Low-Cost Surface Tablet Coming in 2018

Low-Cost Surface Tablet Coming in 2018

Low-Cost Surface Tablet Coming in 2018

And it's also apparently the playbook Microsoft is again working from now that Bloomberg is reporting the company is looking to debut a new, lower-cost iPad competitor with the Surface brand later this year. This is going to be dirt cheap, particularly devices that are running the complete version of Windows 10 and not something like Windows 10 S.

Microsoft's Surface tablet line may be set for a refresh in the near future, with rumors suggesting that the 10-inch tablet range would be powered by Intel hardware - and could cost just $400.

The biggest question about these new Surface devices is why.

The tablets are expected to be about 20 percent lighter than the high-end models but will have around four hours fewer when it comes to battery life.

It has been reported that Microsoft is trying to focus on education as a selling point for its tablets. In the past Microsoft released the Surface RT - which was a disaster - as well as the Surface 2 and Surface 3, though no entry in the cheaper line of laptop-tablet hybrid devices has achieved the same success as the Pro models.

Apple has managed to generate nearly four times the revenue through iPad sales versus the Surface lineup. iPad sales generated $20 billion in revenue in the past four business quarters, while Microsoft managed to generate $4.4 billion in the same period.

At Apple's Spring 2018 event in Chicago the company announced a new 9.7-inch iPad dubbed its "most affordable" model yet. Interestingly, Microsoft is tipped to bring "less-expensive" versions of its optional keyboard cover, stylus and mouse to the market by the end of the year, although plans are still very much in flux.

The latest incarnation of the tablet integrates with Apple Pencil and is available for $299 for schools in the US. LTE Advanced connectivity will also be an option for those who want high-speed internet coverage when away from Wi-Fi networks.

The home button would be dropped in favor of an all-screen device, not unlike the 10th anniversary iPhone X, which was released last fall.

Of course, the tablet market has changed considerably since the Surface and iPad had their first matchup.

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