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Microsoft may release a lower-cost Surface tablet this year

Microsoft may release a lower-cost Surface tablet this year

According to a Bloomberg report the upcoming device features a complete redesign, including rounded corners to differentiate it from the Surface Pro.

The plan would mark Microsoft's first attempt to attack the lower end of the market following its failed attempt in 2013 with the Surface RT.

Microsoft looks poised to launch a new line of Surface devices with smaller screens and lower price tags. I think the target market of students and schools is correct, but some perceived threat from iPads isn't the reason that Microsoft is launching a cheaper device: It's all about Chromebooks. On top of being more affordable, the publication's sources said the new devices will also significantly differ in design. That compares with 9.1 million iPads sold in the same period. The iPad has morphed from a big glass slab for watching YouTube videos into a productivity powerhouse, with the current iPad Pro line arguably taking many of its cues (pen input, keyboard accessories, flagship apps based on content creation) from the Surface Pro. Sources say it will cost around $400 and will be accompanied by more affordable versions of Microsoft's official Surface keyboard cover, mouse, and stylus.




The Surface lineup of devices has seen multiple changes since the first Surface came out in 2012. The current keyboard cover costs an extra Dollars 160; the new keyboard will go for a bit lower. The company is planning on releasing a revamped iPad Pro this year with iPhone X features such as facial recognition, Bloomberg News reported last year. It's unclear if Windows 10's "S Mode" will be enabled by default with the tablet, though this makes sense given it's reportedly being positioned as a budget device. It's also possible the company might change its mind at the last moment, like it did with the aborted Surface Mini debut in 2014, and this whole rumor ends up being meaningless.

A range of cheaper Surface models could start at $400 and could hit the shelves as soon as the second half of 2018.


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