Microsoft is reportedly planning to release a low cost tablet in Q1 2014 that will feature a 7.5-inch display with a resolution of 1440 x 1050.
Last week, reports surfaced from Microsoft’s “upstream supply chain sources” that indicated that components have been shipped for between 1 and 1.5 million Intel-based units with screen sizes ranging from 7 to 9 inches. A report from NPD DisplaySearch and CNET has now indicated that a “future Microsoft tablet” will arrive next year that features a 7.5” panel with a resolution of 1400 x 1050, which approaches a pixel density of 233 ppi.
NPD analyst Richard Shim added that mass production would take place in Q1 2014 with a “pretty significant volume” of “multiple millions” that could “possibly start earlier at a lower level then ramp up to mass production in the first quarter.” We’re somewhat skeptical of this projection since Microsoft has only managed to sell 1.5 million Surface units so far (including 500,000 Surface Pros), and we expect that the company would be adopting a more cautious approach to its next generation of tablets.
Though Shim would not provide CNET with any comment on pricing, the site’s other sources have suggested a target price of $399, which could be further reduced since Microsoft is actively seeking to “cut down on the price on their devices” and is reportedly “looking for a touch solution that incorporates the panel and the touch module.”
Microsoft has so far refused to provide any comment on the rumor. Given that the company is well known for its "we don't comment on rumors and speculation" stance, we don’t expect to hear anything official at least until its BUILD Developer Conference, which takes place between June 26 and June 28, 2013.