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Microsoft's Surface Mini Could Arrive in May

By - Source: Liliputing | B 8 comments

There's no denying it now; the 8-inch Surface Mini does exist. How do we know? There's plenty of proof on Amazon in the form of product images revealing the tablet in a Bluetooth keyboard stand case ($32.99) and an ultra-thin Smart Cover Case ($9.99). The tablet in question is clearly labeled as the Surface Mini, and the two covers won't be in stock until May 18, 2014.

Of course, the displayed tablet could be from any OEM working on an 8-inch solution, but accessories vendor Vostrostone (VSTN) clearly has the unannounced product in mind, stating that the covers have "specifically designed cutouts for Microsoft Surface Mini tablet" so that the user has "access to all ports and controls."

"Fantastic looking case for your precious Microsoft Surface Mini tablet. There are plenty of cases out there but this is built to last with style," reads the description. "Made of premium PU leather, this flip case will wear well and maintain the look of your device. Design allows for full access to touch screen, side buttons, charging & headset ports and camera. Well-built to protect your Microsoft Surface Mini tablet for the years to come."

Just recently, we reported that the Surface Mini may include a built-in Wacom digitizer so that the consumer can use a pen-like stylus instead of the fat and round versions. This will be the tablet's biggest selling point, as Microsoft may have a long battle ahead if it relies on just software- and hardware-based competition. The Surface Mini, according to sources, is all about taking notes with a real, digitizing pen.

Sources say that the device is actually complete, and that it's up to Microsoft to make the announcement. The May ship date listed on Amazon could be a placeholder, but there's a good chance it's legit, landing on the market after BUILD 2014 and before the Computex 2014/E3 2014/Google I/O window. The question is, how much will this tablet cost?

We've already heard that Microsoft plans to make Windows 8.1 free on devices smaller than nine inches, thus reducing the overall price of the tablet given there's no licensing fee. Microsoft has also made the operating system's footprint physically smaller with the launch of 8.1, which should be good news for tablet owners given their small storage capacities. A smaller OS means more user files can be stored on the Surface Mini.

Unfortunately, the product images do not reveal anything about the tablet's hardware save for the size and a front-facing camera. There's a good chance Microsoft is waiting to announce two products instead: the Surface Mini and the "Gemini" touch-based Office apps for the Start Screen. The two seemingly go together like peanut butter and jelly.

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  • 0 Hide
    exfileme , April 24, 2014 5:48 PM
    A May ship date was discovered on Amazon.

    Microsoft's Surface Mini Could Arrive in May : Read more
  • 2 Hide
    rufus_ct , April 24, 2014 6:15 PM
    The photo does not show the Surface Mini. It is the Lenovo ThinkPad 8.
    The case manufacturer probably offers the same case for a variety of tablets and chose to show a photo of the ThinkPad 8 version of the case instead of the Surface Mini version because there are no photos available of the Surface Mini yet.
    This should be obvious also from the overall design of the device, it looks nothing like the Surface RT/Surface 2/Surface Pro/Surface Pro 2.
    Please update the article, before people start mistakenly criticizing Lenovo for something they would only ever criticize Microsoft for (design).
  • 0 Hide
    jasonelmore , April 24, 2014 9:57 PM
    I really The surface mini has a full size usb 3.0 port. I need it for a ethernet adapter so can run network commands in the field. OTG USB sux
  • Display all 8 comments.
  • 0 Hide
    jasonelmore , April 24, 2014 9:57 PM
    I really hope**
  • 0 Hide
    w8gaming , April 25, 2014 12:40 AM
    8" tablet with Wacom stylus? The only real competition is Galaxy Note 8. Asus has one but it does not seem to be very keen on actually selling the product, probably due to low margin
  • 0 Hide
    spookyman , April 25, 2014 6:24 AM
    Its a nice idea but the cost of a mini, I be better off getting a laptop instead.
  • 0 Hide
    stevejnb , April 25, 2014 6:57 AM
    Digitizer would be a good selling point, but this thing had better be $250'ish or less... Though I think it is a safe bet it will cost more. The Surface line is full of great, functional tablets which cost too much. "But, Apple does it!" is not a sound basis for a pricing strategy.
  • 0 Hide
    Shin-san , April 25, 2014 11:14 AM
    Quote:
    I really The surface mini has a full size usb 3.0 port. I need it for a ethernet adapter so can run network commands in the field. OTG USB sux
    This has been my favorite part about the Surface Pro. Full USB
  • 1 Hide
    Christopher1 , April 25, 2014 2:39 PM
    Quote:
    Digitizer would be a good selling point, but this thing had better be $250'ish or less... Though I think it is a safe bet it will cost more. The Surface line is full of great, functional tablets which cost too much. "But, Apple does it!" is not a sound basis for a pricing strategy.

    Actually, considering what you are getting, the Surface Tablets are pretty reasonably priced.