From The Forums: An early concept for Xbox Surface tablet

There have been a ton of rumors that Microsoft has plans to launch a seven inch gaming tablet, perhaps with the name Xbox Surface. Microsoft has yet to confirm or deny these rumors but that hasn't stopped many from speculating what the tablet might look like.

One of Neowin's forum members, smileyctp, came up with some concepts of what an Xbox Surface tablet might look like in a recent forum post.  His concept looks similar to the UI design for Windows Phone 8. The interface has been designed to be used mostly in portrait mode, with four main hubs. Three of them are Xbox based: Games, Music, and Videos. The fourth is for Books which smileyctp thinks should be based on the Nook app.

He also thinks that the SmartGlass feature, which links the tablet to the Xbox console, should be a charm in of itself. There's also an image of what the tablet itself might look like running one of the four hubs, Music.

He states:

As you can see, there are now four tile sizes, but the extra-large tile is reserved for the app powering each one of the hubs. With the music Hub Tile (as I will call them), you are able to play, pause, and skip music, or just launch the app. A few of the small tiles will perform hub-specific functions--the two here are to create a new Smart DJ and to play a playlist. Artists and albums can also be pinned to the hub screen, as seen with Billy Joel and Boston's album. Social music updates, which Microsoft has promised in an update to Xbox Music, will show up on a separate live tile.

smileyctp says he has even more ideas for what Xbox Surface should look like and we hope he posts more of his thoughts and concept images in our forums in the very near future.

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12 Comments

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The hostility around here reminds me of why I didn't bother signing up to post earlier. If you have a better design, please let us see it.

Constructive criticism is one thing, especially if backed up by examples or alternative thoughts. Flaming (which is your right, I suppose) comes across as petty and stinks of jealousy.

Kudos to gzAsher for actually posting an alternative concept to back up critiques.

Wouldn't the name "Surface Xbox" make more sense than "Xbox Surface"? Former implies a gaming-focused Surface tablet whereas the latter is suggestive of an Xbox console in the form factor of a tablet.

Also, if it's based on the Surface RT/Pro, I can't see it being comfortable whatsoever for reading books on.

I would bet the xbox surface is closely closed off in terms of OS control more along the lines of windows phone. While I think Xbox Surface "sounds" better, I suspect it will ultimately be decided based on system architecture. If it's purely an xbox kernel with surface ui, xbox surface would be the choice. If it's a ui/bloatware for a heavily powered surface, surface xbox would fit.

I rather hope for the former, and allow it to be used as an input/control device for the new xbox as well.

as a XBOX concept its still missing one thing: game controller.
i can view the concept as a tablet, but i still cant view it as tabletized xbox.

I concur. It also follows the Metro/Modern styling nicely, instead of going off on some fancy pants tangent that often follows concept designs.

I would've thought the Windows or Start button should still be in the charms bar, though possibly replaced with the XBOX logo.

It's poor. Colour scheme should be Xbox green. And having a 16:9 display gaming/video tablet thats held in portrait makes absolutely NO sense at all. If this was called "Surface eReader" this design would make some sense.

It's common practice when rendering these types of concepts to show the most UI possible on a given screen. In the tablet space, this often is portrait unless the UI is exclusively tailored to or designed for landscape.

I'm wondering if it will have built in controls or special hard buttons to set it apart from the other surface tablets.

@smileyctp, nice work on the design. Obviously an xbox green (whatever it winds up being) theme would be included and probably defaulted, I agree that it's likely users will have similar color/styling options to windows phone. Seems like an obvious collision of existing products/markets.

ajcdotme said,
It's common practice when rendering these types of concepts to show the most UI possible on a given screen. In the tablet space, this often is portrait unless the UI is exclusively tailored to or designed for landscape.

It's common practice for iOS only. Android some times does it, but not always. Where as Modern UI on Win 8/RT is specifically designed for landscape and always shown like that in renderings (same with Xbox UI too). But here theres even a hardware button at the bottom indicating it's for use with portrait. If you're showing a tablet that uses Modern UI and is made for gaming and videos theres no reason or excuse for showing it in portrait. I just think this is all very poorly thought out and shouldn't get it's own article. He can use Photoshop, so what? So can i.