A new - and affordable - Microsoft Surface tablet might arrive this week

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If you remember the long-discontinued Surface 3-Microsoft's last attempt at a cheap (er) tablet-Surface Go is what a Surface 4 probably would have been if the company was still using that branding. Microsoft selected a 3:2 aspect ratio display with a resolution of 1800x1200. Power-wise, Surface Go has a dual-core, four-thread Intel Pentium Gold 4415Y processor.

The tablet runs on Windows 10 Home (S) which means it is only capable of installing and running apps from the Windows store.

Connectivity options include Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

Microsoft unveiled the new Surface Go tablet Monday, which is aimed at the education market as well as workers on the go.

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Surface Go being used commercially.

"When we designed this device, we had to ask ourselves what people want and need from a 10" Surface", Microsoft chief product officer Panos Panay wrote in a blog announcing the device. The Surface Go seems to want to bring more premium capabilities and features to a lower-end market. Microsoft will release the device on August 2 starting at $399, making it a rare affordable device in the Surface family.

Available for pre-order starting today - although the listing isn't now live on the Microsoft Store at time of writing - the Surface Go will be available for purchase from 2 August. Like other devices that come with S mode, such as the Surface Laptop, owners will be able to switch to the full version of Windows 10 for free. If you're on a limited budget and trying to buy both a tablet and a Windows laptop, then the device just about gets you there for a reasonable price.

So far, Microsoft has struggled to make a hit Surface product. Windows can be upgraded to a full Windows 10 Pro license, though, which would allow you to install and run any application you wish.

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Unlike the $329 iPad it's going against, the Surface Go has a lot more ports, including a Surface Connect port for charging and docking, a USB-C 3.1 for data and charging, and a microSD card reader.

For the first time on Microsoft hardware, the Go will use the USB-C charging standard. The existing Surface Pen works with this device and you can opt for the Type Cover at $99 or a Signature Type Cover at $129.99. LTE and 256GB SSD models are coming later. However, it is not quite as powerful as the Surface Pro in terms of specifications and features.

What are the Surface Go specs? The $399 version will offer 64GB of storage via EMMC and 4GB of LPDDR3-1866, while a $549 system will have 8GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD. One of the earliest incarnations of the Surface line, the Surface RT, fared poorly.

Rumors have been swirling that Microsoft is planning a new tablet launch this summer.

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