Microsoft reportedly planning cheaper Surface tablets to compete against $329 iPad

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The new cheaper Surfaces could likewise appeal to students and teachers, and to schools that buy less-expensive devices in bulk. The software giant kicked off its consumer-oriented hardware push in 2012 with the launch of the original Surface RT.

Since 2015, Apple has rapidly added new productivity tools to the iPads, taking on Microsoft features like integration with digital drawing pens and using multiple apps at the same time.

I had heard several weeks ago that Microsoft was indeed prototyping a new 10-inch Surface internally, but my sources had suggested said hardware would be powered by an ARM processor.

The software giant is planning to release a new line of low-priced Surface tablets as early as the second half of 2018, Bloomberg reports. It will have a 10-inch display, and it won't resemble the look of the traditional Surface devices. The report claims that the tablet will have more rounded edges to make it easier to hold as tablets are more likely to be used in the hand rather being placed on a stand.

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Of course, along with a new Surface come updated accessories, and the new 10-inch form factor will see updates to the Surface keyboards, stylus and mouse at this size. I assume there's a reason behind going with Intel, however.

Regardless, many have been hoping Microsoft would release a new non-pro Surface at some point, as this line of Surface devices are far more affordable and approachable to the masses. Interestingly, the tablet will be priced around $400.

One of my contacts said that Microsoft is planning to announce at least one new low-end Surface device in July 2018. Microsoft is also planning to sell Wi-Fi only models along with Wi-Fi and LTE variants. It appears that the Microsoft's Surface-branded tablet will compete with this model. Like Microsoft's other devices, it will run Windows 10 Pro.