Microsoft announces cheaper Surface Go tablet

Microsoft is entering the lower bracket of the personal computing market by launching a relatively small, cheap $399 (£301.80) Surface Go tablet that competes with Apple’s most affordable iPads.

The Surface Go comes with a 10-inch screen and sells for about half the price of the present Surface Pro. In return, owners will have to live with around four hours less battery power and slower Intel processors. At only 1.15 lbs, the new Surface Pro weighs much less than the current Surface models. A wi-fi version will be available on 2 August, and a cellular option will follow later.

Like earlier Microsoft devices, the new Surface Go will be able to accommodate an optional mouse and keyboard, and the firm announced reduced-price versions of both this week.

The new tablets will be the first to use the USB-C standard for charging. They will come with the following storage options: 64, 128, and 256GB. RAM will be either 4GB or 8GB. Prices depend on specifications.

The reduced price is vital for Microsoft at a time when it wants its Surface products to compete with other computer manufacturers’ devices. The new Surface could, for example, appeal to students, and once they are at work, they might upgrade to a more expensive model. This strategy has worked well for Google with its Chromebook, and Apple with its cheaper iPad.

The Surface Go still costs more than the entry-level iPad, but it offers a detachable keypad, which the latter doesn’t.