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Microsoft to refresh Surface RT with Snapdragon 800 CPUs

Microsoft is said to be adopting Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 800 CPU for a refresh of its troubled Surface RT range.

According to a new Bloomberg report, “some new versions of Surface will be based on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon processors.” The reason for the switch, the report claims, is that Qualcomm’s chips can provide fast wireless data connections – which essentially refers to their 4G capabilities.

Nvidia won’t cut out of the loop entirely, and will still provide its Tegra chips for “some versions” (presumably non-4G) of the Windows 8 RT tablet.

The Verge is even more specific on the new chips at the heart of the Surface RT. Its sources claim that the Snapdragon 800 is the CPU in question.

The inclusion of Snapdragon 800 chips with their integrated LTE in the Surface RT range would allow Microsoft to provide its first ever mobile broadband-capable tablet.

Sales of the Windows RT tablets have not been strong, with a reported market share of less than one percent. This compares to around 40 percent market share for Apple’s iPad range.

Rumours over the past six months of planned support for the entry-level Windows 8 OS from the likes of Nokia and HTC have so far failed to come to fruition.

It seems Microsoft has been clearing the way for a revamped Surface RT device by launching a number of initiatives to flog existing stock for knock-down prices. Microsoft could be readying the relaunch for when Windows 8.1 launches this autumn.

Now check out what we think of the current Microsoft Surface RT in our review.