As Microsoft looks to battle Apple in the tablet market, reports indicate that the tech giant is working on a new version of their Surface tablet. These particular models will be smaller, lighter, and cheaper in an effort to compete with the extremely popular iPad tablets. Here are some more details about the Surface Pro tablets that Microsoft is currently in the process of building.
On Wednesday, Bloomberg reported that Microsoft Corp. is developing tablets with 10-inch screens, which are smaller when compared to the Surface Pro laptop models with 12-inch screens. The new Surface tablets will also include a USB-C connection which has never been used before on the Surface. In addition, they’ll have rounded edges rather than the squared-off edges that the current Surfaces feature.
The processor and graphics chip inside will come from Intel Corp. with the newest tablets expected to be 20 percent lighter. However, one of the early drawbacks to the tablet being less expensive and not as heavy will be the battery life. It’s been estimated at four hours less than the higher-end Surface tablets. Bloomberg indicates a $400 starting price for the new tablets slated for later in 2018. That is favorably cheaper than the $799 starting price for the high-end Surface Pro models geared towards professionals.
In 2012, Microsoft released their first attempt at the market with the Surface RT selling for just $499. However, those tablets didn’t seem to get much attention from consumers. The Surface Pro tablet was a hit for Microsoft, though, as it was geared towards professionals looking to get more power and productivity in something that wasn’t as bulky or heavy as a laptop. Apple responded by launching their iPad Pro tablets in 2015.
Microsoft’s main goal here is to introduce a tablet that will generate more sales than their previous models have. Most tablet makers are losing the game to Apple which sold about 44 million of their iPads in the past four quarters. That resulted in $20 billion in revenue compared to just $4.4 billion made from Microsoft for their Surface hardware sales. Expect to see the new cheaper and smaller Surface tablets sometime in the second half of 2018.