Surface creator says new aspect ratios, screen sizes in store for tablet line

Microsoft's Surface tablet line has so far only featured tablets with 10.6-inch, 16:9 aspect ratio screens, though recent rumors indicate the company may be considering a 7.5-inch, 4:3 aspect ratio screen. At a recent event at a Microsoft Store in Seattle, the creator of the tablet appeared to hint those rumors may be accurate.

Speaking at a public event showcasing the new Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 tablets, Panos Panay, corporate vice president of Microsoft's Surface team, said new form factors for the tablet line are in the works, though he didn't specify what form factors and sizes are being considered.

"We have a lot of great things that we are thinking about and working on, and there are multiple aspect ratios and sizes and awesome things to come from Surface," he said, according to a report by GeekWire. "That’s the best answer I have for you."

Panay's comment comes in the wake of conflicting reports regarding what size and aspect ratio the long-rumored "Surface mini" tablet will feature. CNET reported the tablet will likely have a 7.5-inch, 4:3 aspect ratio, though Paul Thurrott has maintained the tablet will feature an 8-inch screen according to his sources, likely at the same 16:9 aspect ratio of the current Surface tablets. The differing reports is notable as Android and Windows tablet manufacturers have favored the 16:9 aspect ratio, while Apple has only used a 4:3 aspect ratio for its iPad tablets.

Respondents of a Neowin poll posted Thursday indicated a strong preference for a 16:9 aspect ratio screen for a smaller Surface tablets, with 37.6 percent voting for a 8-inch, 16:9 aspect ratio tablet and 30.1 percent preferring a 7.5-inch, 16:9 aspect ratio screen. Options for 7.5-inch and 8-inch 4:3 aspect ratio screens received 11.8 and 15.1 percent of the responses, respectively.

Previous reports indicated the smaller Surface tablet will feature a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor, marking a departure from the NVIDIA Tegra chips found in the Surface RT and Surface 2. Though Microsoft has only worked with NVIDIA for its ARM-based tablets, Qualcomm is the exclusive partner for its Windows Phone products.

In addition to the form factor rumors, Panay also confirmed an LTE version of the Surface Pro 2 will not be released. Microsoft recently confirmed the Surface 2 will receive an LTE version early next year.

Source: GeekWire | Image via Microsoft

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Cool. The current Surface looks quite awkward when using it vertically. It's really not even much of an option at that point...

SCOOBY_666UK said,
I'd like a 27" Surface AIO.

A tabletop & wall seems likely given Microsoft's history with the original Surface line & PerceptivePixel.

I really don't understand why everybody always expects these super low prices for these devices.
You really get what you pay for, and I don't think MS wants to produce poor quality devices.

Stoffel said,
I really don't understand why everybody always expects these super low prices for these devices.
You really get what you pay for, and I don't think MS wants to produce poor quality devices.

Even in business school, it seem most people can't seem to figure out other ways to compete other than to engage in price competition. Just look at how many people believed the 5C would be cheap.

AWilliams87 said,

Just look at how many people believed the 5C would be cheap.

I thought it would be cheap because it looks cheap.

They should make a dirt cheap 7 in (16:9) for $129-$149.
Plus an 8 in (4:3) for $179-$199.
In addition they should do a 9 in (4:3) for $229-$249 to complete with the nook hd+

ians18 said,
They should make a dirt cheap 7 in (16:9) for $129-$149.
Plus an 8 in (4:3) for $179-$199.
In addition they should do a 9 in (4:3) for $229-$249 to complete with the nook hd+

Heh, joking or not aside, I don't think they're going to make that many devices. If the Surface Mini is 7.5" like they say then they might make a 6" model, more of a pure reader at best. Then they'll make bigger, not smaller, devices IMO.

A new Surface Pro that's 13" for example, and a real ultrabook Surface, not a tablet, at 15".

NoClipMode said,
Leave dirt cheap junk to Android.

I'd rather have a typical high quality and very well made Surface tablet.

No kidding! I've yet to see a tablet for $129-149 that was beyond a laggy mess running Android. (looking at you, Lenovo)

Just like I tell the customers I talk to: why spend the cheapest amount for a device you DON'T want when you can up it just a bit more and get something you can be happy with? At that point, you're just throwing money away.

dead.cell said,

No kidding! I've yet to see a tablet for $129-149 that was beyond a laggy mess running Android. (looking at you, Lenovo)

I never got any lag problem with andoid, and it's the second tablet I got.
But I tend to prefer custom Roms, cleaned from any bloatware.
I'm not aware of custom Roms for Surface devices.

I'd like the super widescreen that failed in the consumer TV market.

Then I could read an entire neowin article in portrait with comments and no scrolling.