Microsoft Takes On Apple’s iPad, Plans To Release Low-Cost Tablet Line This Year

It looks like Microsoft is set on rivaling Apple’s iPad, which debuted as a more affordable 9.7-inch version priced at US$329, earlier this year.

In a new report, Bloomberg reveals that Microsoft could debut this low-cost line of Surface tablets as early as the second half of 2018. Multiple versions are anticipated, such as 64GB and 128GB options with LTE connectivity.

The devices are predicted to run on Windows 10 Pro with 10-inch screens—roughly the same size as the standard iPad, but smaller than the 12-inch screens belonging to Microsoft’s Surface Pro laptop range. They could have rounded edges, USB-C connectivity—a first for Surface tablets—as well as updated charging and syncing standard that’s found in some of the latest smartphones. Its kickstand would also remain to support comfortable upright typing and video viewing.

While the current Surface Pro offers 13.5 hours of battery life on a single charge, the new tablets could have four hours less juice, and weigh 20 percent lighter than the premium models. Intel Corporation will likely supply its core processor and graphics chip.

Unlike its existing Surface Pro lineup for professionals that starts at US$799, this new range is expected to sell from US$400 and up. More affordable versions of Microsoft’s keyboard cover, stylus, and mouse to complement the devices, would be sold independently.

[via Bloomberg, image via Microsoft]

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