If you want to build a computer, you’ve got to buy parts, and that’s usually where other people start finding out what you’re up to. That’s why it’s now looking more and more like Microsoft is building a new Surface 4 tablet, according to statements made by supply chain sources to Digitimes.
The Redmond giant recently ordered a slew of Samsung SSDs, and now despite rumors that said the Surface 4 might not make it to shelves until 2016, sources say they’ve received orders to start shipping components in September for an October release.
What do we know about the possible new Surface 4? Next to nothing, except that “The new Surface tablet will feature the same ultra-thin form factor, bezel size and large-size display as the predecessor model and will come with Intel’s new Skylake processor and Windows 10.” That’s not very detailed, but it does seem to indicate that the new Surface tablet will be more of a performance update than a design overhaul, or a massive addition of new features. But what about those SSDs?
The Samsung SSDs that were reportedly purchased by Microsoft might be the most notable addition to the Surface design. The drives use NVMe technology, and theoretically an M.2 PCIe connection, to reach transfer speeds as fast as two gigabytes per second. That’s over three times the stated read and write speeds of the drive in the Surface Pro 3. When you combine that with the power of a brand new Skylake processor, you’re looking at a hybrid with some real performance potential.
Every rumor should be taken with a grain of salt, and while it’s completely believable that a new Surface is on the way, an October turnaround would be impressive. And unless an upgraded hard drive and CPU are the only new additions, and the rest is the same as the Surface 3, an early 2016 release is more likely.