Microsoft announces affordable Surface Go tablet

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Microsoft is readying a new, low-end Windows 10-based tablet created to compete with smaller and cheaper iPads: The Surface Go.

The most interesting thing about this new portable device is the fact that it comes with a USB-C port.

LTE models and 256GB versions of the Surface Go are slated to go on sale sometime after the August 2 launch of the tablet. Beyond a hardware refresh for Microsoft's other Surface devices, the "Type Cover set" line suggests that it has to be a Surface tablet coming to market.

Preorders start tomorrow, July 10th, with shipments scheduled to begin in early August.

The Surface is bundled with their signature built-in kickstand with unlimited positions, a front-facing camera with facial recognition login, and Microsoft's proprietary Surface Connector port for charging and connecting to a desktop dock. It will provide 9.5 hours of battery life, 64 or 128 GB of storage, and utilize USB-C for connectivity, according to reports. Here's everything you need to know about the new product, which really seems to be taking aim at the iPad. Unfortunately, as with the more powerful Surface Pro tablets, a keyboard is not included, making the initial price a bit misleading.

To the Surface Go.

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The Surface Go may start at $399, but you can easily spend hundreds more if you add crucial functionality like a keyboard, more RAM, and extra storage. A Wi-Fi-only model will arrive first, with LTE-equipped versions launching later in the year. There's also a Surface Pen for $99 that artists and students can purchase for doodling and note-taking purposes.

The availability of accessories globally is yet to be confirmed, but you'll be able to get a black Surface Go Type Cover for $99 (around £75, AU$130), with red, blue or silver "Signature" Alcantara Type Covers costing $129 (around £100, AU$170). The Surface Go will run Windows 10 S out of the box and Microsoft will allow users to upgrade to full Windows 10 free of cost.

The sub-$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.

The Surface Go basically looks like a smaller version of the Surface Pro 3.

If you're not keen on trackpads, Microsoft is producing a two-button Surface Mobile Mouse ($35) that connects via Bluetooth and features a scroll wheel.

All signs are pointing to the impending release of a new, entry-level Surface tablet.

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