Microsoft is reportedly working on new Surface Pro tablets on a budget, aiming to compete against Apple's cheaper iPad.
The new line will reportedly consist of smaller tablets and a redesign would make them look more like iPads, with rounded corners rather than the rectangular form factor of current Surface tablets.
The news comes from Bloomberg, which reports that Microsoft would price this new line of Surface tablets at roughly $400. The new slates are expected sometime in the second half of this year, notes the publication.
Apple vs Microsoft Tablets
Apple and Microsoft are competing on the tablet market with their iPads and Surface tablets, respectively. However, Apple gained a competitive edge recently when it launched the $329 iPad.
Microsoft's current tablets are more expensive, and the purported redesigned Surface line would target customers who find the Surface Pro too expensive or too much for their needs.
Cheaper Microsoft Surface Tablets
Even at $400, the new Surface line would still be more expensive than the $329 iPad, but it would allow Microsoft to better compete with Apple on this front. The upcoming Surface tablets will reportedly be the first to sport USB Type-C ports and will come in 64 GB and 18 GB storage options.
The tablets will reportedly feature 10-inch displays rather than 12-inch, and they will also come in Wi-Fi + Cellular options for those who want LTE internet access on the go.
Moreover, Bloomberg also notes that Microsoft will make its new Surface tablets 20 percent lighter than the Surface Pro, but will mean cutting a few corners to make it.
Battery life will likely take a hit, lasting roughly four hours less than the Surface Pro, Bloomberg adds. The publication doesn't have additional information regarding the specifications of the new Surface line, but its sources say that the CPU and GPU will come from Intel.
Just like the current Surface models, the low-cost options will still run the full-fledged Windows 10 Pro, albeit it remains to be seen whether they will enable the S Mode by default. The new models will also come with a kickstand like existing models.
Microsoft has yet to comment on the matter, so it's all in the rumor state for now. As always in such cases, it's best to take all leaks, rumors, and reports with a hefty grain of salt until an official announcement is made.
If Microsoft does indeed plan to launch the tablets in the second half of this year, it should make a formal announcement soon enough. We'll keep you updated as soon as we learn more.