Microsoft Preps Rival to Apple's iPad

Microsoft Preps Rival to Apple's iPad
A new $400 Surface tablet is planned for release in the second half of the year.

(CCM) — Microsoft is putting the finishing touches on a low-cost Surface tablet to compete head-on with Apple's iPad, according to a Bloomberg report. The new device could be ready to hit the market as soon as the second half of 2018.

The Surface tablet will feature a 10-inch screen, which is similar to Apple's iPad and smaller than Microsoft's Surface Pro laptop range. They will be priced at about $400 and will include a USB-C port for syncing and charging. One of the major critisisms leveled at Microsoft in the past is that its hardware has lacked USB-C connectivity.

Microsoft's current Surface Pro tablets offer around 13.5 hours of battery life, but the new tablets will last just ten hours. They are expected to be about 20 percent lighter, however, reflecting their smaller batteries.

This is the second time Microsoft has attempted to enter the low-cost tablet market, following on from its Surface RT tablet which it released to poor reviews in 2012.

Apple's iPad business generated revenues of almost $20 billion in the last year through sales of over 40 million iPads, according to Bloomberg. Microsoft's entire Surface hardware division made just $4.4 billion in sales during the same period.

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