Microsoft to launch smaller, low-priced Surface devices

Microsoft to launch smaller, low-priced Surface devices

Microsoft to launch smaller, low-priced Surface devices

On May 16, Bloomberg reported that Microsoft is aiming to release Surface tablets priced at $400 in the second half of 2018. 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. In reality, though, people don't upgrade their tablet as often as their smartphone, so it's hard to figure out how many active devices each company has on the market. They'll also reportedly charge via USB-C, which is excellent news for everyone, since Microsoft's proprietary charger is notoriously unreliable.

On a positive note, the changes are said to enable the Surface to drop in both weight and pricing.

The new Surface tablets definitely sound like they'll fit in well in an education environment. I've heard conflicting things as to whether Microsoft plans to brand these as Surface Pro devices or use another new Surface brand.

There will be versions with 64 and 128 GB of storage, and models that connect to LTE cellular networks.

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Current Surface tablets run full versions of Windows and start at an eye-popping $799.

Peter Wootton, a spokesman for Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft, declined to comment.

According to a Bloomberg report the upcoming device features a complete redesign, including rounded corners to differentiate it from the Surface Pro. Features that can enhance learning experiences could help Microsoft see more Surface tablets being used in classrooms. To go along with the lower-cost device, Microsoft is preparing less-expensive versions of its keyboard cover, stylus and mouse, the people said.

Microsoft scrapped the Surface RT lineup as a result of lackluster sales and disappointing reviews, and chose to focus on its high-end devices instead. Why is Microsoft trying again, after its failure and subsequent $900 million write-down with Surface RT devices, to attack the low-end PC/tablet market? Apple launched its first iPad Pro in 2015. It's also possible the company might change its mind at the last moment, like it did with the aborted Surface Mini debut in 2014, and this whole rumor ends up being meaningless.

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