MICROSOFT IS REPORTEDLY gearing up to launch a new line of smaller, cheaper Surface devices as part of a renewed effort to take on Apple's iPad.
Despite recent rumours that the company was planning to rid of its bork-ridden Surface lineup, Bloomberg reports that Microsoft is working on a range of $400 (around £295) tablet devices in a bid to better rival the iPad in the education market.
Citing "people familiar with the matter", the report claims that the incoming, as-yet-unnamed devices will sport 10in screens rather than the 12in displays currently found on the firm's Surface Pro, rounded corners similar to those seen on Apple's iPad, a kickstand and a USB-C port for charging.
The new models will be around 20 per cent lighter than the current Surface Pro, according to Bloomberg, although that comes at the expense of the battery, with the new Surface tablets expected to offer 30 per cent less juice than Microsoft's higher-end models.
Elsewhere under the hood, the new Surface devices are expected to pack an Intel CPU and either 64GB or 128GB built-in storage, with Microsoft also planning an LTE-enabled model. The tablets will run Windows 10 Pro out of the box, although there's no word as to whether S Mode will be enabled by default. It's likely, though, given the budget nature of the devices.
Unfortunately, like Microsoft's higher-end Surface devices, the new models won't ship with a keyboard or stylus in the box. However, the company is said to be working on new, cheaper versions of its keyboard cover, stylus, and mouse to accompany incoming new Surface tablets.
Bloomberg doesn't say when the new Surface tablets are likely to make an official appearance, and Microsoft refused to comment on the rumours. µ
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