Budget Surface tablet with USB-C rumored to be codenamed ‘Lex’

Microsoft Surface Pro

You may recall that last month it emerged that Microsoft is apparently working on an affordable Surface tablet to take the fight to the iPad, and a little more info has emerged on the device, including a codename: ‘Lex’.

According to Microsoft tipster WalkingCat (as spotted by Windows Latest), the alleged 10-inch slate has an internal code name of Surface Lex (or Surface L, presumably for short), and there are Type Covers for the device code-named 'Gibs'.

Although code names don’t mean much, Lex puts us in mind of a certain super villain, so perhaps Microsoft believes the incoming tablet is destined for world domination (or at least domination of the slate world). Gibs might just be a reminder of what you’ll end up as if you try and play a shooter with a detachable keyboard on a 10-inch hybrid.

Also revealed was the fact that the Surface Lex may have a USB Type-C connector, and support LTE connectivity – at least on some models – as the previous report on this tablet had already claimed. It seems that those two elements are a somewhat stronger prospect, then.

Indeed, WalkingCat observes that the device does sound like the rumored compact and affordable tablet which Bloomberg’s source was talking about last month. All this is still exactly that, though – so much talk on the grapevine.

The price is right

The rumor is the tablet will be pitched at a price point of $400 (about £300, AU$530), with the partner Type Cover also being cheaper than the ones Microsoft currently sells. The budget slate will allegedly be a lot more portable than the current Surface Pro (pictured above), and around a fifth lighter.

Predictably, battery life might suffer as a result of all that slimming down, and the device is likely to have a longevity pitched at around 10 hours (compared to 13.5 hours claimed for the Surface Pro, that is).

Even though in recent times, sales of Surface devices have been rather up and down, it would seem that Microsoft intends to push more strongly with its range of hybrids, and the firm certainly isn’t thinking of doing anything like marginalizing or ditching the range, as was very briefly rumored last October.

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).