Microsoft is reportedly working on a line of low-cost Surface tablets that could be launched by the end of this year. They will apparently be priced at $400 onwards, and compete with ‘cheaper devices’ like the standard iPad, according to Bloomberg. The current Surface Pro lineup is largely geared towards professionals, and starts at $799, which means they are relatively niche devices that are still largely avoided by retail consumers for the most part.
Citing ‘people familiar with the matter,’ the report further states that the upcoming devices will come with moderate specifications as compared to the current lineup. According to Bloomberg, they will all feature 10-inch screens, and be roughly 20 percent lighter than current high-end models. Unfortunately though, as a trade-off for better portability, they will have lower battery-life as compared to the existing devices.
While most of the tech specs are still under the wraps, the report claims that Microsoft is planning to offer multiple storage options with the upcoming devices, including 64GB and 128GB options. They will also reportedly support LTE, offer USB Type-C connectivity, and have the trademark kickstand for upright typing and watching video, just like the current devices. As you’d expect, they will also run Windows 10 Pro out-of-the-box.
Interestingly, Bloomberg feels that the upcoming Surface devices will be tailored mostly towards the US education sector, which is currently dominated by Chromebooks that make up nearly 60 percent of all computer purchases by US schools. The report also states that Microsoft is preparing cheaper versions of its type cover, stylus, and Surface-branded mouse to go along with the cheaper tablets.