Microsoft has reportedly been working on a miniature version of its Surface tablet for nearly two years, but the wait may be over. The company has just sent out invitations to a Microsoft Surface event on May 20th, with the tagline "Join us for a small gathering."
While that could obviously simply refer to a small gathering of attendees to see the latest device that Microsoft has to offer, it seems far more likely to be a tease for the company's latest product, particularly since Microsoft already recently refreshed the full-size Surface line of devices. An early 2014 release date for the Surface Mini would also line up with last September's reporting.
Allegedly, the new miniature Surface will come with a unique 7.5-inch, 1440 x 1080 display with a 4:3 aspect ratio, meaning it would be shaped more like Apple's iPad line than the movie-friendly Surface tablets available today. It's also rumored to come with a Qualcomm processor under the hood, and thus would run Windows RT rather than full Windows 8. That means, like the Microsoft Surface RT and Surface 2, it wouldn't run legacy desktop software.
While Microsoft has never officially acknowledged the existence of a "Surface Mini," many sources within the company have mentioned it to The Verge, The Wall Street Journal, and other publications. The company's own software development tools also contain a mode specifically designed for its screen size, one that didn't previously exist. Originally, the 7-inch mini Surface was rumored to be a gaming device, but that reflects Microsoft thinking from two years ago.
All Microsoft has said officially is this: "We have a lot of great things that we are thinking about and working on, and there are multiple aspect ratios and sizes and awesome things to come from Surface."
"That's the best answer I have for you," Surface creator Panos Panay told us last year.