Microsoft was planning to introduce a Surface Mini tablet alongside its Surface Pro 3 at an event in May 2014. While the Surface Pro 3 was announced to much surprise, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop canceled the Surface Mini project just weeks before. We’ve heard about the Surface Mini many times over the past few years, but Windows Central has now obtained images of the device.
The Surface Mini was an 8-inch device with a 1440 x 1080 display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor, 1GB of RAM, and 32GB of storage. Microsoft even included its typical kickstand on the Surface Mini, alongside what appears to be a rubber-style exterior that would have shipped in a variety of colors. As the Surface Mini was powered by an ARM processor, it was designed to run Windows RT and support the same Surface Pen (with a loop on the kickstand) as the bigger Surface Pro 3 tablet.
Looking at the leaked images it’s easy to see why Microsoft canceled the device. Microsoft hasn’t had much success with its Windows-powered tablet plans, and the market has essentially ignored 7- or 8-inch tablets in favor of larger smartphones. Surface chief Panos Panay has previously described the Surface Mini as “like a moleskine,” and it’s clear the device was designed to resemble a notepad.
Microsoft has since focused on the strengths and uniqueness of its Surface line, including introducing a Surface Studio all-in-one PC and a new Surface Laptop. Microsoft is now planning to introduce an LTE-powered Surface Pro device in October, and the company will likely refresh its Surface Book device later this year.
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