Microsoft plans to launch low-priced Surface tablets to compete with iPads

The Microsoft new tablets are expected to be about 20% lighter than the high-end models but will have around four hours fewer of battery life

Bloomberg: Microsoft plans lower-cost Surface tablets to battle Apple

Microsoft may be planning to go head-to-head with Apple in the tablet market.

Microsoft plans to release a $400 Surface tablet, Bloomberg reports, possibly as early as this fall. The smaller size means that these models will have smaller battery, and Bloomberg expects a four hours difference compared to the Surface Pro.

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A Bloomberg report suggests that Microsoft will deliver a cheaper Surface tablet this year. Where the hell was the Surface tablet? I think the target market of students and schools is correct, but some perceived threat from iPads isn't the reason that Microsoft is launching a cheaper device: It's all about Chromebooks. Hopefully, the tech giant will be able to introduce some product diversification if the latest rumor turns out to be true.

They'll also reportedly charge via USB-C, which is excellent news for everyone, since Microsoft's proprietary charger is notoriously unreliable.

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In March, Apple launched a new iPad model for $329 geared toward education users. According to the sources, Microsoft is planning to target the sub $500 market which is now dominated by Apple iPads.

The Surface lineup of devices has seen multiple changes since the first Surface came out in 2012. It seems odd that Microsoft would try so hard to push ARM on partners but opt for an Intel processor in its low-end Surface line instead. It will be accompanied by more affordable versions of Microsoft's keyboard cover, mouse, and Surface Pen. LTE Advanced connectivity will also be an option for those who want high-speed internet coverage when away from Wi-Fi networks. The current keyboard cover costs an extra $160, while the new keyboard will be priced a bit lower, they said. The tablets will still have the kickstand for upright typing and watching video. Over time, Microsoft offered better hardware each year and had turned them into premium computing devices. The company stopped making it at the end of 2016. The display is framed by a bezel with rounded corners, supposedly not unlike those of the iPad, in what marks a big departure from the rectangular design of Microsoft's flagship tablet.

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