Microsoft Corp is going for the low-end of the personal computing market with a smaller, cheaper Surface Go tablet that takes on Apple Inc’s cheapest iPads.
The Surface Go has a 10-inch screen, about the same size as the entry-level iPad.
At US$399, the device is US$400 cheaper than the Surface Pro tablet, but has slower Intel Corp processors and about four hours less battery time, Microsoft said.
The new tablet weighs 522g, far lighter than other Surface products. It goes on sale on Aug. 2 with Wi-Fi connectivity. Cellular versions are to come later.
Like Microsoft’s earlier devices, the Surface Go is to work with optional keyboards and mouses.
The company on Monday announced cheaper versions of both accessories.
For the first time on Microsoft hardware, the Go is to use the USB-C charging standard.
The new tablets come in multiple configurations, including 64GB, 128GB and 256GB storage options and 4GB or 8GB of RAM. Prices range from US$399 to more than US$549.
The sub-US$400 price point is key for Microsoft as it tries to turn its Surface business into a more serious challenger to other computer hardware makers.
Cheaper devices can attract students who get comfortable with the technology and spread it to the workplace after they graduate.
That strategy has helped Apple, which unveiled a US$299 iPad earlier this year for schools.
Alphabet Inc’s Google has also seen some success with its low-cost Chromebook laptops.
The Surface Go is still more expensive than the cheapest iPad, but the Go tablet is compatible with professional features, such as the detachable keyboard, that are missing on the entry-level iPad.
Microsoft in 2015 released a US$499 Surface 3 tablet, but discontinued the product in 2016.
The software giant launched its consumer hardware push in 2012 with the launch of the Surface RT. These tablets did not resonate with consumers, so the company focused more on pricier Pro models.
So far, Microsoft has struggled to make a hit Surface product. The business generated US$4.4 billion in revenue in the past four quarters.
Apple sold US$20 billion of iPads in the same period.
POOR INTERNAL CONTROLS: Insurance Bureau Director-General Shih Chiung-hwa said the company is expected to get back on track while its chairman is suspended The Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) yesterday fined Shin Kong Life Insurance Co (新光人壽) NT$27.6 million (US$939,415) for a reckless investment that endangered its solvency, and suspended its chairman Eugene Wu (吳東進) for poor supervision. The penalty is the second-highest in a single case after Nan Shan Life Insurance Co (南山人壽) was fined NT$30 million in September last year and its chairman Du Ying-tzyong (杜英宗) suspended for two years, the commission said. In three rounds of special and regular examinations conducted since last year, the commission found that Shin Kong Life had given too much power to an asset and liability management committee
Sony Corp has cut its estimated Play Station 5 (PS5) production for this fiscal year by 4 million units, down to about 11 million, following production issues with its custom-designed system-on-chip (SOC) for the new console, people familiar with the matter said. The Tokyo-based electronics giant in July boosted orders with suppliers in anticipation of heightened demand for gaming in the holiday season and beyond, as people spend more time at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the company has come up against manufacturing issues, such as production yields as low as 50 percent for its SOC, which have cut into
HEAVY INVESTMENT: Moody’s affirmed the firm’s ‘Aa3’ rating with a ‘stable’ outlook due to its leading position in the industry and ability to match customer requirements Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co’s (TSMC, 台積電) revenue this year is expected to increase about 21 percent to NT$1.29 trillion (US$44.01 billion) from NT$1.07 trillion last year, driven by strong demand for advanced 5-nanometer and 7-nanometer chips mainly used in smartphones and high-performance computing devices, a Moody’s Investors Service report on Wednesday said. TSMC’s rate of revenue growth next year is to increase to 7.5 percent, the ratings agency said. The company, which supplies 5-nanometer chips for Apple Inc’s new iPad series, has introduced the advanced chips ahead of its competitors and gained a significant share of the market for the foundry industry’s
O2O BICYCLE SHOW: The Taiwan Bicycle Show next year is to be online to offline, with forums, audio-visual conferences and livestreaming of the offline events Local bicycle makers expect demand to continue outpacing supply due to orders triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, with some companies seeing orders back up through next year. “Next year is all full in terms of orders. Our lead time on components is one year,” Giant Manufacturing Co Ltd (巨大機械) chairwoman Bonnie Tu (杜綉珍) told a news conference in Taipei organized by the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) to announce next year’s Taipei Cycle Show. The pandemic has reduced bicycle supplies and increased demand around the world, Robert Wu (吳盈進), chairman of KMC (Kuei Meng) International Inc (桂盟國際), one of the world’s