A new report suggests Microsoft is working on a line of low-cost Surface tablets for release later this year. According to Bloomberg, the company is looking to steal part of the market from Apple with $400, 10″ tablets.
Unlike the Surface Pro line, they won't be aimed at professionals. However, this also means they'll be 20% lighter than higher-end models, with USB-C support and rounded edges.
Interestingly, Bloomberg says the devices will ship with Intel processors rather than ARM. Microsoft has been pushing its Windows 10 ARM platform in recent times, espousing the battery advantages of mobile processors that emulate regular desktop apps.
Accessories Not Included
In fact, reports suggest the battery life of these tablets will be significantly shorter than the current Surface line. Their smaller 10″ form factor means 4 hours less, down to about 9.5 hours. That's still a considerable length for a tablet, but the lack of ARM still seems strange. Windows Central's Zac Bowden says he's been hearing of 10″ ARM tablets in testing, so it's still a possibility.
Regardless of which is correct, Bloomberg says the devices won't be bundled with a keyboard cover. However, it seems Microsoft will release a less-expensive keyboard, stylus, and mouse for those on a budget.
Naturally, $400 will be the base price, with 64GB, 128GB, and LTE models. All three will keep the integrated kickstands found in higher models for easy movie watching and typing. Other specifications of the devices aren't clear, though they will also use Intel graphics chips.
In general, Surface fans will be excited about the report, but also cautious. It isn't the first time Microsoft has released such a device, the Surface 3 launching in 2015 before being discontinued a year later. If the reports are to believed, the company has made some interesting hardware and design choices this time around. Here's hoping they won't follow the path of their predecessor.