Microsoft plans to take on iPad with low-cost Surface tablets
16 May, 2018, 21:38
The software giant is planning to release a new line of low-priced Surface tablets as early as the second half of 2018, Bloomberg reports.
The tablets are reportedly 20 percent lighter than the Surface Pro and swap the unit's 12-inch screen for a smaller 10-inch unit.
Microsoft tried to do this before when it released the $499 Surface RT tablet in 2012. If it's this fall that it launches, Apple could bring down the price a few dollars and does anyone really think being within $50 of an iPad Pro that the world will finally see the error or their ways and switch to the Surface tablet? While we have mentioned above that these Surface tablets might feature SoCs from Qualcomm, Bloombergreports that Intel is going to be the main supplier, but there were no details concerning which chips are going to be present in them. The devices reportedly won't ship with a keyboard cover - one of the Surface's biggest selling points - though they'll all sport a kickstand and feature a USB C port for charging.
Given the most affordable 9.7-inch iPad (£319/$329) has an advertised battery life of 10-hours, Microsoft's device would struggle to compete with the iPad on that key level. On top of being more affordable, the publication's sources said the new devices will also significantly differ in design.
The current professional-oriented Surface Pro lineup starts at $799.
Although Microsoft has yet to have a blowout success with the Surface, interest in the devices has sparked in recent months, with Surface revenue growing 32% in the most recent quarter.
A representative for Microsoft declined to comment. As always, there will also be 64GB or 128GB variants, along with an LTE model for cellular connectivity too. Anyway, it's seems likely that the Redmond giant could hold a special event to introduce these new Surface tablets later this year, maybe with some updates for other Surface products along the way.
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