Microsoft has invited members of the press to a “small gathering” on May 20th for an event focused on Surface. The “small” part of the teaser invite appears to be an obvious hint at an upcoming Surface mini tablet. Details on a smaller Surface first emerged more than a year ago, but recent reports suggest Microsoft delayed the tablet over fears production could limit its availability. Bloomberg News reports that Microsoft will now unveil a small Surface tablet on May 20th, powered by a Qualcomm processor and Windows RT.
New Intel-based Surface model rumored
While many existing 8-inch Windows tablets run Intel’s Atom processors and a full version of Windows 8, Microsoft is clearly trying to push its Windows RT operating system with an ARM-based processor for the Surface mini. However, Bloomberg News also suggests Microsoft will unveil other Surface models at the event on May 20th, including an Intel-based tablet. It’s not clear if the Intel Surface model is simply a refresh of the existing Surface Pro 2, but it’s possible Microsoft could be preparing to launch a Surface mini with Windows RT and a Surface mini Pro model with a full version of Windows 8. Microsoft may even be considering an entirely new Intel-based Surface model.
It’s believed that Microsoft’s upcoming Surface mini tablet will focus on its stylus abilities for note-taking. Windows watcher Paul Thurrott reports that a “high quality” stylus will be integrated with Microsoft’s OneNote software, alongside a cover with a multi-position kickstand. That suggests Microsoft won’t be integrating a kickstand into the device itself, unlike its existing Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 models. Thurrott notes that the Surface mini is expected to be released in late June.