The only tablets that have got a good response from the customers were Apple’s iPads. There are a lot of low cost and premium tablets from manufacturers which are powered by Android but you couldn’t be productive with Android tablets. Microsoft’s Surface Pro lineup, on the other hand, was well received but those devices were expensive and more of a laptop replacement device than a standalone tablet. The market condition is more or less like ‘if it’s not an iPad, it won’t sell’.
This is the reason why we are not seeing any manufacturers daring enough to sell low-cost Windows tablets. Microsoft’s Surface devices were always meant to be a reference for other manufacturers to follow. So if Microsoft makes and sells a low-cost Surface tablet powered by Windows 10, then the manufacturers would have the confidence to invest in tablets powered by Windows 10.
Back in 2012, Microsoft launched the Surface RT at 499$ which didn’t sell well because it ran Windows RT. Microsoft then resorted to its Surface Pro lineup which was expensive but still managed to grab a lot of attention. It was the perfect 2-in-1 device. But Microsoft doesn’t have any device which can compete with the 10-inch Apple iPad.
The good news is that Microsoft is finally planning to launch low-cost Windows 10 tablets under the Surface brand. 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. It will also have a USB-C port for charging and data transfer and that’s it; there will not be any other ports because tablets are more like smartphones and not laptops.
Intel will be reportedly supplying processors and graphics cards for the rumoured Surface Tablet, and we wouldn’t see Windows 10 on ARM in this device. While it makes more sense for Microsoft to go with ARM processors but for some reason, Microsoft is sticking with Intel processors.
We can expect it to have the Surface Pen support along with the kickstand for the ultimate productivity. Microsoft is also working on cheaper Surface Pen, keyboard cover, and mouse.
The tablet will be available in 64GB and 128GB storage variants. Microsoft is also planning to sell Wi-Fi only models along with Wi-Fi and LTE variants. It will be powered by Windows 10 Pro probably with an S mode which locks you to Microsoft Store apps.
Apple recently launched a 2018 iPad model for just $329. It appears that the Microsoft’s Surface-branded tablet will compete with this model. Interestingly, the tablet will be priced around $400. Needless to say, it will be a good addition to the large portfolio of Surface devices and it would be the most affordable Surface-branded device with Windows 10.