Tech

Microsoft Plans $400 Surfaces to Take on iPad, Chromebooks

Microsoft Plans $400 Surfaces to Take on iPad, Chromebooks

Microsoft Corp. reportedly plans to bolster its Surface device family with a new line of low-priced tablets in a bid to challenge the market dominance of Apple Inc.'s iPad.

Word comes from the well-connected Mary Jo Foley of ZDNet, who says there'll be a $400 (around £300) asking price for the 10-inch tablet, which could arrive in the second half of this year. Companies like Apple and Amazon have opted to capture the low-end t0 mid-range segments of the market, while Microsoft went all in with the Surface line that could end up costing you over $3,100 depending on the configuration. The report claims that the upcoming devices will have four hours fewer of battery life as compared to current models.

The new Surface tablets are tipped to retail for US$400, slightly more than the standard iPad, which sells for US$329. The tablets will also come with USB-C connection technology, which is a standard being found in use by more laptops and smartphones. For your reference, the Surface Pro can last up to 13 hours on a single charge.

Microsoft Plans $400 Surfaces to Take on iPad, Chromebooks
Microsoft Plans $400 Surfaces to Take on iPad, Chromebooks

Looking at the competitive landscape; Microsoft sold approx 725,000 tablets in Q1 2018 while Apple has sold an average 11 million iPads per quarter over the past year. The company is planning multiple models, including versions with 64GB and 128GB of storage and LTE connectivity.

Microsoft scrapped the Surface RT lineup as a result of lackluster sales and disappointing reviews, and chose to focus on its high-end devices instead. Advertised as the tablet that can replace your laptop, the Surface Pro starts at $799. Features that can enhance learning experiences could help Microsoft see more Surface tablets being used in classrooms. Anyway, it's seems likely that the Redmond giant could hold a special event to introduce these new Surface tablets later this year, maybe with some updates for other Surface products along the way. It will continue to have the kickstand for upright typing and watching video.

Microsoft has dabbled with more affordable tablets in the past.

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