We were on hand at Microsoft's unveiling
of its Surface 2 and Surface 2 Pro, and having seen and played with these second generation devices in person, we can say we're much more enthused
with these products than their first generation siblings. They're fast, well configured, and sport several improvements for a better all-around experience. Even the keyboard is improved.
Be that as it may, there's definitely a market for 7-inch and 8-inch tablets these days, and it's one Microsoft doesn't yet cater to with its Surface products. However, that's going to change. We don't know exactly when or what specific form factor Microsoft has in store, only that the company will be coming out with smaller versions of Surface 2.
Panos Panay, Microsoft's VP of Surface, admitted as much when asked point blank about the prospect of Microsoft building a smaller Surface to compete with the iPad mini and other similarly sized tablets.
Original Surface (left) next to Surface 2. All that's missing is a Surface Mini!
"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," Panay said, according to GeekWire
. "That's the best answer I have for you."
To us, that sounds like a confirmation without the details, perhaps indicating that Microsoft hasn't yet decided all the specifics yet. If we had to guess, we'd say a smaller Surface would probably ship with an ARM-based processor and run Windows RT rather than Windows 8. A x86 slate would probably be more popular, but also cost more.
Would you be interested in a smaller Surface if one existed, or do you think Microsoft should leave that stuff to third party makers like Dell?