Published: Thu, May 17, 2018
Science | By Cecil Little

How Microsoft's cheaper Surface tablet can beat the iPad

How Microsoft's cheaper Surface tablet can beat the iPad

New information has come out that Microsoft plans to get serious about the low-priced tablet market and is scheduled to release a $400 device during the second half of this year.

A Bloomberg report says Microsoft will be making a US$400 tablet that will look similar to the iPad with a 10-inch display and rounded corners. Similarly, my observations in schools, particularly secondary and beyond, is that iPads are no longer the flavour of the month with Surface Pro and similar devices also favoured. That's compared with the $799 starting price of Microsoft's flagship Surface Pro tablet. The new devices are also set to include smaller storage options and USB-C connectivity. The current Surface Pro can last 13.5 hours on a single charge, according to Microsoft.

Microsoft's Surface tablets, which run a full version of Windows, are excellent computers.

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Peter Wootton, a spokesman for Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft, declined to comment. The tablets will feature kickstand for typing and be watching the video and it will run on Windows 10 Pro.

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

Surface revenue slumped 2%, which commentators claims is a result of the comparatively ageing Surface Pro line.

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Microsoft receives a lot of criticism these days for its increased focus on the cloud and business customers, but it seems that the company remains very interested in the consumer market. But the Surface tablets haven't seen a proper upgrade in several years.

The new tablets will come loaded with 10-inch screens, which is same as found in standard iPad. The new giant conference room board Surface Hub 2 is due for 2019, and it will use a 50.5-inch multi-touch display and a 4K+ resolution. Microsoft's entire Surface hardware division made just $4.4 billion in sales during the same period. Microsoft is planning multiple models, including versions with 64 and 128 GB and models that can connect to LTE networks.

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