Microsoft reportedly planning low-priced Surface tablets to compete with iPad

Bloomberg: Microsoft plans lower-cost Surface tablets to battle Apple

Microsoft plans to take on iPad with low-cost Surface tablets

The biggest question about these new Surface devices is why.

Microsoft previously released the $499 Surface RT in 2012 to limited success before switching to the Surface Pro line.

Since 2015, Apple has rapidly added new productivity tools to the iPads, taking on Microsoft features like integration with digital drawing pens and using multiple apps at the same time. Selling a cheap Surface is a risky game however, as it's probably unwise for Microsoft to try and undercut its partners when it comes to Windows hardware.

Bloomberg: Microsoft plans lower-cost Surface tablets to battle Apple

The 2015 Surface 13 is Microsoft's last 10-inch Surface model.

Microsoft hasn't really refreshed the design of its Surface tablets since the 2014 Surface Pro 3, so it will be interesting to see Panos Panay's team can out-innovate Apple's popular but slightly dated iPad design. It will have a 10-inch display, and it won't resemble the look of the traditional Surface devices. It will also have a USB-C port for charging and data transfer and that's it; there will not be any other ports because tablets are more like smartphones and not laptops. While it makes more sense for Microsoft to go with ARM processors but for some reason, Microsoft is sticking with Intel processors. The products are expected to debut later this year. The smaller size means that these models will have smaller battery, and Bloomberg expects a four hours difference compared to the Surface Pro.

Apple launched a new version of the $329 iPad in March, with a faster processor and Apple Pencil stylus support. Needless to say, it will be a good addition to the large portfolio of Surface devices and it would be the most affordable Surface-branded device with Windows 10. Interestingly, the tablet will be priced around $400. As always, there will also be 64GB or 128GB variants, along with an LTE model for cellular connectivity too.

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