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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I am a big fan of small devices being the only machine needed. My 11in Air for example once I plug in my LCD display has then a full 22in 1080p resolution and I use my bluetooth keyboard and mouse with it and can work just as I do on my desktop... just no high end games.

I on occasion connect my BT devices up to my nexus 7 and use it like a small laptop, and on the road I have done the same with my phone even if i wanted to type out a long email.

I love small devices that can do 90% of the uses of everyday people. Email, and web is most of that. For most people youtube is the most intensive thing they do.

The reason that I wold like an 8in "pro" is simply for the ability to run Chrome. I have been tempted to get a DV8P, but with an 11in Air that Bootcamps with Windows 8 and a Nexus7, it feels like one to many devices.

I already have: PC desktop, 15in rMBP, 11in Air, Chromebook (never used), Mac Mini (never used),Nexus 7, nexus 5, and a T520 from work. I am debating selling the Mini, Chromebook and Retina MBP.

Edited by AltimaXP, May 16 2014, 6:46pm :

Now lets see if Microsoft is going to go head to head with the Mini and release a Mini with a 4:3 screen.

My Nexus 7 gets next to no use. I just hate the rectangular screen, it annoys. me. My iPad 2 gets more use.

Despite that this is RT, this is something I might buy, perfect companion to my Lumia 920.
I already have two laptops (12 & 15inch) if i need to do something heavier on the go.

If the price is right im buying it :)

I just hope that MS sell this at around $250! If there are anytime to take a lost to gain market share quickly, this is now the time.

I am curious what kind of issues will it face? Possible answers:

- wifi issues (it took MS around 8 months with constant firmware updates every month to try to fix unreliable wifi issues)
- battery issues
- display issues

I mean knowing the Surface 1 and Surface 2 hw defects and software issues I am more than sure this mini will also suffer some problems.

Dear Microsoft,

If you're going to include a pen, how about including a slot on the tablet in which to place it?

Sincerely,
Surface Pro Owners

I'm amazed that they don't include a silo for the Surfaces that have a stylus. Surely they could have made space for one.

I can attach my pen to the charger port (you know the one on the right hand side of the device).

But that is only when the charger is not plugged in of course.

It's a shame that this device (and any other Surface tablet) is not available in my country (Chile).

Here, the iPad and many other good Android tablets are everywhere.

Even Windows Phone and all Nokia's flashgip devices are gaining traction. But no word on Surface or even Xbox One. I couldn't not understand why MS is complaining about slow adoption if they even are on all markets.

Cheers.

Island Dog said,
If they want it to even be close to competitive to anything, the price shouldn't be over $199.

It will happen once this becomes a flop, like Surface 1, Ms will be forced to cut the price and sell it for dirt cheap.

StandingInAlley said,

It will happen once this becomes a flop, like Surface 1, Ms will be forced to cut the price and sell it for dirt cheap.

I wouldn't exactly call the Surface 1st gen at $349 as being "dirt cheap".

I love my Surface pro but after using it since launch I could easily live with an 8 inch Surface RT device. I get by with 95% metro use and rarely use the desktop portion on my Surface Pro.

I'm more bummed about the lack of kickstand, the kickstand is VERY useful. If the price is right I will pick one of these up.

Nice I hope Microsoft will eventually release the courier interface as a app for Surface's or have it influence OneNote's direction.

Very disappointed but hardly surprised. I love my Surface Pro and would have picked this but RT is crap. Lack of Apps and support of different hardware is a deal killer for me. Knowing MS and with the way they price, this will be priced at $399 for sure. This will be a niche product and has a place in the market but sadly not in my house. I will stick with Android or iPad Mini for 7-8" Tablets and continue hoping for a miracle that will save RT or bring any apps to the platform.

For those wondering what kind of apps, one would run with Pro? Its not just apps but using that USB port for more than just transferring things over thumb drive. RT has no drivers for most of the hardware out there and just note taking doesn't justify spending money on it. Pen and paper will workout cheaper and more efficient :p

StandingInAlley said,

For those wondering what kind of apps, one would run with Pro? Its not just apps but using that USB port for more than just transferring things over thumb drive. RT has no drivers for most of the hardware out there and just note taking doesn't justify spending money on it. Pen and paper will workout cheaper and more efficient :p


Ask those that buy a Galaxy Note for note taking. Pen and paper is cheaper, and yet digital note taking is very popular with some advantages.

MS has a potential hit here considering how good OneNote is.

StandingInAlley said,
Pen and paper will workout cheaper and more efficient :p

Let me know when I can instantly search for a specific word or phrase with pen and a 200 page (or whatever) notepad, and then I'm fully on board. ;)

Just want to put it out there that 8.5"x11" paper is very close to 16x20 in terms of ratio, cutting down the screen size to 8.5"x5.35" would give the magically 16x10 ratio and leave a nice screen size for a purpose built note taking device.

RT means its worthless to me. And the fact that no other OEM is making RT devices should be a sign to Microsoft that the OS is irrelevant, but with all those billions to burn guess they dont care.

pack34 said,
Are you seriously expecting to run any sort of significant desktop application on such a small screen?

One of my older tablets has a rather small display running Win 7... 7" display, it works but it's pretty bad for that sort of thing, bullseye-ing tiny little controls with a stylus isn't much fun. Small screen I'll take RT any day. Now a larger unit (Surface Pro, etc) of course I'd take the full desktop version.

who's to say he isn't going to occasionally plug in an external monitor?

plus there are other reasons to want x86 then "significant desktop applications"
i have a venue 8 pro with which i have a system wide adblock on. and i have the ds4 tool installed so i can use my ps4 controller on the tablet (also installed joytokey)
i play minecraft on the thing occasionally with the controller along w/ some metro games

none of this i would be able to do currently with WindowsRT

Exactly, theres no point in such small display with full Win8. I own Lenovo Miix 2 (8", Bay Trail Atom powered). If I would have to choose now, it would be WinRT. Small tablets are not supposed to replace PC.

I already use an Asus Vivotab Note 8 and before that the Dell Venue 8 Pro so I yes, I will and do run x86 programs. If I wanted a crippled OS I would have gone for ios or android but I want a Windows tablet and not a cut down version.

RT just sucks, just look at the Microsoft apps like Skype, doesnt hold a candle to the desktop version and xbox music and video are pale shadows of what Zune used to be. 3rd party apps are even worse, CNN for example always fails to play videos for the main story and just try using the WWE network app, guess what, it doesn't even exist for Windows. How about my brother printer, management for firmware updates is done with an x86 app, should I buy a new printer just to accommodate RT? Plus how about all the other apps missing from the Windows store, ios and android have far more apps while Windows has fewer and the ones it has are mostly slow loading and buggy, why would I want just that experience?

When you consider all that why would I want to be restricted to running only RT when an atom tablet gives me all the benefits and more flexibility?

Edited by efjay, May 6 2014, 4:58pm :

Brando212 said,
who's to say he isn't going to occasionally plug in an external monitor?

plus there are other reasons to want x86 then "significant desktop applications"
i have a venue 8 pro with which i have a system wide adblock on. and i have the ds4 tool installed so i can use my ps4 controller on the tablet (also installed joytokey)
i play minecraft on the thing occasionally with the controller along w/ some metro games

none of this i would be able to do currently with WindowsRT

Then buy a Surface Pro. Don't complain that MS isn't catering to a small market of weirdos who want both a small screen and legacy functionality. This is a consumption device targeting mass market. By using ARM they'll get the best battery life possible and a smaller disk footprint once they remove the desktop from Windows on ARM.

Bleedorang3 said,

Then buy a Surface Pro. Don't complain that MS isn't catering to a small market of weirdos who want both a small screen and legacy functionality. This is a consumption device targeting mass market. By using ARM they'll get the best battery life possible and a smaller disk footprint once they remove the desktop from Windows on ARM.

i don't have a thousand+ dollars to spend on a surface pro. that's why the 200-300 price range of the 7-8" is apealing

Brando212 said,
who's to say he isn't going to occasionally plug in an external monitor?

plus there are other reasons to want x86 then "significant desktop applications"
i have a venue 8 pro with which i have a system wide adblock on. and i have the ds4 tool installed so i can use my ps4 controller on the tablet (also installed joytokey)
i play minecraft on the thing occasionally with the controller along w/ some metro games

none of this i would be able to do currently with WindowsRT


So how many people do you think need that system wide adblock?
RT has TPL support and supports controllers out of the box. If that PS4 controller is not compatible, ask Sony to make it so.

efjay said,
RT just sucks, just look at the Microsoft apps like Skype, doesnt hold a candle to the desktop version and xbox music and video are pale shadows of what Zune used to be. 3rd party apps are even worse, CNN for example always fails to play videos for the main story and just try using the WWE network app, guess what, it doesn't even exist for Windows. How about my brother printer, management for firmware updates is done with an x86 app, should I buy a new printer just to accommodate RT? Plus how about all the other apps missing from the Windows store, ios and android have far more apps while Windows has fewer and the ones it has are mostly slow loading and buggy, why would I want just that experience?

Everyone else on the planet bought a new printer to work with consumption devices. Just because you didn't doesn't mean MS should cater to you.

And blaming RT for poorly written and designed apps is just laughable. Skype is awful on x86 Metro as well. RT has no inherent performance issues, the problem with performance on the original Surface RT was because of the outdated processor. Once again, you're blaming problems on the OS instead of the actual culprit.

efjay said,
When you consider all that why would I want to be restricted to running only RT when an atom tablet gives me all the benefits and more flexibility?

That's 100% untrue. Windows on ARM doesn't suffer from needing user-maintenance, will have better battery life, and a smaller OS footprint.

Crimson Rain said,

So how many people do you think need that system wide adblock?
RT has TPL support and supports controllers out of the box. If that PS4 controller is not compatible, ask Sony to make it so.

The point is that you can do more with x86, and give up virtually nothing for it.

Seriously, What is the reason NOT to have x86? What, specifically, does RT provide that x86 does not? The only things I know about are a smaller footprint for the install, the software walled garden (this is actually a drawback IMO), and the outdated and dubious claim of increased battery life. That's it. Pretty lame, really.

x86 may be more than is necessary for this size/class of device, but RT offers no real advantages... so what's the point?

The point is it's unnecessary. RT offers real advantages for mass-market consumers:

Walled-garden ecosystems are easier to use, less prone to malware, and support discover-ability of content far beyond anything the legacy environment could hope to match.

Smaller footprint for install is sorely needed (see the uproar over the install size of RT on the original Surface RT). Getting rid of the legacy environment accomplishes this.

ARM processors do have lower TDP's of equivalent Intel processors, and as such will get better battery life.

Not to mention the silliness of having a desktop on an 8" screen.

Hambone72 said,

The point is that you can do more with x86, and give up virtually nothing for it.

Seriously, What is the reason NOT to have x86? What, specifically, does RT provide that x86 does not? The only things I know about are a smaller footprint for the install, the software walled garden (this is actually a drawback IMO), and the outdated and dubious claim of increased battery life. That's it. Pretty lame, really.

x86 may be more than is necessary for this size/class of device, but RT offers no real advantages... so what's the point?


I don't want yet another tablet that I need to maintain like desktops.
RT will give better battery, less weight, less heat, more hdd space, less CPU utilization, no battery drain.
RT takes away all the pains of Windows desktop.
RT makes sure, if I give this tablet to a kid/elderly or someone who constantly gets their computer virus infected no matter what I do, it will just work.

Come back when x86 chipsets have equivalent or better TDP. Once this happens, for my personal needs, I'd prefer full Windows but for less-techy people, I'd still like an option of Windows RT (running on x86 or an option to disallow all apps not signed by MS in full Windows).

Bleedorang3 said,
The point is it's unnecessary. RT offers real advantages for mass-market consumers:

Walled-garden ecosystems are easier to use, less prone to malware, and support discover-ability of content far beyond anything the legacy environment could hope to match.

Smaller footprint for install is sorely needed (see the uproar over the install size of RT on the original Surface RT). Getting rid of the legacy environment accomplishes this.

ARM processors do have lower TDP's of equivalent Intel processors, and as such will get better battery life.

Not to mention the silliness of having a desktop on an 8" screen.

That's a shame. I might have considered replacing my V8P with the Surface Mini if it had been x86. ARM though nah. Even if it has Wacom I don't want ARM. Wouldn't pay more than $200 for an ARM tablet.

Brando212 said,
who's to say he isn't going to occasionally plug in an external monitor?

plus there are other reasons to want x86 then "significant desktop applications"
i have a venue 8 pro with which i have a system wide adblock on. and i have the ds4 tool installed so i can use my ps4 controller on the tablet (also installed joytokey)
i play minecraft on the thing occasionally with the controller along w/ some metro games

none of this i would be able to do currently with WindowsRT

You're one of the few as far as the market goes. Majority who buy mini tablets don't plan to do all of that. But hey, there's choice, people can get one of the other x86 8" tablets, doesn't have to be a Surface.

efjay said,
RT means its worthless to me. And the fact that no other OEM is making RT devices should be a sign to Microsoft that the OS is irrelevant, but with all those billions to burn guess they dont care.

The feelings on RT are a side note right now. As WP and Windows RT converge in this next year, both OSes will benefit from more features and a stronger ecosystem.

My problem with RT on this device isn't that I need to run heavy desktop apps. No, it's the tiny custom apps I need like a custom network client to connect to WiFi at work or remote access at home. Idevices and Android are supported because of their sheer numbers. Windows 8 is supported as is Mac. But an RT client is dead in the water because there's not a single OEM that supports it.

It's a shame too since Surface hardware is some of the best out there.

Crimson Rain said,

RT makes sure, if I give this tablet to a kid/elderly or someone who constantly gets their computer virus infected no matter what I do, it will just work.

This.

I have a few friends who constantly get their computers infected. They could do everything they need on an RT machine, and I wouldn't get panicked calls every couple weeks.

pack34 said,
Are you seriously expecting to run any sort of significant desktop application on such a small screen?

Powerpoint, OneNote, Outlook.

Since the Surface starts at $349, for the gen1 RT, this mini has to be $299 tops. And that depends on what internal storage options we get. Are they going to have a 32GB only? A 16GB and a 32GB version maybe? If they only do one SKU with, say, 32GB then $299 is what I'm betting the price is. If they have two models then $249 and $299, I really doubt they'll price it at $199, they'll let their OEM partners race to the bottom.

I'd say 16GB is unlikely given how much space Windows and Office take up. 32GB with a microSD slot is the bare minimum for any sized Windows tablet.

jakem1 said,
I'd say 16GB is unlikely given how much space Windows and Office take up. 32GB with a microSD slot is the bare minimum for any sized Windows tablet.

I'd agree but they made specific changes with update 1, at least for the OS so it doesn't take up as much space on 16GB devices, think people have said on 16GB you get around 11-12GB free with 4GB for the OS (probably doesn't take Office and other apps into account but how much space does office take up?).

A Mini Pro would be a day one buy for me. Though if the price is under $300, I'll probably dump my Nexus 7 and pick one of these up.

I don't think that at this size you need a pro version. For that you have the Surface Pro. Remember they are marketing this device as a notetaking heaven and this will be very useful for so many applications

I absolutely love my Dell Venue Pro. I didn't think having x86 Win 8 at that size would be useful, but this little device has proven me wrong for my own needs. With a Bluetooth mouse and keyboard it makes a great road warrior device. I'm shocked, in a good way, at its battery life with x86 Win8 on it. I may now look for a small micro-USB video adapter or a USB micro to standard converter and video adapter to be able to use external monitors at office locations I drop into.

nickcruz said,
I don't think that at this size you need a pro version. For that you have the Surface Pro. Remember they are marketing this device as a notetaking heaven and this will be very useful for so many applications
I refer you to a part of my post below. you'd be surprised what all you can do

i have a venue 8 pro with which i have a system wide adblock on. and i have the ds4 tool installed so i can use my ps4 controller on the tablet (also installed joytokey)
i play minecraft on the thing occasionally with the controller along w/ some metro games

none of this i would be able to do currently with WindowsRT

@scorp508 - I have three DVP8 Pros, two for my kids. They both have Bluetooth keyboard and mouse. I purchased a USB OTG (On the Go) cable from ebay (or Amazon) and Plugable UGA-165 USB video adapter for my older child. She uses the DVP8 as her main computer. My younger child uses the DVP8 to play Mindcraft.

Given how DVP8 meets our kids computer needs, it has been a great device.

Brando212 said,
I refer you to a part of my post below. you'd be surprised what all you can do

So you would rather MS gimp the device by installing a bloated OS and using a processor with lower battery life just to cater to the weirdos who want to look at a desktop on an 8" screen? That sounds awful.

What's next, complaining that MS's smartwatch runs on ARM and you wont buy it because it can't run your excel macros?

You have to understand that you represent a legacy market that is extremely small for consumption devices. Microsoft already has a device for you. Its called the Surface Pro.

Bleedorang3 said,

So you would rather MS gimp the device by installing a bloated OS and using a processor with lower battery life just to cater to the weirdos who want to look at a desktop on an 8" screen? That sounds awful.

What's next, complaining that MS's smartwatch runs on ARM and you wont buy it because it can't run your excel macros?

You have to understand that you represent a legacy market that is extremely small for consumption devices. Microsoft already has a device for you. Its called the Surface Pro.

Oh yes, because rt is proving that it is what people are asking for with sales numbers... Pros are outselling rts. Turds are outselling rts...

Brando212 said,
no surface mini pro? shame. i guess i'll stick with my Venue 8 Pro

That's good because we don't need yet another 8" "pro" tablet. OEMs are filling that slot really nicely.

What we need is small tablet running RT that are essentially maintenance free and has highest possible mobility (least weight and best battery life). That's where Surface Mini comes in.

Bleedorang3 said,

So you would rather MS gimp the device by installing a bloated OS and using a processor with lower battery life just to cater to the weirdos who want to look at a desktop on an 8" screen? That sounds awful.

1. battery life on the dell venue 8 pro is almost as good as any arm tablet out there so that's no excuse anymore
2. you could do without the name calling thank you. plus i never said i used it for the desktop. there is one desktop app that i use and that's minecraft IN FULL SCREEN. i also have an ad blocker running in the background.
3. i use a pebble smart watch and it does everything i need it to

i could go on but i think you get the point (at least i hope you do)

Crimson Rain said,

That's good because we don't need yet another 8" "pro" tablet. OEMs are filling that slot really nicely.
you're right i don't need another one. the only thing i was really looking for in the surface mini (if it was x86) was if it would have a higher resolution screen. that's really the only thing i wish was better on the dell

if the surface mini had met that i would have traded in the dell to get it

Because MS slapped a gimped desktop onto it just to serve up Office. RT works fine on consumption-oriented devices.

The 50 people on the planet who need both Win32 applications AND an 8" screen can go buy a Venue Pro or whatever other OEM feels the need to throw away money on a tiny market.

The rest of us would like for MS to reduce the OS footprint and level of needed user-maintenance on non-pro tablets and increase the battery life. Hence, the ARM processor.

Brando212 said,
you're right i don't need another one. the only thing i was really looking for in the surface mini (if it was x86) was if it would have a higher resolution screen. that's really the only thing i wish was better on the dell

if the surface mini had met that i would have traded in the dell to get it

If you can get your hands on one you could get a Lenovo Thinkpad 8. Although the battery life is a tiny bit worse than the DVP it is a gorgeous device with a nice high-res screen.

Bleedorang3 said,
Because MS slapped a gimped desktop onto it just to serve up Office. RT works fine on consumption-oriented devices.

The 50 people on the planet who need both Win32 applications AND an 8" screen can go buy a Venue Pro or whatever other OEM feels the need to throw away money on a tiny market.

The rest of us would like for MS to reduce the OS footprint and level of needed user-maintenance on non-pro tablets and increase the battery life. Hence, the ARM processor.

Reduced footprint? You really seem to be missing something fundamental.

Windows 8 has less of a running footprint than Android, yes the full desktop and even server versions.

The only 'footprint' that is larger is the storage space consumed, and considering it has driver support for virtually everything in the world, the extra space isn't very big.

You call Windows 'bloated' but insist the RT version isn't. You do realize they are the SAME OS? RT is compiled for ARM, the others for x86 or x64.


The irony is that Windows 8.1 on a low end 8" x86 device performs better than Android. Even Dell had to push up the processor in their 8" version for Android, when originally it was to use the same CPU Windows did.

Mobius: Windows 8.1 Pro, after disc cleanup, shows that 15.0-GB is used by the Windows folder on my Lenovo S400 Touch. My 16-GB Nexus 7 Kit Kat still has 10.8-GB of free space. I don't see how Windows uses less storage than Android based on what is in front of me. Even if a device boots off the WIM image of 3.6-GB that will have a negative impact on performance, not unlike the old DOS DoubleSpace/DriveSpace program that allowed more programs to be installed on small hard drives "back in the day". Compressing and uncompressing saves space, but the cost is a performance hit of some degree.

seeprime said,
Mobius: Windows 8.1 Pro, after disc cleanup, shows that 15.0-GB is used by the Windows folder on my Lenovo S400 Touch. My 16-GB Nexus 7 Kit Kat still has 10.8-GB of free space. I don't see how Windows uses less storage than Android based on what is in front of me. Even if a device boots off the WIM image of 3.6-GB that will have a negative impact on performance, not unlike the old DOS DoubleSpace/DriveSpace program that allowed more programs to be installed on small hard drives "back in the day". Compressing and uncompressing saves space, but the cost is a performance hit of some degree.

The WIM install is less of a performance impact that you assume.

Remember it is only 'reading' from the compressed image (except for system updates), and the read speed from any of the WIM compression methods are usually faster than doing an uncompressed read from the storage medium. (Microsoft and most compression has a hit on 'write' but is seamless to faster on 'read'.)

I wasn't talking about the 'install' footprint, as I mentioned it is a bit bigger as it does include a lot of OS and drivers that Android doesn't offer.

I was referring to its 'running' footprint, and it runs 'lighter' than Android or ChromeOS due to the way NT works, as low level drivers/services don't consume RAM or CPU resources unless that specific feature is being used at the time.

Too often people conflate how Windows NT works with other OS models like OS X or Linux. Just because a 'feature' or 'subsystem' is available on Windows doesn't mean it is loaded or consuming anything to exist, and the only time it has a 'footprint' (RAM/CPU) hit is when that feature or subsystem is specifically being used. This is why legacy support is still so rich on Windows as having the 'legacy' parts of the OS available don't cost anything until it is needed.

Bleedorang3 said,
Because MS slapped a gimped desktop onto it just to serve up Office. RT works fine on consumption-oriented devices.

WIndows RT is far from gimped, rather, it's artificially locked down to increase the security, reliability and "consumerisation" of the platform.

Whether you consider this gimped or not is another matter, but if the technical restrictions were lifted (Well, they were successfully bypassed in a very convoluted way a few years ago), and you compiled for the architecture, then you'd be able to run Windows RT programs on it no problems.

Hell, if Microsoft wanted to, I'm sure they could port the .NET Framework onto it and then any programs written entirely in .NET as platform-independent would work on it as-is without recompiling.

However, this is not the approach Microsoft chose to go down. That doesn't mean it isn't fully capable of this stuff though.

Being ARM, there's no reason to buy this over an Asus Vivo Note 8 or Dell Venue Pro 8. ARM means no built in Intel WiDi. PowerPoint + 8" Pro Tab + WiDi display + Wacom stylus = Awesome.

The Stylus situation is the major problem with the Venue IMO. Also, no kickstand puts it on equal footing with the OEM 8" Pros. Because of that, I think the 8" RT is doomed from the start, unfortunately. Throw in a built-in kickstand and maybe. But really for me, WiDi rules out all RTs for me at this point.

Yeah, I agree about the kickstand. I was paying with my VivoTab Smart the other day and having to hold the damn thing while I was watching a video got annoying real fast. It's times like those that I do appreciate the built-in kickstand in the Surface devices.

Mobius Enigma said,

Reduced footprint? You really seem to be missing something fundamental.

Windows 8 has less of a running footprint than Android, yes the full desktop and even server versions.

The only 'footprint' that is larger is the storage space consumed, and considering it has driver support for virtually everything in the world, the extra space isn't very big.

You call Windows 'bloated' but insist the RT version isn't. You do realize they are the SAME OS? RT is compiled for ARM, the others for x86 or x64.


The irony is that Windows 8.1 on a low end 8" x86 device performs better than Android. Even Dell had to push up the processor in their 8" version for Android, when originally it was to use the same CPU Windows did.


stock Android fits has no trouble running in a GB of memory. (Source: me and my android device that has 1GB of RAM) Also the Venue 8 Pro has a better/newer processor, than the Android Venue 8 does. Nice try, but I'mma have to fail on your troll attempt. Also .NET is included in Windows RT.