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

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Surface Tablets may finally become cheaper with Microsoft expected to compete against the entry-level Apple iPads. Maybe not for long, though, as a new "line of lower-cost Surface tablets" is reportedly in the works.

Bloomberg says that the reason this is happening is because earlier this year, Apple released a new lower-cost iPad with an emphasis on education.

The new Surface tablets are said to feature a 10-inch display, rounded edges like an iPad, USB-C connectivity, and a new charging and syncing standard. According to the report, the new Surfaces should start at around $400 without accessories like a keyboard, which is $99 cheaper than the 2015 Surface 3. While we have mentioned above that these Surface tablets might feature SoCs from Qualcomm, Bloomberg reports that Intel is going to be the main supplier, but there were no details concerning which chips are going to be present in them. Like the Surface Pro, these models won't be bundled with the company's keyboard cover.

The current generation devices are significantly more expensive than iPads, and none of the Surface devices has managed to sell in significant amounts to make an impact on the tablet market.

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The tablets are expected to be about 20 percent lighter than the high-end models but will have around four hours fewer when it comes to battery life.

If Microsoft is trying to crawl out of the grave this fall and finally get on IDC's tablet charts for the first time in its history, surely Microsoft must have much more up its sleeve to shake up the market. But the compact design and modest price tag indicate that the line is designed for less demanding applications than the Surface Pro, which is favored by enterprise users.

There will be versions with 64 and 128 GB of storage, and models that connect to LTE cellular networks. It will continue to have the kickstand for upright typing and watching video. Is getting Windows into more classrooms worth the Surface name being associated with a line of underpowered tablets?

The new line will be part of a growing ecosystem of Microsoft hardware products that, beyond the tablets, includes the Surface Laptop, Surface Book laptop with a detachable screen, and the Surface Studio desktop computer.

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