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Microsoft's Surface Mini does exist, at least according to the Surface Pro 3 user manual

Surface 2 LTE

Microsoft has inadvertently confirmed the existence of the Surface Mini in a user manual for the Surface Pro 3, which was recently published on the company's website. The Surface Mini is an interesting device that failed to show up at the Surface Pro 3 event after Microsoft emphasized on the event being "small". Unfortunately, the company failed to shed light on whether or not such a device exists and if it will be available for purchase at some point in the future.

Surface Mini

The Surface Mini is mentioned several times throughout the user manual, with one section dedicated to pairing the new Surface Pen with unannounced the Windows tablet. Other references cover OneNote and other features. Previous reports stated the delay with the Surface Mini is due to the lack of touch support in Microsoft Office for Windows 8, which would change with the release of a touch-friendly version.

Surface Mini

Even with Microsoft confirming the product's existence through user documentation, we'll have to wait for an official announcement to know exactly when consumers will be able to pick up the Surface Mini – that's if Microsoft chooses to launch the device.

Source: Microsoft, via: Paul Thurrott

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Reader comments

Microsoft's Surface Mini does exist, at least according to the Surface Pro 3 user manual

110 Comments

Weren't there already plans to release it after Modern Office was available? I suspect in a mini tablet with ARM they are planning for it to be an all Modern experience with no desktop. That is my hope and if they do it they will get better adoption for Windows on ARM since it would be more akin to an iPad.

It's a good reason to wait.  Office 2010 is fine on my Dell Venue Pro 11, but rather annoying to use on my Dell venue pro 8.  It still works, but...

"Weren't there already plans to release it after Modern Office was available?"

That is my understanding as well.  It makes alot of sense, since the current Office offering on RT really isn't going to fly on an 8-inch experience.

I wish they dropped arm already, it doesn't go well and people doesn't understand what it is

Just keep baking x84 bit tablets

I'm waiting for a 7" tablet with 2GB RAM, 32GB storage, microSD, 0.65 lb, RT OS, Touch Office, MS Reader and OneNote/Surface Pen.  I need a small, light weight, operable with single hand tablet.  Toshiba Encore 7 sounds close enough, but I would like to see better specs.  Hopefully, Surface Mini will turn out to be the one I'm waiting for.

The speculation from insiders is that the Surface Pro 3 event was supposed to be the Surface Mini + Pro 3 up until the last minute. Apparently Satya Nadella and Steven Elop decided to pull the plug as there wasn't enough to make it anything more than a "me too" device.

That's all stuff that other people have assumed from what other people have told those other people, so, take it with a grain of salt. All we know for certain is that MS never officially announced the thing.

Most remarkable is the fact that the Surface mini got a pen. I expected the mini to be a RT device, and till now those devices could not work with a pen. So either:

- the Surface mini will be full Windows 8.1, or

- the RT surfaces will be able to pair with a pen. In that case it might also become available form the Surface 2 (not pro) as well.

Hopefully the new devices will all have proper screen ratio's (like the 3 pro).

 

 

 

I don't think we're going to see it until the replacement for rt is done. If the rumours are to be believed this device was the same spec as the delayed device from last year but with the new pen. So its starting to get a bit old even before release.

They've also bought Nokia since designing the thing who may have better products in development for this size device.

Well, your Dell Venue 8 Pro actually exists. Right now, even with leaks and rumors pointing to the purported Surface Mini, it's still vaporware until it's actually announced. Besides, the Venue 8 Pro is a solid tablet.

I thought they weren't going to release the product because it wasn't a compelling enough device? What has changed?

I just wish wish wish wish that it will run full windows with the i3 processor.  I love my Dell Venue 8 pro but the pen is just bad compared to the Wacoms I'm used to using.

The fact that it suggests pairing a pen to it makes me think that it will have a very powerful ARM processor, or a weak Intel processor.

Idealy it has an Intel processor, but Microsoft really needs something to be successful running Windows RT at the same time.

Have u used the new updated ones, I've seen mixed reviews but more good than bad, just scared to spend $40 for some junk

Im not really into using tablets as a replacement quite yet im using a ivybridge 18 r2 & love it. High end graphics(2 7970's in crossfire mode would love to upgade to the r9's eurocom have but not sure if its worth updating the bios since im using a factory overclocked extreme i7) high voltage ram using windows as primary os w8 pro in a vhd stored on a external usb3 hard disk cant get a better experience then that

It could mean they have added to the blutooth stack extra support needed for it to work aside from special updates to the rt version of the apps

Well, Surface Mini pen support has also now been confirmed. Sounds awesome, 8in would be a great form factor for a portable note-taking device, especially with the awesome new N-Trig pen!

^ this. My entire hope is for a surface mini which can be a discreet but highly functional replacement for the traditional small paper notepad in business meetings. Sometimes typing on a keyboard is not discreet enough, and so a digitizer is the golden ticket.

Its sad though it doesnt have enough space on it to realistically use it & none of the carriers have a variation that works 100% on Canadian cellular service providers(ie. Gprs, edge, hspa pcs bands , and aws/pcs lte)

As long as it is nicely integrated in the ecosystem (think OneDrive and OneNote), a Surface Mini could be a great device to carry around pretty much everywhere, even when you don't drag your Surface Pro with you everytime you leave the house. Think women's purses, for instance. Suddenly, that quick note you jotted down is available throughout your family of devices. Not sure I wouldn't prefer that functionality in my phone (phablet?) instead, though. A merger of the Lumia 1020.Next and a Surface mini...

If it's true that the mini is "boxed up and ready to go in a warehouse" as has been said, I hope that there is a newer, updated mini ready to release at the same time. Current one using ARM, newer one running an updated Atom chip. Because if they come out solely with a device whose components are already a year or more old, they won't sell many, even to hardcore MS fans like myself.

That bit of information seems to have slipped by the goalie. lol. Surface Mini. Can't wait nor can I imagine how that will function. Especially the kick stand part.

Woot! Though if the Gemini for RT are delayed apps are delayed, it could still be a while :(

One good thing about the surface team is their desire to push the boundary in hardware and suceeded after the 3rd try, unlike the Windows phone team and the Windows team which both will move only after lots of whipping by the users.  So there is hope that the Surface Mini is a high resolution and high specs device.

From what I have read the Surface Mini was ready to launch with the Pro 3, but at the last minute they held back. Which might explain the references in the manual. I have no doubt they would reuse or combine parts of the manual so that's probably why it's being seen now.

 

I have no doubt it exists and if it really did they probably have a good reason they held it back a bit. I'm interested to see what it is before I make a final decision!

So it supports the pen, that's good news.  If there is an LTE option I'll buy it as soon as its released!  There aren't a lot (any other than the ToughPad?) of smallish Windows tablets with digitizers and LTE.

If they delayed the release for a touch-enabled Office that probably means it is bundled.  If its bundled, that probably means Windows RT.  That would be fine for a small tablet but I would prefer Intel for greater flexibility.

Can't wait! This could be a perfect note-taking device to many, just needed to be very affordable. Maybe more affordable than iPad Mini and Galaxy Note 8. They needed to release Surface Mini soon, but I think the modern version of Office are the one holding the Surface Mini release.

I still wonder though why there is no Windows RT devices that have pen-support before?

 

I was really into RT. Bought a Surface RT. Was looking forward to future convergence between RT and Windows Phone. Then the 8" x86 tablets happened. I would have gladly got an RT one had Microsoft released one, but I was impatient so I bought a Dell Venue 8 Pro. And, oh my goodness, is x86 Windows 8 better. Even simple tasks, like dearchiving the Doctor Who audio adventures I purchase from BigFinish.com, are dead easy on x86 and incredibly hard on RT. De-archiving is baked into x86 Windows, whereas on RT I had to purchase a frustrating to use app, that didn't always do the job. No more RT for me, sadly. Windoes RT had me and lost me. Now I'm x86 all the way again, it's simply a better experience.

I believe that Surface mini will be a 10.1 inch device with n-trig pen support (obviously) and run 8.1 much like galaxy s and galaxy s mini (put the desired number next to it). I just have a feeling...

RT=Fail Finally got rid of surface rt. I spent $600 on it and gay it when it first came out. Sold it for $150. I won't buy a surface product unless it is under $500 and has full windows. Still rather have macbook air for college than surface pto 3.

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I though Microsoft said mini simply wasn't ready. I thought they all but confirmed its existence and ship date outright?

I don't think the reason it has been held back was hardware rather than the software, they need to get that tablet after windows rt and WP merging, and of course Gemini ♊

I think I read somewhere that Office Touch will be released with the next version of Windows.

The next version of Windows will be huge, a reboot of Windows 8. I am hearing that it will include :

1. A partial return of the old start menu. The start menu will include Live Tiles.
2. The ability to run windowed Metro apps.
3. The merging of Windows RT and Windows Phone OS.
4. Office Touch
.... and more.

Microsoft is hoping that the next version of Windows will do to Windows 8 what Windows 7 did to Vista.

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Of course it exists. Microsoft has already confirmed it exists, and WPC has published at least one article about why Microsoft has not released the Surface Mini.

Of course the Surface Mini exists, Mary Jo Foley and Paul Thurrott both called it. There are approx 20,000 boxed and sitting in a warehouse...

Until we get the Metro, sorry Modern, version of Office, the Mini won't see the light of day.

Yes, the blather of one publicity seeker and one now cut out of the Microsoft loop but still wanting his name in lights pseudo-expert prove it all. Please take a close look ar your prophets and see their success rate since Microsoft stopped letting them in the door much.

There should be two versions!

- Surface Mini 7" (Tegra K1 processor)

- Surface Mini Pro 7" (Atom Z3770D)

That would be awesome!

Let's just keep swinging and missing.  How'd the references to the 10 inch BlackBerry Playbook work out for people?  In era of general sloppiness and non-existent copy editing this is about as meaningful as a blog rumor.  Considering the general sloppiness surrounding most of Surface Pro 3 why would this surprise anyone? 

I thought it's existence was pretty much already known. They had a last minute change of heart and decided not to release it.

I am not convinced it was a mistake. No way it makes it through all the checks and balances. I believe it was a great marketing strategy to build buzz and receive feedback before the device is even released. Now we all may get a little of what we're asking for.