The Surface Mini was in fact very real

Back before the Surface Pro 3 was announced, we had been hearing that there would be an additional, companion device that would be shown alongside it. The reports pointed to a Surface Mini; a device was even mentioned in the instruction manual for the Surface Pro 3.
However, Microsoft decided at the last minute to pull the product, perhaps echoing sentiment from the tech community and consumers that Windows RT wasn’t exactly a winning proposition for tablets.
As it turns out, the Surface Mini was in fact very real and Brad Sams of Neowin was able to lay hands on the device (although he was forbidden to post pictures).  Sams says that the rumored specs were right on the money, as the Surface Mini features an 8” display, Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, a microSD slot, built-in kickstand, and the same Surface Pen from the Surface Pro 3. The Surface Pro 3 and Surface Mini both use the Surface Pen, hence its “shout-out” in the Surface Pro 3’s instruction manual.

And the Surface Mini of course runs Windows RT 8.1.
When it comes to its appearance, the Surface Mini looks much like the bigger Surface Pro 3, albeit on a much smaller scale. The device can also be equipped with a case that attaches the device, but lacks a built-in QWERTY keyboard due to space constraints.
In his short time with the device, Sams came away impressed, stating, “This device is the pen and paper killer. The size is fantastic, although the bezel does seem large for the size of the display, but the case creates a compact, easy to carry and highly functional tablet.”
“I have grown to be a big OneNote fan after using it extensively with the Pro 3 and in this smaller form factor, it would replace my pen and paper pad during interviews.”
So it appears that Microsoft built a tablet that would be every bit an equal to Apple’s popular iPad mini/iPad mini with Retina Display, but it just wasn’t meant to be. I guess we can file the Surface Mini with other abandoned Microsoft hardware projects, such as the Courier.

While Microsoft has no plans to introduce its smaller Surface Mini, we’re quite sure that the company will point prospective customers to devices like the $120, 7” Toshiba Encore Mini which runs Windows 8.1 with Bing.

Source: Neowin

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