By Alexandra Burlacu | Sep 25, 2013 11:37 AM EDT
Microsoft is reportedly planning to launch a smaller-sized Surface tablet and some detailed specifications of the device have now leaked.
The company has just unveiled its new-generation tablets, the Surface 2 running on Windows 8.1 RT and the higher-end Surface Pro 2, which runs on the full-fledged version of Windows 8.1, but it apparently plans to launch a Surface Mini as well.
According to a new CNET report, IHS iSuppli Tablet and Monitor Research director Rhoda Alexander said that the upcoming Surface Mini is expected to sport a 7.5-inch display. CNET further notes that Alexander's information falls in line with NPD DisplaySearch data the publication received back in May.
The purported Surface Mini tablet would apparently run on Windows RT and its 7.5-inch display would feature a resolution of 1400 x 1050 with a 4:3 aspect ratio, according to Alexander's data.
CNET further speculates that the upcoming Surface Mini could also sport 3G/4G capability, but highlights that neither IHS iSuppli nor DisplaySearch have confirmed this information. Microsoft has not offered 3G/4G capabilities so far in its tablets, not even with its newest Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2. If this speculation turns out to be true, the Surface Mini would be the first to boast this feature.
Microsoft has not confirmed plans to launch a smaller-sized Surface tablet, but this is not the first time that such a device is rumored. It remains uncertain at this point when the Surface Mini would make its debut, but DisplaySearch previously told CNET that the slate is expected to enter mass production in the first quarter of this year. The production schedule may have changed in the meantime, but no information is currently available regarding this aspect.
Aside from sporting a smaller form factor, the purported Surface Mini is also expected to tout an attractive price tag. The smaller-sized Windows RT slate should be cheaper than any Surface tablet announced or launched so far.
While Microsoft has yet to confirm the existence of a Surface Mini, it would make sense for the company to launch a smaller-sized tablet. Apple's iPad Mini and Google's Nexus 7 enjoy great success with consumers and sport 7.9-inch a 7-inch displays, respectively.
A Surface Mini would allow Microsoft to compete against the iPad Mini, Nexus 7 and other contenders in the small-size tablet market, but it would have to sport good specs and aggressive pricing. Microsoft's first-generation Surface tablets were not exactly the whopping success the company likely hoped for, but the company is not ready to give up just yet.
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