Bloomberg reports that Microsoft is going to release a $400, 10-inch, Intel-powered Surface tablet in the second half of the year, in a renewed effort to take on the iPad.
This represents a return to a strategy the company has tried before. The original ARM Surface RT and Surface 2, and the Intel-equipped Surface 3, were all attempts to offer a low(ish) priced tablet operating in the same approximate market as the iPad.
The problem with Surface Pro is the price: the current generation Surface Pro starts at $799. This makes it a hard sell for markets such as education, where it’s going up against systems such as Apple’s new $329 iPad (sold to schools for $299), and various Chromebooks running Google’s Chrome OS.
Bloomberg writes that the new tablet will break from the Surface line’s square styling, instead having a more rounded look, and will use USB Type-C—not the proprietary Surface Connect port—for its charging and syncing. Weight will be around 20 percent less than the current Pros, with battery life of around 9-10 hours. Storage sizes of 64 and 128GB are planned, as is a version with LTE connectivity.