Microsoft’s canceled Surface Mini tablet emerges in leaked images

Surface Mini
Windows Central

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.


it was designed to run Windows RT

That is all I need to know. This thing would of been a disaster if they did release it. Smart move by MS

The market would have been small, and I’m sure you would not have been part of it. But, this small market would have been strong. Folks that did actually use RT loved it. Too bad it died.

Folks that did actually use RT loved it.

In bizarre world maybe. It was a disaster that cost Microsoft billions.

4 GB RAM, 128 GB Storage, Core M Processor, Pixelsense screen, USB-C port, updated design with no Windows button, smaller bezels, infinite stand with studio mode like the new surface pro, Windows 10S with free upgrade to Windows 10 and this might be the dream device for people like me looking for a digital moleskine forever.

It’s a good thing this particular device was cancelled, but I severely miss my Dell Venue 8 Pro and I really wish there was another legitimate 8" tablet option, other than the HP devices.

The list of specs you rattled off would be my ideal tablet right now.

Dell Venue 8 Pro 5855 with the 4GB RAM option and Full HD 1920 × 1200 screen is the only one in recent memory that comes close.

It had Wacom AES pen that is head and shoulders above the old Synaptics and Atmel solution and on par with N-Trig solution. Yet the battery life was only 6 hrs which is ridiculous for something running Cherry trail processor.

HP Pro tablet 608 was one with iPad mini form factor, 2048 × 1536 screen, but that was marred by horrendous Atmel pen, overheating if you try to do anything with it, front facing speakers that looked great but sounded horrible. Great concept marred by poor execution.

Hope a savior Surface Mini is in the works.

From what I’ve heard from note takers atmel was better than nothing and the synaptic option. But, that was on the hp ProPad 900 & 1000. Of course n-trig and Wacom(emr like Asus once offered) would be optimal at this size, but there isn’t much pen option with newer hardware out there unfortunately.

I would’ve loved an 8 inch tablet with Surface Pen support running Windows 10. But this sounds like an underpowered compromise that would’ve appealed to no one.

The closest you can get is the old Dell Venue 8 Pro… And it’s slightly better than Meh, but only slightly. Its pen isn’t as good, but it DOES work, and you can get full Office running on it. I had great success with it running One Note until I got tired of the 2GB RAM and Atom Proc.

I’m still rocking my Dell Venue 8 pro as my work device… use it all day long without charging it-perfect!

Too bad… this was, and kind of still is, exactly what I want. I want an electronic Moleskine. I don’t want a Giant Phone, and I don’t want a Legal Pad…

I want an electronic Moleskine

I have one. The iPad Pro 9.7, it with Procreate & the Apple Pencil is literally is my moleskine for illustration.

An iPad Mini Pro would have been closer to the more commonly used 5×8.5 Moleskine but I guess the 9.7 mimics the feel of using two pages at a time. I was hoping Apple would make a Mini Pro, but it looks like they are killing the Mini all together. Killing this Surface Mini was the right call. If they launched this and then killed RT shortly thereafter people would have been pissed.

Killing the mini would be a shame because if they could do the same thing they are rumored to do with the iPhone 8 – have an edge-to-edge screen with fingerprint sensor underneath, that would be one killer device…..

9.7 mimics the feel of using two pages at a time

Depends on the size of the moleskine, of course. I’m a huge fan of Moleskine Squared (below) which is 7.5″ × 7.5″. Their normal mid-sized one is 5″ × 8.25″. The iPad Pro 9.7’s display dimensions are 5.82″ × 7.76″ so to me, it’s basically a marriage of the two Moleskine sketchbooks.

I would be very interested in an iPad Mini Pro. I think the screen size is great for something to have on the go with you. I find the 9.7" iPad a little too large. At that size I’d just assume sit in front of a computer.

although it’s full of compromises, I use an Envy Note 8 as notebook, pretty cool to have a 4G onenote pad… when it doesn’t randomly decide to not turn on.

A travesty this wasn’t released. Even if they never made a second one. I would have loved this.

Better off dead.

Good call.

Good call.

However looking forward to a ARM powered Surface mini

If Microsoft released one, I would be all over it. But I`m not holding my breath.

Given their previous behaviour, I think its more likely that they will stop at releasing the OS, and let the OEM`s take the risk on the hardware.

In the mean time, the Xaomi MiPad8 is by far the best small windows tablet I have used.

It’s really a shame, I’d have so bought this, instead I’ll just keep buying ThinkPad X-series laptops

I have never heard one positive thing about Windows RT.

It was positively garbage! There.

View All Comments
Back to top ↑