Microsoft plans lower-cost Surface tablets to battle Apple

Wednesday, 16 May, 2018

The smaller size means that these models will have smaller battery, and Bloomberg expects a four hours difference compared to the Surface Pro.

After abandoning both the Windows RT operating system and long-gestating plans for the release of a diminutive, affordable Surface Mini tablet, Microsoft made a decision to focus the consumer hardware efforts of the software-first company squarely on higher-end products. Microsoft's new tablets are rumored to feature 10-inch screens and feature USB-C connections. Indeed, after canceling the 8-inch Surface Mini back in 2014 and leaving the 2015 Surface 3 without a successor, the company may bring a new 10-inch affordable Surface tablet to the market in the second half of 2018.

The existing Surface Pro tablets use Intel processors with SSD storage, similar to the CPU chips seen in the 12-inch MacBook. They'll be priced around $400, according to sources.

Microsoft (MSFT) plans to launch a line of lower-cost tablets to compete with Apple's (AAPL) iPad. As always, there will also be 64GB or 128GB variants, along with an LTE model for cellular connectivity too. Selling a cheap Surface is a unsafe game however, as it's probably unwise for Microsoft to try and undercut its partners when it comes to Windows hardware. A $400 Surface might draw in new audiences that previously weren't interested due to the high-price of Surface products usually.