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Microsoft holding 'small' Surface event in New York on May 20

Microsoft has begun to send out invitations to a private press event hinting that a smaller Surface Mini tablet may be the topic of discussion on May 20th. According to the invitation, Microsoft is asking media to join it for "a small gathering."

Though no mention of a Surface Mini was given, the invitation did bear "Microsoft Surface" branding. We can take that as a clue, along with the "small" wording, that a smaller Microsoft Surface Mini tablet will be joining the most recent Surface refreshes, including the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2.

Rumors of a smaller Surface tablet have been going on for some time now, and a smaller Windows 8.1 tablet may help Microsoft compete better with Apple's iPad mini and a number of 7- and 8-inch Android tablets, including Samsung's Galaxy Note 8.0 and LG's G Pad 8.3. There are also a number of Windows tablets currently from Asus, Acer, Lenovo, Dell, and Toshiba that sport the smaller form factor, but none officially from Microsoft's official Surface product line.

Source: @JoannaStern; Engadget

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Reader comments

Microsoft holding 'small' Surface event in New York on May 20

246 Comments

This. But having the 1520 it's almost pointless with this screen. 1520 with RT would be absolute.

Yeah. And I've heard the PC is dead, and Windows is dead, and Xbox is dead. If RT could talk it would probably say, "The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated." Or maybe it would just let Cortana tell us.

It is if you want a toy. Mine works hard and works well. A mini RT tablet would fit my needs very well and I'm not afraid to pay for Microsoft reliability.

Very likely that MS will make a few changes, drop the name RT since it is badly tainted, then just rebrand it. 

I'm very sure they will rebrand a new platform, and all apps can be used on all platforms. A major new step, and I hope it will be soon, my guess is end 2015 or maybe 2016. It could be great with only one platform - PC, Tablets, Phone, Xbox and TV.

But I think we still need to wait, from words to action in the shops Microsoft always are slowly. I hope they will change that in the future.

$399? I just got a Surface with 64GB for $299. A smaller one might be cool to have but I'm not paying more for it.

Gettting a Surface 1 just now puts you in the cheap market. Not comparable to a new device.

399 sounds just about right. Preferable with ARM SOC (Windows RT) and active stylus. 

If I was to guess (which is all we're doing at this point anyways), I'd say it'll sell for between $299 and $349. My reasoning being that the current 32GB Surface 2 sells for $449, so this would be about $100 cheaper. Just a thought. $399 would be the absolute top for an 8" Surface, though even that seems too high.

I second your reasoning for that pricing suggestion.  I would lean toward $299 for the 32GB and $349 for the 64GB version. that should create enough pricing headroom for the 106" surface 2.

Precisely.  What is the right price?  It's different for everyone.  But "most" of these people who read these types of sites thinks these companies should be giving away their products for peanuts.  The Price is the Price.  If you think it's too much don't buy it.  Or if you have a job save a few bucks if you think you can't live without it.  It's very simple. 

I would say that the 1520 does, but the camera needs some serious attention, which it doesn't seem to be getting....

I don'r know that I agree with that. My wife has the 1520 and the1520 images are nearly as good as my 1020.

See, the thing about them 1520 is that it doesn't take good images easily... High light pictures are way to blurry, and low light pictures are bright, but to noisy.. At times I wished I had my 920 with me because after a few updates the 920's software really takes advantage of the hardware... Not to mention that video is not great at all on the 1520 with it sometimes stuttering... I'm not nitpicking, but these issues are true, they're evident, and they need to be addressed... Nevertheless, when I can finally get my 1520 to take good pictures they are nothing short of amazing for a smartphone, so I know a little twerking can make it a great camera... Funny, twerking is now in the dictionary for W8.1... LOL!

Nokia is ignoring the 1520 just like they ignored the 820. The 1520's video capabilities go on par with my LG thrill at night.

Have you tried taking a stroll at night with your 1520 recording the beach or park where there's light, it's awful, take the same stroll with your 920 it's higher quality. I have little problems with its camera quality I can beautiful pictures on most situations but video is really poor.

Will buy one if it comes with "Metro" Office 2013. I don't want my 365Office subscription to go to waste.

Remember that WP is going to be getting that cool new, feature rich, universal Office app that W8.1 is getting... 1520?

Hell yes!!!... And, no other platform can do this... Basically WP will be getting a full Universal Mobile touch version of Office.. This should shut up those who say that WP phablets are nothing but big phones, and don't have true phablet capabilities... Seriously, this is one of the most exciting new things coming to WP8.1.. All of the features we got with the WP8.1 preview are cool, but its just the beginning.. There's much more to come over the course of 2014..
.........................
http://www.wpcentral.com/microsoft-demos-new-touch-focused-office-apps-c...

I wish it was WP exlusive .. Seeing it's built using DirectX that may take a while cos we first need DirectX support on our phones which was rumored in 2015 I think.. If of course DirectX is needed.. :)

+928, I'll keep my $100 DV8P for now as well. I barely use it, but it does come in handy. I wonder how small the SM is going to be. Hmmm..

A Surface phone would be news. But I don't think that will happen until RT and Windows Phone become one and the same.  I don't see that happening for a while, if ever.

Isn't that just a Lumia?... Nevertheless, I do think it would be cool if MS had multiple brands of WP devices... Multi purpose devices like the Lumia line, a Surface line that is more business/enterprise oriented, and a "sport" line with devices that are waterproof, and more rugged.. That would be awesome..

Three, or even four, styles would seriously get WP8.1 recognized.. It's almost a no brianer... I suspect that MS has thought of this.

Clear some space on your hard drive, that should help. I moved my documents, pictures, and video folders to a SD card and it helped huge for performance

I have a surface pro 2 and I l;ove it, but there are times I wish I had something smaller to carry around for consumption only.

Price plus a PEN and better than 1080p (8") dispaly! That's my dream list. I need high rez and the pen for fresh paint.

Hopefully they'll announce an availability date that is only a couple weeks away.  I hate when Microsoft announces something without a date, and then it lands several months later.  It just kills all the excitement by the time you can buy it.

Besides, the speed at which Samsung "borrows" ideas, they can build one from scratch and have it in stores in a couple months. 

Haha, where'd that come from? But alas, I don't dive. And for a swimmer, I actually have terribly small lung capacity. :/

Unfortunately. While I agree RT is the future of Windows so Microsoft can dump all the old baggage of old versions of Windows, it's still premature. RT is the future, but as usual, Microsoft is always too early or too late.

Lol. But you know surface rt is one of the best selling windows tablet? So it is about time. And the surface brand is now establish. Tablet market is really for a killer hardware, so msft has a real opportunity here. Just price and market it right.

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RT is fine for people like me who just need it for school and web browsing with very little interest and interaction with unnecessary apps.  IF you need legacy, there is surface PRO for you and tons or shitty laptops from Acer and such.  More options is better than ignoring the minority.

 

I dont understand how some of you cannot see this shit?  THere are two options for a reason.

Is the Surface RT 2 better at running Windows RT than the original? If so, how much so? If it's substantially, then I may buy this mini tablet of (almost) my dreams :)

Upgraded from original RT to Surface 2 a couple months ago and love it. Performance is substantually better than the RT. Also went from around 6 hr battery to around 9 hrs on the Surface 2.

This new Surface mini will most certainly be RT its the most ideal form for it. If its not an RT device then its safe to say Microsoft has given up on RT.

Ideal?

Bay Trail STILL consumes less power than the Tegra 4 in the Surface 2, guys. This has been a fact since it released, and will continue being a fact. AMD's new APUs and Intel's Cherry Trail come out this year, they're also both great in low power and will be very competitive with ARM. x86 being more power hungry was busted quite a long time ago.

Don't want to deal with "legacy/old" apps on your tablet? Don't install them. 

Don't want your kid installing old apps and viruses? Lock down the UAC. If your kid is smart enough to figure a way around that they probably wouldn't be good with an RT anyways. 

 

Windows 8.1 is simply more flexible.

My Asus 8" device can't even outlast the first generation RT and all the review tests I've seen confirm this too.

But your (and my) Asus 8" Note 8 is smaller, thinner and lighter than the first gen RT. Batteries aren't made out of air. My Asus is giving me 8+ hours, and more standby time than my Surface 1 RT ever could. With light/moderate use, I charge it once a week. What a pleasure.

I'm not saying that RT is the "ideal" OS, but if Microsoft plans to continue the RT line, an 8in or mini device is the ideal form factor to put RT. Personally I would never think of using a mini device, or my S2 for that matter, to do real work; I have a laptop for that.

But I like the convenience of having a light OS, without the bloat of a full-blown windows OS as a consumption and portable device. Having Office, and open ports are plusses.

Ya, my first Gen Surface is pretty slow. But I've heard the S2 is smooth and fast. I was debating getting a Surface 2. But I may hold out to see what this Surface Mini is like.

It is light years better. Almost any Gen 1 device is inferior to a Gen 2 or newer. Just bought the wife her first Surface 2, and is liking it over her normal Win8 laptop. A few app exceptions that aren't deal breakers, and she's been happy

They did not. Actually RT and Windows Phone will evolve in PRT according to Microsoft. Remember universal apps? Windows RT is here to stay.

you're gooung to use the desktop on a 7-8" device? it's hard enough in a 10.8" device. are you also going to carry around a mouse?

Ugh 4:3? No way. 16:9 is one of the best parts of win tablets. Like when I'm using word, I can have a whole page on screen, AND all the menus and options visible. Makes productivity so much more practical. Or when the on screen keyboard pops up, you still can see MOST of your document/email/whatever. It also gives you more room for snap views! You can still have a large sized workspace with something small snapped to one side. 50% snap view gives generous workspace to both tasks. Trying to "work" on an iPad was a painful exercise.

you seem to ignore that the os and many of the apps are designed for 16:9. the apps scroll sideways and use a newspaper style layout. ipad apps tend to have a book style layout and scroll down or show a single page that turns. i think 4:3 won't be that great on a windows device. the only real pro for 4:3 layout is that it is a bit easier to hold.

The mini will have 4:3 same as the iPad snapdragon processor hd display no built in kickstand, pen support and option cover with kickstand, Ms will also be releasing something else at this event also

I'm holding out til we see what if any effect the free pricing for smaller than 9 inches gets felt. Hard to evaluate until we see the ramifications of that.

Ah, man...goosh bug. And tears. Plus sylus and kinect like feature plus around $300. HEAVEN!

Posted via the WPC App for Android!

In class note taking ? Hells yes. I have the 2520 which is great for notes but a low key tablet with stylus could the OneNote king in the classroom

Yes, I'd love this! Already have a Surface Pro 2, but a nice small, low-profile device would be great for class.

The amazing design of the Surface, but in a phone. It's hard to argue that the Surface's design is pretty kickass.

Verizon store reps are some of the worst. I had a friend who was getting his first smartphone, and he was going to get an Icon. But the store reps fed him blatant lies, and convinced him to get a Galaxy S3.

Disappointing, to say the least...

While I agree (especially in regards to the Surface 2, that device is so elegant, the most beautiful tablet on the market. Too a lesser extent that applies to the SP/SP2, but the thickness and weight does mildly detract from it), what's wrong with the current WP handsets? Especially since (as this very site covered), the Lumia Icon extremely resembles the Surface 2 design.

I understand it's not available globally, but nonetheless. While I'm not opposed to it per se, I just feel like such a device would be "Surface" in name only.

But who knows, maybe Microsoft will prove me wrong (and is love it if they did). A 1020 with a Surface 2 style metallic design, with a small built-in kickstand would be magical, especially if it came with a BT keyboard accessory that connects magnetically.

Sigh, a man can dream...

Seeing that the Lumia Icon seriously resembles an iPhone, and even WPCentral has admitted to the surface resembling an iPhone.... Don't we already have a Surface phone,,,, if you want Surface like style get a Lumia Icon... Lol!

They both do.. Seriously.. The Icon just does.. The buttons, the body.. It just does.. So much that I think it was intentional...

I really don't see it. I see how it could resemble other metallic kin like the HTC One, but the iPhone? Sorry, but no cigar.

It's more than possible, but Microsoft is very stubbornly holding onto RT. RT is the future, but it's not ready for prime-time just yet.

You may as well start saving for it as MS seem to want to push RT and the battery life of a small tablet would go further with RT.....basically it's gonna be running RT

I don't get why people want full Windows 8 on this thing. I was using my friend's Venue Pro and it was definitely too small to be used for any desktop app.

Because having the OPTION to use desktop programs at a cheap price is better than not having the option. I'll keep playing Far Cry, Unreal Tournament 3, Mirrors Edge, Dreamcast, N64, Killer Instinct Arcade, Quake 3 Arena and more with my Xbox 360 controller on a screen that is bigger than my phone ALL THE WHILE running Metro/Modern/Store/RT apps as well via Windows 8.1 Update. That's why. Choice. Do or Do Not, there is no Try. Windows 8 factually can do more. It's great streaming my games from my desktop via Steam to my Venue 8 Pro via Steam (since it is Windows 8) and playing Tomb Raider on max settings powered by my GTX 780 and being controlled by my 360 controller while in bed.

I was playing Super Smash Brothers 64 on my Venue 8 Pro last night from the comfort of my bed. There is so much more value for your money in having Windows 8 instead of RT. The possibilities are endless.

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=efDdh1iOC_8

HDMI out or a USB dock will turn it into a desktop easily. People forget this. Some argue the surface pro is to small... The ability to dock and use a larger screen is everything. One device is the future.

Only want full windows, because of the lack of apps. My pay TV provider in Australia still only has a desktop app. It doesn't look like it will change in a hurry either.

I agree.  I've had my DV8P for a few months now and have only used the desktop a handful of times.  More often than not II find myself needing the larger screen if I need to do anything in the desktop.  If the Surface Mini is RT, I'll swap someone my tablet for one! Ha!

I was just going to ask if I'm the only one wanting a 13" version. The current version is just too small for a laptop replacement. Plus the larger size would give them room to store the pen and an extra HDMI port on the dock.

My main computer is my surface rt. I would love to trade this in, buy a mini and get a full fledged laptop or desktop as well

MS does not even sale original surface rt/pro in my country yet.

so iPad is always a better choice, Apple even support local gift card to buy things from appstore, not to mention a lot more local apps available for iOS.

I don't know about sinisfree but there are smaller countries where surface is not sold but ipad is, with the newest model being available for sale in at less than a month. importing may not be optimal as some warranty is not international and import charges are high, plus shipping cost.

If it's windows 8 pro with a stylus it should do gangbusters... If it's windows 8 rt, it'll just fade into the background.

I held off buying a surface for a smaller version. I feel this smaller version should not be just a smaller version of the surface.  It should have tapered edges and NO full size USB.  IMO

Hey Choung Nguyen I didn't know you are with WPCentral(?), I've been following your posts since Pocketnow. Welcome to WPC!

Come on Microsoft....... 

7-8" with no desktop, 1080, wacom, hdmi & usb, $300-350 and my wallet is yours.

Then a premium T100 Surface 3 in fall with Windows 8.1 & AMD Mullens @ $450

Microsoft would actually sell more Surface tablets (particularly the Surface Pro 2) if it came with Office 365 free outta the box (not a trial). What's the incentive of buying a product from Microsoft if it doesn't translate in any way?

Umm... it DOES come with incentives.... it comes with +200 GB OneDrive and UNLIMITED Skype Minutes and it DOES come with Office... you get the full version of Office! (which you can optionally sign in with your Office 365 account).

Microsoft will not go 100% in with Intel. RT Surface 2 has sold as well as the Surface pro line. This device will be Arm based. I have the Asus Note 8 and the desktop is useless without HDMI to easily turn it into a desktop with a monitor. Miracast is too inconsistent & USB adapters like display link cost extra money, use too much processing power in 1080 & you can't charge the device via usb when in use.

In my opinion they should go <9" with windows phone/RT merged OS.... all of their 10" tablets should be full Windows with Atoms or Mullens & Haswell CPUs.

Agreed, I'd be shocked if they release the mini in x86 form instead of ARM. If they do then they are waving the white flag on RT given it is the ideal form factor for the OS.

Off topic....but, any rumours of a 1020 replacement? I'm due for upgrade in Oct. Love the 1020 but something better.

I don't really want Microsoft to release a smaller tablet. It simply has no appeal to me whatsoever. On the other hand, I'd love it if they released a Surface laptop. Sadly enough, the hardware vendors for windows laptops keep making way too many compromises for my tastes. I mean if Apple can make a laptop that runs their essential apps that lasts 12+ hours and doesn't look like a brick, then so could MS.

Will this tablet actually get an amazing amount of good cases that work with the tablet+keyboards? Unlike the regular surface 2... I want an incipio for my surface 2 ><

-- Bam --

If this runs Windows RT, well then I just have no sympathy for whoever in MS thought that was a good idea.

Why? If you don't get it, it does not mean that it is the best option. Personally I prefer it to run Windows RT on a Qualcomm S800.

Impossible. One wise man said it was foolish to think there was a Surface Mini, especially because of cases popping up in Amazin, he said it on Twitter!!! Oh no, poor Tommy boy will be disapointed! /s

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