Microsoft Rumored To Be Working On $400 Surface Tablets To Compete With Apple’s $329 iPad

If this new report is anything to go by, Microsoft is working on a new line of budget Surface tablets to better compete and take on Apple’s low-cost iPad options, according to Bloomberg.

Rumored that the new Surface tablets won’t just be smaller, cheaper Surface Pros. Rather, Microsoft is said to be completely redesigning the devices, with 10-inch screens instead of the 12-inch size currently found on the Surface Pro, rounded corners that more resembles an iPad than the more rectangular Surface design. After all, USB-C for charging is present. Most importantly, priced under $401, they will be more in line with Apple’s cheaper tablets, too.

The move by Microsoft is claimed as is a direct message to Apple’s recently introduced $329 iPad. Microsoft said to have devices ready for iteration as soon as the second half roll of the year.

Interestingly, the tablets will apparently be priced around the magic figure $400 mark which will still mean that they are more costly than Apple’s iPad. As aforementioned, the devices will support USB-C which will give it a distinctly iPad-like look rather than the squared off approach Surfaces have taken so far. It also claims that the new models will be around 20% lighter than the current Surface Pro, although that reduced weight comes at the cost of around four hours fewer of battery life. Like the full-size Surface, the new budget-friendly Surface computer will feature Intel processor and graphics and certainly run the full version of Windows 10 Pro.

Like the iPad, Microsoft is said to be planning on models that offer LTE connectivity, which the Redmond-based firm finally brought to the full-size Surface Pro earlier this year.

Microsoft has struggled to find a high-volume hit with the Surface devices as well as to introduce a flow of new choices to keep growth steady. In the fiscal year that ended last June, Surface revenue declined 2 percent as the company faced lower volume sales owing to an aging Surface Pro line. Revenue rose 32 percent in the most recent quarter, indicating new interest in Microsoft’s hardware.

Apple sold about 44 million iPads that generated almost $20 billion in revenue during the past four quarters. Microsoft’s entire Surface hardware business produced $4.4 billion for the same period.

Connectivity options will also include LTE, while storage options will be 64GB and 128GB with a 10-inch display used throughout the line. No word on whether or not S Mode will be enabled by default. The iconic Surface kickstand is also said to be sticking around, although the new models won’t come with a keyboard or stylus in the box. While Microsoft is apparently working on new, cheaper versions of the keyboard cover, stylus, and mouse to accompany the new Surface tablets; the current model costs an extra $159.

(source: Bloomberg)

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