Microsoft to launch low-priced Surface tablets to rival Apple iPad

Microsoft to launch low-priced Surface tablets to rival Apple iPad

Microsoft is planning to release a number of lower-cost Surface tablets in a bid to take on the Apple iPad in the market for tablet computers.

Microsoft's current range of Surface tablet convertible devices concentrate on the premium end of the market. Additionally, the report says the devices will be 20 percent lighter than a Surface Pro.

Microsoft is said to be exploring the possibility of selling the new Surface at $400 (RM1600), roughly half the price it's now asking for the Surface line. For your reference, the Surface Pro can last up to 13 hours on a single charge.

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. To go along with the lower-cost device, Microsoft is preparing less-expensive versions of its keyboard cover, stylus and mouse, the people said. Since then, Microsoft has positioned its Surface devices for the business and professional markets.

Microsoft Surface tablet series Apple iPad global tablet PC market iPad models Surface Pro Microsoft tablet PCs iPad Pro Windows 10 Pro
Apple sold about 44 million iPads that generated almost $20 billion in revenue during the past four quarters

The new device is said to sport a 10-inch screen, putting it in direct competition with Apple's lower-priced iPad. The current Surface Pro starts at £799 (US$799) for the Intel Core m3 model with HD Graphics 615, 4GB of RAM, and 128GB SSD.

Microsoft has dabbled with more affordable tablets in the past.

Further features of the rumored hardware include optional LTE support and the classic Surface kickstand. The vendor ended up booking a US$900 million "inventory adjustment" for Surface RT, which ran an pared-back version of the Windows 8 operating system.

Earlier this week, Microsoft unveiled its next-generation conference room display called the Surface Hub 2. That would put the new Surface tablets at around nine hours of battery life - not bad, but hardly stellar. For reference, iPad features a 9.7-inch display while iPad Pro is available in two screen variants with a 10.5-inch screen and a larger 12.9-inch screen.

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