A rumored smaller Surface may have a 4:3 aspect ratio, unlike the 16:9 ratio found in current Surface tablets.
Rumors of a smaller Surface tablet have circulated for months, though the exact size of the device's screen has been a mystery, with some reports claiming a 7-inch screen while others claimed an 8-inch. According to a new report, the screen will fall between the two sizes.
CNET spoke with Rhonda Alexander, director of tablet and monitor research at IHS iSuppli, who said the tablet will have a 7.5-inch screen boasting a resolution of 1,400x1,050. That resolution is notable as it means the screen has a 4:3 aspect ratio, different than the 16:9 aspect ratio found in the 10.6-inch displays on the rest of the Surface line. Apple's iPad tablets, including the 7.9-inch iPad mini, all have displays with a 4:3 aspect ratio; most Android tablets, including 7- to 8-inch tablets, have a 16:9 aspect ratio.
As noted by The Verge, Microsoft updated its developer tools this year, including references to a 7-inch, 1,400x1,080 display, possibly indicating a slightly different resolution than Alexander's claim.
Alexander's statements conflict with an earlier report by Paul Thurrott, who has accurately revealed information about numerous Microsoft products in the past. According to Thurrott, the smaller Surface will feature an 8-inch screen, though The Wall Street Journal previously reported the tablet would have a 7-inch screen. Thurrott recently reported that the small Microsoft tablet would be released sometime this holiday season.
The smaller Surface is expected to include a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 chipset, different from the NVIDIA Tegra 3 and Tegra 4 chipsets found in the Surface RT 2 and Surface 2, respectively.