Microsoft unveiled its Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 tablets earlier this week, but speculation continues over a rumored smaller Surface "mini" device that the company refuses to comment on. CNET reports that both NPD DisplaySearch and IHS iSuppli analyst firms believe that Microsoft's smaller Surface tablet will ship with a 7.5-inch display. The Verge understands Microsoft has been testing several screen sizes for future Surface products, including a unique 7.5-inch display.
The software maker currently uses 10.6-inch displays for its Surface RT, Surface Pro, Surface 2, and Surface Pro 2 tablets. A 10.6-inch display is not widely used by PC manufacturers, and neither is the 7.5-inch size. Microsoft updated its developer tools for Windows 8.1 earlier this year to specifically include references to 7.5-inch tablets running at a 1440 x 1080 resolution with a 4:3 aspect ratio. CNET notes that the rumored Surface mini aspect ratio is 4:3, but with a 1400 x 1050 resolution. Given Microsoft's developer tools, it's far more likely – if a Surface mini exists – that it would use a 1440 x 1080 resolution.
Size is important to the Surface team going forwards
The Verge revealed last year that Microsoft's Xbox division was working closely on a Surface branded 7-inch tablet, and The Wall Street Journal backed up the 7-inch claims and noted the device will go into full production later this year. Others have claimed Microsoft's smaller Surface tablet will have an 8-inch display. Microsoft's Surface creator, Panos Panay, refused to discuss the idea of a Surface mini earlier this week in an interview with The Verge. Asked how a smaller device could be productive, Panay simply laughed and quipped, "If I told you how I'd do that I'd be giving one or two things away." Despite the no comment, Panay did express that "size is a massive part" of productivity opportunities for Surface in the future.