Surface Mini: 8in, ARM, pen support and coming in June

Microsoft’s Surface mini has been a bit of an elusive tablet; having been rumored for over a year and then not arriving in the fall when many expected it to show up on retail shelves, we finally have a press event for the new device. We had previously reveled that the device would come with a pen and the tablet is ready to launch but beyond that, the details were a bit slim, until now.

We knew that Microsoft was working to make the device note-taking friendly but sources are now saying that that OneNote will be baked deep into the platform. What this means is a bit unclear, but OneNote will be getting a prominent role with the tablet so look for it to be a focal point of the device. To build upon this, Paul Thurrott has his own sources who say that the device will "differentiates from the mini tablet competition by providing a very accurate and high quality stylus for note-taking and OneNote integration".

If you were hoping for a kickstand to be built in, we have some bad news, kinda. The device will have a cover available that will work as a stand but, like the touch and type covers, will be an available accessory to the device.

When the Surface 2 launched, it brought with it a new color option, silver. The mini may expand upon the portfolio of options but we won’t speculate on the inclusion of color options on the smaller sized devices.

As previously rumored, the device will be in the 8in class and will be ARM based, which means that Windows RT will be the OS powering the goods. Not really a surprise here as Microsoft knows that if they don’t build RT devices, the OS will go unutilized in the market.

But the one thing everyone wants to know is the release date and look for a June launch but the actual release date is still waffling around a bit.

One item we are still digging to find out is the launch price, that is still not known at this point but we would expect Microsoft to keep it competitive iPad mini which starts at $299 and other tablets, such as the Dell Venue 8 Pro which starts at around $199 depending on which retail shop you find it at.

With Mary Jo Foley accurately hitting a couple of the key Surface mini points on the recent edition of Windows Weekly and our sources are matching that info quite closely, this gives us further validation that these bits should be representative of the final product.

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