On May 10th, Microsoft will finally launch the long-awaited Surface Mini during the “small gathering” event in New York City. The company has even invited many media and bloggers to take part in the event.
But that was just it, Microsoft didn’t share any specific details on what to expect about the miniaturized version of the tablet. Now according to a new report from Paul Thurrott, long time Microsoft watcher, we can confirm a few details about Surface Mini. For example, the tablet will indeed be based on an ARM chipset from Qualcomm and it will ship with Windows RT 8.1 — something that may turn off few customers, as they won’t be able to use legacy desktop applications.
As for screen resolution, the rumor still is a unique 1440 x 1080 pixels screen resolution on a 7.5- or 8-inch display with a 4:3 aspect ratio, which is a lower resolution when compared with the stunning 2048 x 1536 pixels resolution found in the iPad mini or 1080p resolution found in the Google’s Nexus 7.
Surface Mini will differentiate from Apple’s iPad mini and other tablets by featuring a highly accurate and high-quality stylus for a natural note-taking experience, which, if Microsoft gets it right, could turn out to be one of the best selling feature. Also it seems that OneNote will come pre-installed with a deep integration in the tablet.
May 20th, 2014 will mark the official launch of Surface Mini, but it definitely doesn’t mean that customers will be able to purchase the tablet that same day. According to Thurrott, Surface Mini is expected to be available before the end of June — when you think about it, it’s not a really long time.
If you like the practical kickstand on Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2, you’ll be disappointed to hear that Surface Mini won’t feature a kickstand, instead Microsoft is expected to reveal a click-in cover what will also function as a multi-position kickstand.
The pricing is something of a mystery at this point in time, but if Microsoft wants to keep competitive, we could be seeing Surface Mini at a starting price of $199 like the starting price of the Dell Venue 8 Pro, or $299 which is the entry price to get an iPad mini from Apple.
Finally, Microsoft might also have one more surprise during the event, as the company is likely to reveal a second Surface device.