Pictures of the cancelled Surface Mini reveal why it didn't hold promise
Pictures of the never-released Surface Mini have surfaced (pun intended) online thanks to a report by Windows Central. The device seems to be a mini version of the Surface Pro 3 and was supposed to debut alongside it. The screen seems to emphasize a portrait orientation (supposedly for note taking) with the same kickstand mechanism found in its bigger brother. The pictures show that the Mini has a microSD card slot, a headphone jack and a micro-USB port capable of USB-OTG. The Mini is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 SoC with 1GB RAM and, the 8-inch display sports a resolution of 1400 x 1080. The tablet also comes with 32GB inbuilt storage and support for dual-band WiFi. Powered by Windows RT, the device was primarily aimed at note-taking and, it comes with the same Pen technology found in the Surface Pro 3 along with a holder built into the kickstand.
While all these specs give an impression of a device perfect for simple note-taking and classwork, Microsoft made the last minute call in 2014 to cancel the Surface Mini as the company realized that there were not many unique selling points for this device over the Surface Pro 3. Windows RT itself was shown the boot with the launch of Windows 10 soon after. Fast forward to 2017, the market for less than 10-inch tablets has dwindled with no major OEMs releasing smaller, cost-effective Windows tablets. However, things might start to look up once again with Windows-on-ARM (WoA) holding very good promise in a small but powerful form factor.