It appears as though the Surface Mini is the real deal after all

It appears as though the Surface Mini is the real deal after all

According to Brad Sams who says he used one the Surface Mini is still alive and well. Owing to the digital pen and OneNote, in Sams opinion Surface Mini was an executable product. Maybe recent changes to Windows Phone will give the device another outlook on life.

The Surface Mini that we all heard that was set to be launched but was pulled in May is still alive and kicking. But no it’s still not on the market yet; Microsoft never ended up releasing it. Brad Sams of NeoWin said he was recently able to use the Surface Mini but he wasn’t given the green light on posting pictures. According to Sams, Microsoft killed the wrong product in the Surface Mini and is continuing the existence of the Surface 2.

These are nice words for a product that never actually made it on to the market. I wonder why Sams liked the Surface Mini? Perhaps it was due to the size, portability, digital ink support and case Microsoft was meant to include with the tablet. He had said:


This device will put pen and paper to rest. The size is ideal, although the bezel is a tad large in comparison with the display, but the case creates a compact, easy to carry and highly usable tablet. The bezel size is large enough to be able to have a full size Windows button, exactly like the Pro 3 at the bottom. Right up the top, there is a front facing camera with about the same size bezel.

It’s a pretty great combination when digital ink is combined with Microsoft’s OneNote app. The description of Sam allows one to recall of the leaked Microsoft Courier concept from the year 2009. This as well was a tablet that was pen oriented although it had two displays in a portfolio case. Even if this is the case, I’m not in total agreeance with the fact that Microsoft got rid of the wrong product here. According to the description of Sam, unless the device was going to be priced at $149 or less, the Surface Mini still would have come across the same challenge from competing tablets I discussed in the month of April:

There are already a numerous amount of solid Windows slates available in that size that can run for about 8 or more hours on a charger. Unbelievably some even have a digital pen. Here’s the catch:These current models all run Windows 8.1 not Windows RT, which is still a bit problematic in terms of its app ecosystem and lack of legacy Windows app support. These slates also start at reasonable prices: You can naba Dell Venue Pro 8 for $249, for example and get Microsoft Office Home & Student 2013 software that is included.

Since that time and now very little has changed. Microsoft has begun to join its Windows software between phones, tablets and traditional computers. That’s not just a change in terms of branding; Developers are able to now write one Windows app and with minimal changes have it work on various devices. So that would over the course of time have helped the ecosystem challenge on a Windows RT-based Surface Mini.

There are still cost and performance challenges though. Sams stated the Surface Mini he used ran on a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor. Compared to the Intel-powered Dell Venue Pro and similar tablets I’ve seen that are under $200, the Mini wouldn’t likely perform as well and wouldn’t offer any benefits for battery life.

Although i’m not so positive that Microsoft has completely let go of the Surface Mini idea just yet.

In the last month, Microsoft discussed in detail its latest Windows Phone update, which adds support for Wi-Fi devices up to 7-inches in size. What this means is a slightly smaller Surface Mini is possible even if Microsoft lets Windows RT slowly go away as all of its branding changes to Windows. The price of such a device still worries me if full Windows tablets are coming in with $199 price tags but maybe the Surface name and some one of a kind features could totally give a renewal of a revised Surface Mini tablet.

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