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undergroundnewsroom.com May 27, 2018


Microsoft Reportedly Prepping Budget Surface Tablet To Counter $329 iPad

17 May 2018, 12:33 | Clyde Nash

The 2015 Surface 13 is Microsoft’s last 10-inch Surface model

The 2015 Surface 13 is Microsoft’s last 10-inch Surface model

Assuming Bloomberg's informants are correct, we should see a newer, more affordable Surface tablet appear later this year.

Microsoft is working on a new $400 United States dollars budget Surface tablet created to compete with Apple's lowest-end iPad, according to a new report stemming from Bloomberg's often reliable Mark Gurman. 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. Microsoft's lack of success with the $499 Surface RT would result in the firm refocussing its hardware on the premium Surface Pro line. 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.

These are obviously pricier than some of the world's most popular slates, generating heftier profit margins, but losing the sales volume battle to Apple's more diverse iPad portfolio. However, if executed correctly, Microsoft might be able to hit a sweet spot with the upcoming Surface Tablets and might as well give Apple a run for its money.

Given the most affordable 9.7-inch iPad (£319/$329) has an advertised battery life of 10-hours, Microsoft's device would struggle to compete with the iPad on that key level.

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It's possible the Surface line has built up enough goodwill that Microsoft is confident PC buyers won't put the brand in detention for trying to appeal to students.

Like the Surface Pro, the cheaper Surface will come without a keyboard cover, but cheaper versions of these - and styli - will also be available.

Current Surface tablets run full versions of Windows and start at an eye-popping $799. The current keyboard cover costs an extra $160, while the new keyboard will be priced a bit lower, they said. It will continue to have the kickstand for upright typing and watching video. Apple launched its first iPad Pro in 2015. It's unclear if Windows 10's "S Mode" will be enabled by default with the tablet, though this makes sense given it's reportedly being positioned as a budget device.



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