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16 May 2018, 05:15 | Brandon Parsons
The 2015 Surface 13 is Microsoft’s last 10-inch Surface model
The $400 Surface tablet will feature a 10-inch display, which is considerably smaller than the 12.5-inch display on the current Surface Pro.
Microsoft is preparing to launch a new line of lower-cost Surface tablets in an effort to challenge Apple's iPad, and could have the tablets on sale by the second half of the year, according to a report from Bloomberg. According to the sources, Microsoft is planning to target the sub $500 market which is now dominated by Apple iPads.
Significantly lighter than the latest Pro generation, the new unnamed budget-friendly Surface is also expected to lose quite a bit of battery life while still packing Intel processing power and graphics muscle. Microsoft took its first tepid steps to USB-C with the Surface Book 2, which was released last Fall.
There will be versions with 64 and 128 GB of storage, and models that connect to LTE cellular networks. This makes them closer to "real PCs" than an iPad's technical specs, and can run "normal" Windows apps - Microsoft sells a keyboard cover and stylus accessory separately.
The Bloomberg report doesn't specify this, but it's likely that the new Surface is aimed at the cost-conscious education market. While iPad sales have shown some signs of slowing down, Bloomberg said Apple still sold around 44 million iPads, and brought in almost $20 billion in sales from the tablets, over the last four business quarters.
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