Neuralytix rejects the current supposition that Microsoft “axed” or “killed” the idea of a Surface “mini”. In fact, Neuralytix believes that although it was not launched in the recent Microsoft announcements, a smaller Surface tablet is imminent.
Our position is based on our own proprietary research. But it also reflects the success of 8” Windows 8(.1) tablets. In particular, Dell’s Venue Pro 8, and Lenovo’s Miix 2 8 and the ThinkPad 8.
(Disclaimer: Neuralytix is currently in possession of a ThinkPad 8, and we believes its features, functions and form factor to be very attractive to business users).
One simply needs to look at Samsung, Google, Acer, Toshiba and ASUS to see that having tablets/phablets in form factors ranging from 8” to 12” makes sense.
Not every tablet has to be a desktop/laptop replacement. For many, portability, weight and basic functionality are the top three attributes that they look for in a tablet.
With 8” tablets (i.e. mini tablets) weighing less than 1lb, and a combined power pack, tablet and keyboard weighing less than 1.5lbs, this is a market ripe for more entrants.
While it would be disappointing for Microsoft to manufacture an 8” tablet using Windows RT, for many tablet users, this may be more than sufficient.
We live in a “good enough” world when it comes to technology. The Surface and the Surface Pro certainly commands a premium, both products are well received. It makes sense for Microsoft to demonstrate that Apple is not the only company able to make a more portable tablet. It behooves Microsoft to manufacture an iPad mini competitor, and flex its muscles that Windows is as good as iOS.
Neuralytix believes that a “Surface mini” may be announced for the back-to-school timeframe. “Enthusiasts” and bloggers are too concerned with best-of-breed and bleeding edge technologies. A “Surface mini” would not be focused around these factors. Instead, it should focus on the business user who values the familiarity of Windows (and by extension Microsoft Office) in a very neat and small form factor.