More Information On Microsoft’s Surface ‘Mini’ Emerges

Surface Mini Concept Render
Surface Mini Concept Render

There were few reports in the past that indicated Microsoft is planning to release a smaller version of Surface tablet this year. At Surface event held few days back, Microsoft only announced Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 tablets. Microsoft is expected to announce 8-inch version of Surface later this year which will also start shipping before end of this year. The device will be powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor, 4G/LTE option, Windows RT 8.1 and more.

Today CNET reported some more information on it,

  • The device is expected to have a 7.5-inch display.
  • it’s an RT tablet with a 4:3 aspect ratio and a 1,400×1,050 resolution display.
  • could be 3G/4G capability
  • There is no firm release date, but DisplaySearch previously told CNET that mass production is expected in the first quarter of next year. It’s not clear if production-schedule plans have changed since that initial report.
  • Price less than $449

Even though there are some information which contradicts from the previous leaks, this new reports once again confirms that Microsoft is working on a smaller version of their tablet.

Source: CNET

  • sri_tech

    They need to price this at $299 to succeed.
    It has to compete with Retina iPAD mini which will sell for $329 and other android tablets like nexus 7 ($229), Kindle Fire HDX ($22).
    Also, there are tablets from OEMs with full Windows 8 for $300 and even $250 as per rumors.

    I believe they can still make good profits on this product at $299 because Apple gross margin on mini is around $130.

    Paul thurott said Surface mini coming this year. I hope its true.

    • Bugbog

      I have high confidence that it will be priced at $299!


      The [10″] Surface 2 is @ $449
      The [10″] Surface RT is @ $349

      A 7.5″ ‘mini’ tablet cannot/should not exceed the cost of a 10″ device (if we go by Microsoft’s thinking!)

      Ergo the rounded figure. If I’m in any way wrong, I doubt my figure will be off by more than $29 (As Microsoft always like to be either comparable, or cheaper than).

      • donzebe

        For 8.1 inch RT
        8 GB @ $149
        16 GB @ $199
        32 GB @ $ 299

        • Bugbog

          Wishful thinking! :)

  • Ruben Orozco

    if it has RT, this needs to be $199 or $249.

    • xSchlo

      Ipad mini should be $199 if it doesn’t run os x…

  • Bugbog

    Now this is what I’m waiting for!

  • Yuan Taizong

    Oké, I’ll just wait for this one to be released, but as Acer, Samsung and others have already released smaller Windows 8 Tablet-P.C.’s running the full Windows 8 with Intel chips I can expect them to be cheaper and better than this R.T.-only device, although this is what we’ve been waiting for.

    • Bugbog

      Intel Bay Trail mini tablets: Currently (in my view so far)

      – Appear thicker
      – Less graphically powered (compared to the latest ARM silicon)
      – Will have limited use of the desktop as a feature**

      – Have no finesse to their designs (i.e., unlike the leaked Surface mini, have no integrated stand, no pre-built accessories (excepting the horrid Acer W3).

      So, for an 8″ (or under) device, I’m definitely in the market for an RT tab!

      **(When I was running the Windows 8 preview on my Acer W500, two years back before the full store was available, I can definitely state that having the facility of full-fat Windows was of limited benefit!

      For instance: I wanted to use the tablet to read comics. Okay, at the time there were no Metro apps available, so I installed ComicRack, Comical, and various others. I can absolutely attest that the experience was horrible!

      The display would not scale properly to the screen, there were no overt ‘tabs’ for navigating the pages by touch. The ability to hit targets (on the 10″ screen) were abysmal! I just gave up. Using Windows Explorer/File manager on the desktop is fine. But using ‘legacy’ desktop programs with touch, was not.

      How much better do you think it will be to use on a smaller 8″ tablet?

      As far as I’m concerned, using Intel on Sub 10″ screens IS the waste of time!) {Not unless you are prepared to use a stylus 100% of the time!})

    • Cruncher

      With Atom you are getting the worse CPU with the doubtful benefit of running x86 dekstop apps.
      Other than the Desktop apps issue, Windows RT is as “full” as Windows 8. Infact they are mostly identical, because RT is frankly Windows 8 compiled for ARM.

      Aside from this i would chose the better CPU/GPU anytime, which is Snapdragon 800 (compared with BayTrail).

  • asherpat

    Pls pls make it not fatter than 120mm, meaning that one can slip it in inner pocket of a jacket or even jeans…
    The iThing is too big for that, but the Nexuses and Sammys 7″ fit snugly in my coat pockets. Even though the leaked device is 7.5″, I hope MSFT are smart enough to shave a few mils from the bevel.

  • UncleFan

    I like the “mini” size, but I would never pay more than $299 for an RT device.

    • PoohGQ

      I guess it depends on the amount of Storage! =/

      • Bugbog

        16 & 32GB + Microsd are good enough for entry level prices of $299. Maybe $350-70 for 64GB

      • NegLewis

        I guess there are some things that MS has done correctly: OS W8, Design and Price.
        There are only a couple of minor issues with it: CPU, RAM, Storage, Battery, HDMI In/Out.
        Put a Haswell++, 4GB RAM, 128GB+200GB Cloud, 10 Hours Battery and people will buy a Surface instead of a DESKTOP and maybe even a laptop.

  • Marcus Bastian

    This will be the Xbox Surface – and it will have a gaming/media blade.

    • JayD

      I see an Xbox Surface in the future but not yet. They are too busy finalizing the Xbox One platform.

      • techieg

        What the hell is an “xbox surface”? Not a sexy name at all plus they are each individual product lines and will never happen.

        Its like saying “appletv ipad”.

        • UMovies

          appletv ipad where do I get one at

    • José Villaró

      With N versions, one for FPS, RTS, RPG, ETC OH! And Angry birds special edition… I really hope they don’t go that over board hahaha.

      Seriously, I wouldn’t bet on this one with THESE specs to be the Xbox Surface, if one comes along it would have a 1080p screen and would be 16:9 aspect radio

      • Marcus Bastian

        See this as an addition to the Xbox One – SmartGlass, remote, home control, “Xbox Live Games”, second screen (so you will be able to Play Xbox One games) and media consumption device.

        This plus some hardware controls and I’ll buy this in addition to my Surface Pro 2 which I’ll use in my company.

        • José Villaró

          I agree that i would be almost ideal for that and actually my first thought was also that it was a perfect companion for the Pro 2 (god this holiday will be expensive with the pro 2, hopefully this mini and the Xbox One).
          But I don’t see them pushing it on that basis, any tablet/phone would be the Smart-Glass. I think it would be one of the pitches certainly but it couldn’t be that expensive for an “Xbox Surface”

  • NGM123

    With Toshiba bringing the full Windows experience for $329 and Dell at under $300 on an 8 inch platform, this smaller R/T tablet needs to be under $250 at most. Big chance of kicking the Nexus 7 to the curb at that price and finally, maybe, perhaps, fingers crossed, with this and the other products coming, we will at last start to see some product traction.

    • donzebe

      $I99 will do the trick

      • NGM123

        Agreed, that would be the sweet spot

  • NegLewis

    That should have been the first Surface RT.
    But, MS is in that business not because they want to sell Hardware, but because the OEM’s do not know how to build a compelling and modern Device.

    MS will produce a 7-8″ ARM tablet, but it will be expensive. A trend setter for the few and especially for the OEM’s…

    • Bugbog

      I no longer think Microsoft will go out of their way to price higher than their OEM’s. I doubt they will sell below, or for cost, but neither will they try to be higher jsut to give them a chance.

      The OEM’s will have to sink or swim on the merits of what they produce.

      • Willem Evenhuis

        I don’t know. Microsoft has still shown to be on the expensive side with their own hardware line-up.

        • Bugbog

          Yes, that may be true, as they are seeking to be profitable on every device that they ship (price cuts need to be factored in too).

          But, as Ballmer has stated on many an occasion, they price their devices to be competitive with the leading market, rather than just try to be cheaper than everyone else.

          • Willem Evenhuis

            Who would you consider the competitive market of microsoft?

          • Bugbog

            Microsoft considers Apple to be their tablet competitors (and maybe some Samsung Galaxy’s). Google’s Nexus is too bottom-feeder for them.

            So they’ll tend to price between he aver of the two, or towards the higher end of the top [base] price.

          • Willem Evenhuis

            I see. I get your point.
            I can already see where this is going. I’m noticing now what my wishes would be for this device to warrant a premium competitive price. I think the specs would encompas a list comparable to a mashup of hardware and software of lumia phones and features from windows 8 (especially the stylus part). Interesting to already see Microsofts roadmap in action:)

          • Cruncher

            It is not just a matter of beeing profitable. Microsoft wants to establish the surface brand as premium device, which totally makes sense.

  • Willem Evenhuis

    Ow, I see a stylus going with that, Very, very interesting. I actually feel for the pro 2, but if this is even close to true, I might wait a bit longer. I only use the desktop enivroment for word and for updates and file management, so superpower is not a premium for me. For me the selling point was the stylus and better battery life. And what I’ve seen of the surface 2 its also quite adequate to get things done (unfortunately no stylus though). Hope microsoft gets it right the first time with this tablet form factor, and doesn’t make a mess of it like on the surface 1. So microsoft if you’re reading this, the performance of the surface two,but with also a good big battery and battery life and good stylus support and ecosystem.

    • Bugbog

      It’s likely it’ll come with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800!

      • Willem Evenhuis

        Goody, goody!

  • donzebe

    To push RT in many hands Microsoft and partners need to put a device in the market that cost at least $150 to $199.

  • JamesDax

    Love the size and the form factor. Been waiting for a 4:3 mini Surface but this needs to come out this year. Make it happen MS and shut up and take my money.

  • Duk3togo

    WTH is wrong with people even at 300 bucks the RT is superior to all ipads and androids. The USB alone is worth the price. The fact that you get full version office is worth the price. A tablet that a person can do productivity is worth the price…sigh people are worst than tech bloggers.

    • Cruncher

      Agreed. With a Snapdragon 800 this will significantly outperform even the most expensive Baytrail SKU in GPU Performance. So unless you absolutly need desktop apps for some reason, this is a much better offering than the flood of Baytrails from the OEMs. Now add Outlook on top of this.

    • Tech_Reader

      Right said..

  • Guest

    Pricing would have to be much lower. But MS really needs to focus on the s/w value add if they want to move any kind of volume of Surfaces over time. Because Amazon and Google are prepared to offer units at zero margin and make it back on services. Look at Amazon’s new tablets yesterday. They’re pretty amazing and sold at cost. MS can’t match that and neither can OEMs. So unless MS can differentiate via s/w, this is ultimately an unwinnable battle. Office, while great if you need it, is not that magic bullet, at least for consumers. They need something else that’s innovative and seen as a must have and therefore worth a price premium.

  • ECM2

    Please tell Microsoft to include Wacom or N-Trig pen support. If they do this, it will be the perfect tablet for school and/or work. If it’s priced right (e.g. $300-350) and if it comes with Wacom/N-Trig pen support, I will order four units for me and my family the moment it becomes available. Promise.

  • Avatar Roku

    Expect ~$30-$50 under iPad mini, but 4:3 is a tad disappointing. Pen and keyboard seem oddly integrated here. They’re really focused on productivity. Hmm.. hope they can come up with some blades good for gaming.

    • wp77

      Why is 4:3 disappointing? I wish the 10″ Surface was 16:10. 16:9 is too skinny in portrait.

  • Tech_Reader

    The ONLY think I wish MS would do is, that they launch this in the whole world !!
    Not just the markets and countries dominated by the stupid Apple !!
    I detest them ! Apple, I mean.. !

    So I want this released everywhere… !!