the low-cost Surface will use Pentium Silver N5000 and Pentium Gold Y-series processors. That should make them considerably faster than the Atom-powered Surface 3 (admittedly not a difficult task), but you'll still have a strong incentive to buy a Surface Pro if you care about performance.

Not that you may necessarily mind. Earlier rumors had the new Surface starting at $400 without a keyboard -- it's aimed at students and people who would otherwise buy an iPad or a similarly affordable slate, not someone who wants a do-it-all workhorse. Dial your expectations down a notch and this may be fine for taking notes or catching up on Netflix.

Microsoft hasn't said anything about the tablet yet, but the FCC filings and growing leaks suggest that it's right around the corner. It's just as well, since Microsoft almost certainly wants to reel in the back-to-school crowd.

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