Accessory listing points to May release of Surface Mini

Two weeks ago, Neowin reported new details about Microsoft’s Surface Mini, saying the company could release the tablet as early as this spring. Now newly leaked product listings could indicate a release in May.

A new case by Vostrostone listed on Amazon says it will “only fit Microsoft Surface Mini.” The case will go on sale May 18, according to the listing. Also of note is that the listing states the cover has "access to all ports and controls" of the Surface Mini. The current photos of the device appears to feature Lenovo's ThinkPad 8, however, meaning the cover shown may be a placeholder, or it may simply be an improper listing.

Given the photo, it's difficult to say if the entire listing is accurate. It's possible Vosotrostone could be jumping the gun and attempting to anticipate a release date, though saying the cover is "specifically designed" for the Surface Mini would indicate the company knows where the ports for the tablet will be.

As reported by Neowin, the Surface Mini will focus on note-taking abilities, including a bundled stylus. The tablet will also include proper pen support, meaning Wacom digitizer or similar technology.

A Microsoft representative said the company has no comment on a potential Surface Mini release.

Thanks for the tip, Greg Alto!

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32 Comments

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neonspark said,
please not windows rt. please not windows rt. please not windows rt.

I don't get the rt hate, it's like people wanting osx instead of IOS.

Rt is perfect for small tablets, arm based with long battery life and the store apps have come a long way.

neonspark said,
please not windows rt. please not windows rt. please not windows rt.

This might be a silly question, but what Win32 apps would you want to run oj such a tiny screen? There's no way I'd want to run my PhotoShop on it, nevermind most of my games on Steam. Office? Probably not. Something that tiny and regular Windows apps seem unusable...

I hope there is no RT. Windows Store is pathetic and most of the apps suck. I wouldn't want to be limited by Modern apps. There are times when IE doesn't load a website properly or plays YouTube videos and this is when Chrome comes in the picture. The biggest problem with RT is also lack of support of drivers for various hardware devices. I love my Surface Pro model.

StandingInAlley said,
I hope there is no RT. Windows Store is pathetic and most of the apps suck. I wouldn't want to be limited by Modern apps. There are times when IE doesn't load a website properly or plays YouTube videos and this is when Chrome comes in the picture. The biggest problem with RT is also lack of support of drivers for various hardware devices. I love my Surface Pro model.

The last thing I would want on an 7- or 8-inch tablet is to rely on the desktop, where apps aren't designed for touch.

I use IE11 exclusively and have zero issues with youtube, any site that decides it wants to be coded by idiots I switch on compatibility mode. The only issues you have with IE11 is with site written badly and are serving up non compliant code - because its not checking versions just that its IE.

Chikairo said,

This might be a silly question, but what Win32 apps would you want to run oj such a tiny screen? There's no way I'd want to run my PhotoShop on it, nevermind most of my games on Steam. Office? Probably not. Something that tiny and regular Windows apps seem unusable...

Why do people get so obsessed with thinking because people want full Windows on a small screen that's actually how they're going to use it. I have a Surface Pro and 95% of the time it's docked to a bigger screen.

I don't really *need* a Surface Mini in all honesty, but I think I want one... if I was able to use it round the house for general web browsing, Skype & Twitter but then have the option to dock it to use full Windows too, that'd be just perfect!

CrippsCorner said,

Why do people get so obsessed with thinking because people want full Windows on a small screen that's actually how they're going to use it. I have a Surface Pro and 95% of the time it's docked to a bigger screen.

I don't really *need* a Surface Mini in all honesty, but I think I want one... if I was able to use it round the house for general web browsing, Skype & Twitter but then have the option to dock it to use full Windows too, that'd be just perfect!


If you are buying a surface mini to dock it 95% of the time, you are doing it wrong. Computer hardware is not powerful enough yet to have a machine that's good for docking and small (<8") too. Currently, Surface (Pro) 2 is best suited for that.

CrippsCorner said,
I don't really *need* a Surface Mini in all honesty, but I think I want one... if I was able to use it round the house for general web browsing, Skype & Twitter but then have the option to dock it to use full Windows too, that'd be just perfect!
I'm personally against those who say "please not windows rt. please not windows rt. please not windows rt." Both RT and x86-based versions would be great according to me, so people can use whatever they prefer. Why would someone pretend their choice of one or the other is best for everyone?

Crimson Rain said,

If you are buying a surface mini to dock it 95% of the time, you are doing it wrong. Computer hardware is not powerful enough yet to have a machine that's good for docking and small (<8") too. Currently, Surface (Pro) 2 is best suited for that.

Well, like I said I do this with my Surface Pro...

Are you telling me a Surface Mini wouldn't be capable of general web browsing, Skype & Twitter? If I had a Mini, it would be used as a more portable device yes, but it's having the option to dock it as well. At the end of the day all it really means is using it with a bigger screen.

CrippsCorner said,

Are you telling me a Surface Mini wouldn't be capable of general web browsing, Skype & Twitter? If I had a Mini, it would be used as a more portable device yes, but it's having the option to dock it as well. At the end of the day all it really means is using it with a bigger screen.


Windows RT can do that.

Nobody said anything against surface mini docking. It will be able to dock and I would be disappointed if it can't. But it will not have enough power to run x86 programs in their full glory in big screens. The computing power is not just there yet, that's why it should have RT.

Crimson Rain said,
Then use venue 8 pro.
You obviously did not get my point. If the Surface Mini has hardware equal to or better than what the Venue 8 Pro has and runs 8.1 then it will have enough power to run some x86 programs in their full glory on big screens. You can't just generalize and say it will be completely useless when docked. Personally I'm in the market for both types, so I hope they release both RT and x86 based ones.

Romero said,
You obviously did not get my point. If the Surface Mini has hardware equal to or better than what the Venue 8 Pro has and runs 8.1 then it will have enough power to run some x86 programs in their full glory on big screens. You can't just generalize and say it will be completely useless when docked. Personally I'm in the market for both types, so I hope they release both RT and x86 based ones.

Keyword: some.

The price it will have to pay in mobility section for that is not worth it.

Crimson Rain said,
Keyword: some.
Err, yes, which is exactly why I said "would depend entirely on the program" in my initial comment. :rolleyes:

Crimson Rain said,
The price it will have to pay in mobility section for that is not worth it.
I don't get it. Why does it bother you so much that CrippsCorner and possibly others want to use their Surface Mini docked? Does it affect your usage in any way? Who cares what others do with it or if some x86 programs run like molasses when docked? Just buy the device if it suits you and use it as you see fit, period. I can foresee a definite use for an x86 version too along with an RT one, so looking forward to see whether they release a Mini Pro version too.

Romero said,
Err, yes, which is exactly why I said "would depend entirely on the program" in my initial comment. :rolleyes:

I don't get it. Why does it bother you so much that CrippsCorner and possibly others want to use their Surface Mini docked? Does it affect your usage in any way? Who cares what others do with it or if some x86 programs run like molasses when docked? Just buy the device if it suits you and use it as you see fit, period. I can foresee a definite use for an x86 version too along with an RT one, so looking forward to see whether they release a Mini Pro version too.


I have no issues with others using it docked; hell if I buy it, I'd use it docked too (at times).

But I do have issues people asking for this device to be x86 and compromise mobility to increase usability/functionality on docked mode. Surface Mini is supposed to be totally focused on mobility.

Obviously, an x86 tablet can do almost everything an ARM tablet can do and more.
Intel's chips are very close to ARM in terms of mobility but still not totally equal. So I don't see why Surface Mini should be using Intel chipset.

Probably by next year, when Intel's offerings will be totally on equal (or better!) footings to ARM, it should definitely be x86 machine with full windows (with a choice of windows RT for users who just want a maintenance free environment).

I have absolutely zero issues with people asking for an x86 version right now (instead of next year) as long as they release an ARM version as well. :)

That's not happening. And it really doesn't matter what we ask or say now. This device is probably being packed now for shipment to retailers.

Also, there's already venue 8 pro or similar devices filling in the "mini" genre of x86. ARM version of mini is missing...so that's what surface mini should fill up.

Just to clarify, I have no qualms with a Surface Mini being RT or full windows... I'll probably buy it regardless. For my personal use, full windows would be great, although I doubt that's the way they'll go.

One thing I'm wondering about: If the merging of Windows RT and Windows Phone for small tablets takes place within a year or so, how long of a lifespan will the first Surface Mini tablet actually have if it's released next month?

I don't think it will have an effect upon its lifespan. Don't forget the original Surface launched with Windows 8 and was updated to 8.1. Most of the changes will be behind the scenes anyway.

dopydope said,
unless it's x86 based ?

We still don't know if the merging of Windows RT and Windows Phone will solely be for ARM devices. It's possible it could simply be an SKU for small devices that don't need the desktop, regardless of processor type.

Crimson Rain said,
Whatever happens, MS will not let a wp7 scenario repeat. So buy it without any fear.

Exactly. And now that WP and WinRT have the same architecture backend, it won't affect the lifespan of this device. I can't wait to get one :D

agreed. while someday the product called windows phone will just be windows, I think they will remain separate products for the foreseeable future while the actual sharing and refactoring happens at the kernel and OS level independent of user updates. Basically it is one code base from microsoft's perspective but from the product's perspective, it will remain two separate ecosystems tied only by the universal app model.

Don't forget that any apps you purchase from the store will run on any Windows 8 device (be it arm/x86 and soon Wp), any merging will still allow you to run those apps and any merged OS I would think will be an upgrade for the ARM devices (via firmware).

Anthony Tosie said,
One thing I'm wondering about: If the merging of Windows RT and Windows Phone for small tablets takes place within a year or so, how long of a lifespan will the first Surface Mini tablet actually have if it's released next month?

I don't see why Microsoft can't make it upgradable.

Saving Pvt Bryan said,

I don't see why Microsoft can't make it upgradable.

And at the same time, I don't see why they would. Tablets makers want the eventual obsolescence that fixed hardware brings.