Microsoft plans a new line of tablets to take on Apple's iPad


This is the second time Microsoft has attempted to enter the low-priced tablet market, following on from its Surface RT tablet which it released to poor reviews in 2012. We're told Microsoft's new tablets are said to feature a 10-inch display, will have round edges like Apple's iPad, and will come with USB Type-C connectivity.

Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) will supply the processor and graphics chips, according to Bloomberg sources. Like previous Surface tablets, it will feature an integrated kickstand.

The device will weigh 20 percent less than current Surface Pro hardware, Bloomberg says, but run for four fewer hours.

Rather than simply giving us a downgraded version of the Pro, the new cheaper Surface tablet is being redesigned from the ground up.

Microsoft declined to comment to Bloomberg. If this rumored $400 Surface indeed exists, there's a decent chance it's as a toehold for slipping Microsoft services into educational markets, battling the threat of the aforementioned iPad and Chromebook tablets. It will be interesting to see whether Microsoft launch such device or not.

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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. During that same period, Microsoft saw $4.4 billion in sales from its entire Surface hardware business. According to IDC market research, Apple sold about 9.1 million iPads in the first quarter of 2018.

The biggest question about these new Surface devices is why.

Current Surface Pro devices start at $799. Microsoft, which hasn't finalized its plans, is expected to price the cheapest versions of the new device at about $400.

For now, those who wish to receive more information when it's available can sign up at the Microsoft Surface Hub 2 product page. It's likely, however, that it will come with Windows 10 S, which gives users the Windows 10 feel and numerous same features, but only allows apps obtained from the Microsoft Store.