Saturday, 17 November, 2018

Rumor: Microsoft is raring to release a low-priced Surface tablet

The 2015 Surface 13 is Microsoft’s last 10-inch Surface model The 2015 Surface 13 is Microsoft’s last 10-inch Surface model
Grady Vargas | 17 May, 2018, 01:55

Though this may sound familiar, Microsoft is reportedly planning a line of lower-cost Surface tablets to challenge Apple's least expensive iPads later this year.

The tablets will probably be about 20 percent lighter than the high-end models, but will have four hours fewer of battery life. Since they're expected to pack Intel chips, they'll run full Windows 10 Pro - Microsoft is at least wisely avoiding "splitting" Windows again with a new class ARM-powered devices, like it did with Windows RT.

Microsoft tried to do this before when it released the $499 Surface RT tablet in 2012. According to the sources, Microsoft is planning to target the sub $500 market which is now dominated by Apple iPads. 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.

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Another contender might be ready to tee off on Apple's $329 iPad, and no, we're not talking about Chromebook tablets again.

A range of cheaper Surface models could start at $400 and could hit the shelves as soon as the second half of 2018. The move is aimed at taking market share from Apple's iPad, which dominates the lower-cost tablet market. 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. This was another area in which it fell short of the iPad in terms of functionality and it will be nice to see it come to the cheaper Surface tablet as well. Like the Surface Pro, these models won't be bundled with the company's keyboard cover. LTE Advanced connectivity will also be an option for those who want high-speed internet coverage when away from Wi-Fi networks. Chrome OS is the leader by a mile, and with Chrome devices now able to run Android apps, the divide is only going to get bigger. This could be Microsoft's attempt to create a clear go-to package for educators looking for classroom tech solution on a tight budget. The company stopped making it at the end of 2016.

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