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(Pocket-lint) - Microsoft wants to make a much cheaper line of Surface tablets.

The company apparently wants to better compete with Apple's more budget-friendly iPad models, so it is completely rethinking Surface devices and plans to redesign them with 10-inch screens, rather than 12-inch screens like the one found on the Surface Pro, and it will give them more rounded corners, according to Bloomberg.

The upcoming devices will also feature USB-C for charging. But the most significant change is that they'll be priced at $400 (about £295), making them comparable to Apple’s low-end tablets and many Chromebook models. The cheapest version of the current-generation Surface Pro starts at $799, while the 9.7-inch iPad costs $329.

Bloomberg also claimed that the new models will be about 20-per cent lighter than the latest Surface Pro. A side effect of that, however, is that Microsoft's low-cost Surface device will offer around four hours less of battery life. Other rumoured features include Intel processors and graphics and the full version of Windows 10 Pro.

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Finally, some models will offer LTE connectivity, which the company also offers on the full-size Surface Pro, and the Surface kickstand will remain, too. Although we shouldn't expect a keyboard or stylus to come in the box, Microsoft is reportedly developing cheaper versions of its keyboard cover, stylus, and mouse.

Microsoft is planning to release its affordable Surface tablets as soon as the second half of 2018.

Writing by Elyse Betters. Originally published on 16 May 2018.