Is Microsoft planning a $400 Surface tablet?

Is Microsoft planning a $400 Surface tablet?

Is Microsoft planning a $400 Surface tablet?

The current Surface Pro can last 13.5 hours on a single charge, according to Microsoft.

As Bloomberg reports, Microsoft's re-entry into the entry-level tablet market may be an attempt to shore up declining sales in the Surface line by attracting a new audience to its hardware.

"Apple's 10.5" iPad Pro with 64GB now sells at $649 with a Smart Keyboard cover and Microsoft will reportedly introduce a 10" Surface tablet at $400 for 64GB without a keyboard cover and likely $549 with it. At $400, Microsoft's entry would run $70 more than the budget iPad's starting price, but would still run considerably less than the $799 Surface Pro.

Bloomberg's sources say that Intel will be providing both the processor and graphics chips, and indicate that the Surface will be 20 percent lighter than its big brother.

Although Microsoft has yet to have a blowout success with the Surface, interest in the devices has sparked in recent months, with Surface revenue growing 32% in the most recent quarter. This is further supported by the fact that the upcoming models' battery life will reportedly be about four hours shorter than their pricier counterpart.

With the smaller, thinner construction with rounded corners as well as the more affordable price, it's clear that this model is meant to be a direct competitor to the more-popular iPad.

The report doesn't specify which operating system Microsoft will choose to power the tablet. To go along with the lower-cost device, Microsoft is preparing less-expensive versions of its keyboard cover, stylus and mouse, the people said.

The devices should create additional competition for Apple Inc.'s base iPad editions, which start at $329. The current keyboard cover costs an extra United States dollars 160; the new keyboard will go for a bit lower. Microsoft is said to be planning 64GB and 128GB models, and all configurations will run Windows 10 Pro. These were more fully fledged PCs in a tablet format, and while there is a market for those devices, the market is much smaller than those who are just looking for something to watch a video or casually browse the internet on.

The new Surface tablets will debut in 2H18. The company stopped making it at the end of 2016.

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