A new report by Bloomberg claims that a new version of the SurfaceRT will be own its way soon sporting Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 800 processors instead of the existing Nvidia Tegra 3 chipset. Nvidia may still be a supplier for some SurfaceRT tablets, but it is unclear at this time. The Snapdragon 800 processor does include integrated LTE connectivity, so this may potentially be the first Surface tablet from Microsoft with 3G/4G mobile broadband. Microsoft does have a great relationship with Qualcomm considering they are the exclusive supplier of processors for Windows Phone and a move to SurfaceRT on the same chips sounds highly plausible.
Microsoft has recently been offering the SurfaceRT at discounted prices at their own TechEd conference for $99 with Touch Cover included. It also recently announced a program where educational institutions can purchase the SurfaceRT for $199, significantly cheaper than buying iPads.
The refreshed SurfaceRT may be ready for holiday 2013 in line with Windows 8.1. An 8-inch Surface tablet is expected to be announced at the BUILD conference later this month, although few details are known at this point. It has also been rumored that NFC may be coming to the Surface tablets.