Microsoft Plans Low-Cost Tablet Line to Rival iPad

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

The new Surface tablets will have a 10-inch screen-a couple of inches smaller than the 12-inch screens used on the Surface Pro laptop line.

By releasing a cheaper Surface model, Microsoft is trying to gain a bigger share of the low-priced tablet market, which Apple recently tapped into with its latest iPad version.

The new line of Surface tablets are likely to have rounded edges similar to Apple's iPad.

A credible Bloomberg report claims that Microsoft will deliver a $400 Surface-branded tablet by late 2018. Charging will use USB Type-C, and a slot for SIM-cards, so the tablet can work in networks 3G and 4G LTE. Meanwhile, the 13.5 hours of battery life offered by the most recent Surface Pro put this in the shade. Microsoft was in second place with 26% of devices shipped running Windows, while Apple lost ground last year, dropping to just 11% iOS devices, down almost 4% from the year before. The report also states that the company is planning to launch the device in multiple memory variants including the one with 64GB and 128GB storage space. Microsoft's entire Surface hardware business produced $4.4 billion for the same period. Standard Windows applications, though, could not run on the device, which left the Surface RT bereft of software. But the compact design and modest price tag indicate that the line is designed for less demanding applications than the Surface Pro, which is favored by enterprise users.

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The current professional-oriented Surface Pro lineup starts at $799.

Anyway, the new Surface Hub 2 will be available starting next year and only selected customers will be able to try it out early. The upcoming device will sport a 10-inch screen.

The new Surface devices, in addition to sporting Intel hardware, will run standard Windows 10 and Universal Windows Platform applications, ensuring compatibility - potential performance issues notwithstanding. It will continue to have the kickstand for upright typing and watching video.

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