Microsoft plans lower-cost Surface tablets to battle Apple

Microsoft Surface Hub 2

Microsoft Corp. reportedly plans to bolster its Surface device family with a new line of low-priced tablets in a bid to challenge the market dominance of Apple Inc.'s iPad.

Although Microsoft did not speak a word about this device, we assume this thing to be something that Microsoft might be working on as the existing Surface tablets are like too much money for a tablet to the most of the people. They will also come with USB-C connectivity, a first for Surface tablets.

On a positive note, the changes are said to enable the Surface to drop in both weight and pricing.

Microsoft, naturally, won't respond to queries about the device, which is reportedly set for a release in the second half of this year. Is getting Windows into more classrooms worth the Surface name being associated with a line of underpowered tablets? Microsoft is said to be planning 64GB and 128GB models, and all configurations will run Windows 10 Pro.

Current Surface tablets run full versions of Windows and start at an eye-popping $799.

Bloomberg: Microsoft plans lower-cost Surface tablets to battle Apple
Microsoft Unveils Its Second-Generation Surface Hub 2

The tablets will probably be about 20 percent lighter than the high-end models, but will have four hours fewer of battery life.

Each model will have a 10-inch screen, which is comparable to the standard iPad, though it's noticeably smaller than the Surface Pro laptops. The move is aimed at taking market share from Apple's iPad, which dominates the lower-cost tablet market. The current Surface Pro is rated to last 13.5 hours on a single charge, according to Microsoft. According to market researcher IDC, Microsoft sold nearly 725,000 tablets in the first quarter of 2018, up 1.8 percent from a year earlier. Sources say it will cost around $400 and will be accompanied by more affordable versions of Microsoft's official Surface keyboard cover, mouse, and stylus.

The iPad will remain a significantly more affordable option, starting at just $329 - or $299 for those in education. It introduced the original Surface RT in 2012 from Dollars 499. Apple launched its first iPad Pro in 2015.

The ARM-based Surface RT tablet was a major failure amid Microsoft's entry into the device market. The company stopped making it at the end of 2016.

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