Smokescreen: Is Microsoft trying to plant info at the 11th hour?

There's been a ton of rumors on the Internet that have claimed Microsoft will reveal a smaller Surface mini tablet on Tuesday during a press event in New York City. Now a new report from Computerworld claims that Microsoft won't be announcing that tablet on Tuesday after all.

The story, which claims it got the information from several unnamed sources, does not state if Microsoft had plans to reveal the Surface mini on Tuesday and later changed its mind or if it simply didn't have such a product to show for tomorrow's media event. It does state that Microsoft will reveal a larger Surface tablet during the press conference, as previously rumored.

Microsoft itself stoked the rumors of a seven or eight inch Surface tablet in its official invitation to the press event, saying that it is for a "small gathering."  Some people thought that was a reference to a smaller tablet than the current 10.6 inch Surface and Surface Pro models. Indeed, Neowin has posted stories from our own sources about the Surface mini, stating it would be using an ARM processor that's made by Qualcomm and that it will have an eight inch display.

We will soon see if Computerworld's story is correct, tomorrow, or if Microsoft is tossing a bit of bait in the water. Neowin will be attending Microsoft's Surface event and will report on all their announcements as they happen.

Source: Computerworld

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After beta testing a tablet that has Windows 8 pro on it, it has convinced me that Windows RT would be far better to have on the tablet than Pro. The Windows 8 pro tablets run hot. It literally feels like you are using an annoyingly hot and heavy notebook. The battery life is just as bad as a notebook.

According to members here on Neowin, what you speak of is blasphemy. I agree with you on the weight of the Surface Pro. I've been going back and forth with buying one but whenever I go to Best Buy and hold the thing for about 30 minutes, it feels like a laptop. When shopping for a tablet, weight matters.

jd100 said,
After beta testing a tablet that has Windows 8 pro on it, it has convinced me that Windows RT would be far better to have on the tablet than Pro. The Windows 8 pro tablets run hot. It literally feels like you are using an annoyingly hot and heavy notebook. The battery life is just as bad as a notebook.

Its true but lack of apps and games doesn't make RT as a platform attractive. Android and iOS definitely is a better value for money and now that Ms Office is available too.

It would make sense for Ms to launch Surface Mini once RT and WP have been merged. More apps will give it more value.

StandingInAlley said,

now that Ms Office is available too.

True, but for quite a price compared to Windows RT…

I guess you haven't used one of the new atom tablets. I have a dell venue 8 pro that runs windows 8 pro with an atom processor. It does not get hot like you state.

Mugwump00 said,
I'm not a gamer much, so someone please correct my assumption, but are non-touch games on a 10" screen ever viable?

Why wouldn't they be? Keyboard works just fine with a Surface, so you can play that way. And my Logitech gamepad works beautifully with the NES and Gameboy emulators I have on my RT.

The Surface is the best gaming tablet IMO, because it supports non-touch input so well. Simulated gamepad on a touchscreen is horrible, regardless of the size.

And the screen size is a dramatic upgrade for someone who used to play on a Gameboy and a PSP - positively luxurious in comparison! (I think I need to see if there's a PSP emulator now!)

DConnell said,

Why wouldn't they be? Keyboard works just fine with a Surface, so you can play that way. And my Logitech gamepad works beautifully with the NES and Gameboy emulators I have on my RT.

The Surface is the best gaming tablet IMO, because it supports non-touch input so well. Simulated gamepad on a touchscreen is horrible, regardless of the size.

And the screen size is a dramatic upgrade for someone who used to play on a Gameboy and a PSP - positively luxurious in comparison! (I think I need to see if there's a PSP emulator now!)

So it's good because of x86 emulators? Touchscreen is awful for games (O'really?), but Surface Pro (starting at $$$/weighing..?) is a useful screen update for PSP owners, even tho you're unsure it can run PSP games (with battery life @?)- and how would you control such games?

Who said anything about x86 emulators? I was mainly talking about the Surface's keyboard and gamepad support, which is excellent.

I play older console emulators, and I've gotten addicted to Asphalt 8, a Metro-native racing game that is awesomely fun with my gamepad as the controller.

Touchscreens _do_ suck for gaming - I agree there, but the Surface (even the RT) is excellent for gaming because you're not limited to the touchscreen for game controls. I have the original RT, and it's awesome as a portable gaming system, regardless of whether it's a touchscreen game or a controller-based game.

And if there is a PSP emulator (I was speculating), I'd hopefully be able to control it with my Logitech gamepad, as if it were a console. I imagine not every app supports a controller, but I've been lucky so far.

You seem to think that because the Surface has a touchscreen, that's the _only_ available control method. That's not the case at all. Plug in a USB game controller, stand the Surface up on a flat surface, and go to town. That's all you need to do, and you've got yourself a portable game system/console emulator!

Edited by DConnell, May 20 2014, 2:17pm :

Fair point - I wonder if an RT and classic Playstation controllers will marry-up?

There's a school-of-though going around that the RT is deficient because it isn't x86. In the main it isn't - it was deficient of key apps - a situation that can only improve, and has.

Are the Playstation controllers a variation on USB? I know the original XBox ones were. If they're USB-based, you might be able to rig a connection. Whether the RT will recognize it is another matter, but there's no harm in trying.

I'm wondering if the XBox 360 controllers for the PC will work with the Surface RT. Off to the compatibility site!

. . . Apparently it is. I think a trip to Best Buy after work is in order.

Well if they are, revealing an excessive range at obnoxious prices probably isn't the most overwhelmingly smart way of generating hype.

and tell us what price the galaxy line of tablets cost???
for a galaxy tab pro 16GB is over $500, for the 8" is over $400.
for a galaxy note pro 32GB is $770.
so how is any of MS products over priced and do get me started on the prices of ipads.
I can get a dell venue pro 64GB for $329 or I can get a surface pro 2nd gen 64GB for a little less than $100 more than a 32GB Samsung.

korupt_one said,
and tell us what price the galaxy line of tablets cost???
for a galaxy tab pro 16GB is over $500, for the 8" is over $400.
for a galaxy note pro 32GB is $770.
so how is any of MS products over priced and do get me started on the prices of ipads.
I can get a dell venue pro 64GB for $329 or I can get a surface pro 2nd gen 64GB for a little less than $100 more than a 32GB Samsung.

Well I have the best tablet in the Tab 3 range and I can tell you now they don't start out at 750 bucks, they're about half that price.

Javik said,

Well I have the best tablet in the Tab 3 range and I can tell you now they don't start out at 750 bucks, they're about half that price.

Well if you're talking about an Android tablet, you'd want to make your price comparisons with the Surface 2, which is $450.

The Surface Pro 2 on the other hand, is more of a small PC than a tablet.

Javik said,

Well I have the best tablet in the Tab 3 range and I can tell you now they don't start out at 750 bucks, they're about half that price.


LOL you're comparing a Tab 3 with the Surface Pro 2? Compare that with the Surface 2 buddy.

Javik said,
Still about 100 bucks cheaper.

Yes. I agree. 100 bucks cheaper with better screen and better battery life!
MS should just sell themselves to Samesong.

/s

As someone that is very curious about a possible smaller Surface, I do like the idea of this. MS has had far, FAR too many leaks from just about every department announcement and has no ability to surprise the industry or control the message anymore. The Xbox One PR nightmare is a perfect example of how damaging and long lasting such leaks can be, particularly as they tend to focus on negative aspects instead of presenting a more accurate picture.

Regardless, I can't wait. Hopefully this year I can have the funds to upgrade my Surface to the latest offering. I'm assuming this model will be the one best slated for upgrading to Windows 9 next year if those rumors are true.

warwagon said,
Noooooooooo! Can't be true! I wanted to see the 4:3 tablet that would never happen! :laugh:
No idea why a 4:3 ratio is loved by people.

MrHumpty said,
No idea why a 4:3 ratio is loved by people.


16:9 is great, but jot for a handheld device. It's ok in landscape even thought a little narrow for such a small device. But once you turn it's to portrait to read a book or comic or something, it's ridiculously tall and narrow.

HawkMan said,
16:9 is great, but jot for a handheld device. It's ok in landscape even thought a little narrow for such a small device. But once you turn it's to portrait to read a book or comic or something, it's ridiculously tall and narrow.
I have a surface RT and Pro. Whenever I feel like going portrait... it works just fine. More importantly, leaving it landscape is perfectly doable. I actually prefer horizontal scrolling with columns over vertical scrolling. But, the big kicker is... movies/tv all looks perfect.

So, reading web pages and watching content. Perfect. Reading books, while awkward at first, is perfectly doable.

HawkMan said,


16:9 is great, but jot for a handheld device. It's ok in landscape even thought a little narrow for such a small device. But once you turn it's to portrait to read a book or comic or something, it's ridiculously tall and narrow.

16:10 would be the best option. It's akin to 4:2.5 which is close enough..

ZipZapRap said,

16:10 would be the best option. It's akin to 4:2.5 which is close enough..

No, 16:10 is almost 16:9. 4:3 is a better handheld ratio.

4:3 is a deal breaker for me. Very bad for games, video, and multitasking.

16:10 or 15:9 are much better for widescreen and portrait. Android tablets seem to get it, why doesn't Microsoft?

Avatar Roku said,
4:3 is a deal breaker for me. Very bad for games, video, and multitasking.

16:10 or 15:9 are much better for widescreen and portrait. Android tablets seem to get it, why doesn't Microsoft?

You can truly see a measurable difference between 16:10 and 16:9?

HawkMan said,

No, 16:10 is almost 16:9. 4:3 is a better handheld ratio.

Having a 16:10 tablet, I disagree. 16:10 is perfect for reading books and comics and while 16:9 movies won't take up the entire screen they still look great.

Antoine Prince said,
nope. I like movies on 16:9. reading on a long tablet is actually better. less scrolling.


You flip when reading, not scroll.

HawkMan said,


You flip when reading, not scroll.


Isn't that quiet a skeuomorphic point of view? Why simulate pages on a purely digital format?

MFH said,

Isn't that quiet a skeuomorphic point of view? Why simulate pages on a purely digital format?


Because it makes a lot more sense when reading, wether it skeuomorphic or not. I don't necessarily agree that it is though. It's merely presenting the text in the way it was made and the way the writer presented it. Eternally scrolling a Peter F. Hamilton book would be stupid.

MFH said,

Isn't that quiet a skeuomorphic point of view? Why simulate pages on a purely digital format?
There have been studies that show the human eyes have a better ability to keep place when scrolling when scrolling horizontally than vertically. Granted, I wish I had the link handy... but I don't. However, upon reading that I did notice that reading view in IE on my Surface where it is made into columns and you scroll horizontally was much more pleasing to me than scrolling vertically when in portrait in either regular or reading view.

ZipZapRap said,
yep
I may have to pull out my 16:10 monitor to see. I've enjoyed widescreen in either format over 4:3. I really don't understand why people love *that* ratio at all. It's horrible.

Antoine Prince said,
nope. I like movies on 16:9. reading on a long tablet is actually better. less scrolling.
I run vertical 16:9 monitors on my desktop. The not scrolling part is quite nice.

HawkMan said,

It's merely presenting the text in the way it was made and the way the writer presented it.

Books most definitely are not organized in pages by the writer…

HawkMan said,

actually for a lot of writers they are.


What writer wastes their time with thinking about pagination and all the stuff related to it (typesetting, hyphenation,…) instead of writing the actually book?