Microsoft Plans Low-Cost Tablet Line to Rival iPad

Joanna Estrada
May 16, 2018

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. What's more, these new tablets will feature USB-C connectivity instead of Micro-USB, something the Surface 3 featured instead of Microsoft's proprietary charging port. Needless to say, it will be a good addition to the large portfolio of Surface devices and it would be the most affordable Surface-branded device with Windows 10.

Microsoft is reportedly working a smaller, cheaper alternative to the Surface Pro.

Microsoft receives a lot of criticism these days for its increased focus on the cloud and business customers, but it seems that the company remains very interested in the consumer market.

In the past year, Apple sold 44M iPads for $20B in revenue.

Apple launched a new version of the $329 iPad in March, with a faster processor and Apple Pencil stylus support. The new cheaper Surfaces could likewise appeal to students and teachers, and to schools that buy less-expensive devices in bulk. Interestingly, the tablet will be priced around $400. Microsoft is also planning to sell Wi-Fi only models along with Wi-Fi and LTE variants. It will be powered by Windows 10 Pro probably with an S mode which locks you to Microsoft Store apps. It appears that the Microsoft's Surface-branded tablet will compete with this model. The company is planning on releasing a revamped iPad Pro this year with iPhone X features such as facial recognition, Bloomberg News reported last year.

The existing Surface Pro tablets use Intel processors with SSD storage, similar to the CPU chips seen in the 12-inch MacBook.

The new line will be part of a growing ecosystem of Microsoft hardware products that, beyond the tablets, includes the Surface Laptop, Surface Book laptop with a detachable screen, and the Surface Studio desktop computer.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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