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

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Not wanting to be outdone by Apple, Microsoft is reportedly planning to release a low-priced Surface tablet later this year. The 10-inch device will have rounded corners like an iPad, plus USB-C connectivity - a first for a Surface device - and new charging and syncing technology.

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). Cupertino-based Apple sold about 44 million iPads that generated nearly $20 billion in revenue during the past four quarters.

It's worth noting that this isn't Microsoft's first attempt at creating a more affordable Surface tablet.

Based on what Microsoft has revealed so far, the Microsoft Surface Hub 2 will come in with a 50.5inch screen with 4k resolution.

Microsoft shares are down 0.3% to $97.04.

Rather than simply giving us a downgraded version of the Pro, the new cheaper Surface tablet is being redesigned from the ground up. However, Mircosoft is said to be working on newer and less expensive versions.

Microsoft declined to comment on the rumors of a cheaper Surface model, Bloomberg said. Over time, Microsoft offered better hardware each year and had turned them into premium computing devices. This announcement is more than a heads up for businesses it is also a statement that makes clear Microsoft's powerful Windows 10 software.

The Surface tablet will feature a 10-inch screen, which is similar to Apple's iPad and smaller than Microsoft's Surface Pro laptop range. For Microsoft, it would be a mountain task to bring back the already dying Windows platform to the tablets. However, Bloomberg claims that they should cost a bit less than the current Surface Pro keyboard.

The cheapest version sounds like it will start at $400 without a keyboard cover or stylus, and with 64GB of internal storage. Like previous Surface tablets, it will feature an integrated kickstand.