While most people expected Microsoft to unveil (or at least, hint at) the Surface Mini at BUILD, it is now becoming certain that the technology titan is preparing to refresh its tablet lineup at the end of the year.
The second generation Surface tablet lineup is widely projected to include a smaller 7 or 8 inch tablet that is currently labeled as the Surface Mini.
Now while Redmond hinted at the Worldwide Partner Conference that updates for its Surface tablets are expected within the next 12 months, an analyst with the Topology Research Institute claims that a smaller device is very likely to come in the fourth quarter of this year.
Maxwell Chang, talking to CRN during a media briefing, said that Microsoft’s so-called Surface Mini could feature a display around 7.5 to 8 inches in size and a low-power Intel Atom processor that would allow it to compete with the Apple iPad Mini.
A price tag of $299 is increasingly likely — which makes it slightly higher than the price of $249 that has widely been reported these past few months.
Microsoft is said to be still talking with two or three Taiwanese original design manufacturers for the production of the device. And this, for all intents and purposes, means that the device is surely a few months away.
From how things are shaping up, it seems that a new generation Surface could launch in October, together with the Windows 8.1 upgrade.