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Microsoft reportedly working on $400 Surface tablets to compete with the iPad

Microsoft is working on a new line of budget Surface tablets to better compete with Apples low-cost iPad options, according to a report from Bloomberg. According to the report, the new Surface tablets wont just be smaller, cheaper Surface Pros. Rather, Microsoft is said to be completely redesigning the devices, with 10-inch screens instead of the 12-inch size currently found on the Surface Pro, rounded corners that more resemble an iPad than the more rectangular Surface design, and USB-C for charging. Most importantly, priced at $400, they will be more in line with Apples cheaper tablets, too. Bloomberg also claims that the new models will be around 20 percent lighter than the current Surface Pro, although that reduced weight comes at the cost of around four hours fewer of battery life. Like the full-size Surface, the new budget Surface computer will feature Intel processors and graphics, and run the full version of Windows 10 Pro. (No word on whether or not S Mode will be enabled by default, which may make sense given the budget nature of the device.) And like the iPad, Microsoft is said to be planning on models that offer LTE connectivity, which the company finally brought to the full-size Surface Pro earlier this year. The iconic Surface kickstand is also said to be sticking around, although the new models wont come with a keyboard or stylus in the box. Microsoft is apparently working on new, cheaper versions of the keyboard cover, stylus, and mouse to accompany the new Surface tablets; the current model costs an extra $159. The cheapest version of the current generation Surface Pro starts at $799, compared to the base model 9.7-inch iPad that (while not a comparable device spec-wise) costs just a fraction of that price tag at $329. The new budget Surface models wont be Microsofts first attempt to make a cheaper Surface tablet. Past years have seen models like the $499 Surface RT, Surface 2, and Surface 3 models, but the lineup was never able to achieve the same success as the more powerful Surface Pro versions, and Microsoft eventually discontinued the Surface 3 back in 2016.

Microsoft may release a lower-cost Surface tablet this year

It'll have a 10-inch screen and an available 128GB of storage. Microsoft will try making another inexpensive tablet. Redmond is rumored to launch a new, cheaper slate to compete with the iPad this year, according to Bloomberg's sources. Like Apple's tablet, the device will have rounded corners and a 10-inch screen, along with a kickstand and a USB C port for charging and syncing. It'll cost around $400, or half that of a Surface Pro. Configurations may include 64GB of storage and 128GB of storage, in addition to models with built-in LTE, and there will apparently be a new, lower-priced keyboard cover available as well. In terms of graphics and processors, Intel is on tap to supply both. Versus the current Surface Pro lineup, it's expected that the new lower cost model will weigh less (by 20 percent) and also have shorter battery life (by four hours). The kicker here is that the new lower-cost unit will apparently run Windows 10 Pro -- not Windows 10 S or a different OS like the Surface RT did. The Surface RT never really took off because of its software limitations. At one point, Microsoft gave away 10,000 of them to educators, before dropping the price to $200 for schools. Of course, the $500 Surface 3 exists, but that's three years old by this point. Based on the leaked details, regardless of whatever Microsoft ends up calling this, it could be a perfect fit for a lot of people. iOS isn't without its share of issues, and current Surface Books start at around double the rumored price.