Microsoft's rumored budget Surface appears to have passed through the FCC

Microsoft earlier this year was reported to be working on a smaller, budget Surface tablet, with a release pegged for the second half of this year. And according to a new FCC filing, first spotted by WinFuture.de, the device may be a step closer to becoming reality.

The documents themselves don't offer a look at the new Surface, but they do mention a "portable computing device" called Model 1824. The filing also mentions a 24-watt power supply, which is smaller than the current 36-watt unit used with the latest Surface Pro. That provides a clue that what we're looking at is a device positioned to sit below the Surface Pro line with less power-hungry hardware.

According to the initial report on the device from Bloomberg, Microsoft is specifically looking to position this new Surface against the iPad. Specifically, the device is said to sport a 10-inch screen, USB-C connectivity, and a $400 price tag.

On the inside,the device is said to be powered by an Intel processor. It's not clear which processors Microsoft will go with, but Intel's M-series would make sense for targeting a lower price point. Additionally, an LTE model is expected for staying connected while on the go.

A cheaper, smaller Surface could succeed in tapping the market of those who are looking for a new tablet, but may be turned off by the high price tag of the current Surface line. Microsoft had a whack at this strategy before with the Surface 3, but that device launched in 2015 and there's been no replacement since. There's no indication of when we may see this budget Surface launch, but clearing the FCC is a sign that it may be sooner rather than later.