Microsoft holding 'small' Surface event in New York on May 20

Microsoft has begun to send out invitations to a private press event hinting that a smaller Surface Mini tablet may be the topic of discussion on May 20th. According to the invitation, Microsoft is asking media to join it for "a small gathering."

Though no mention of a Surface Mini was given, the invitation did bear "Microsoft Surface" branding. We can take that as a clue, along with the "small" wording, that a smaller Microsoft Surface Mini tablet will be joining the most recent Surface refreshes, including the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2.

Rumors of a smaller Surface tablet have been going on for some time now, and a smaller Windows 8.1 tablet may help Microsoft compete better with Apple's iPad mini and a number of 7- and 8-inch Android tablets, including Samsung's Galaxy Note 8.0 and LG's G Pad 8.3. There are also a number of Windows tablets currently from Asus, Acer, Lenovo, Dell, and Toshiba that sport the smaller form factor, but none officially from Microsoft's official Surface product line.

Source: @JoannaStern; Engadget

Chuong's passion for gadgets began with the humble PDA. Since then, he has covered a range of consumer and enterprise devices, raning from smartphones to tablets, laptops to desktops and everything in between for publications like Pocketnow, Digital Trends, Wareable, Paste Magazine, and TechRadar in the past before joining the awesome team at Windows Central. Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, when not working, he likes exploring the diverse and eclectic food scene, taking short jaunts to wine country, soaking in the sun along California's coast, consuming news, and finding new hiking trails. 

245 Comments
  • If the price is right, I'm buying this.
  • I may too
  • I may... Definitely will if it's in 4:3
  • This. But having the 1520 it's almost pointless with this screen. 1520 with RT would be absolute.
  • I prefer phone to rt I just wish a stylus came with the 1520 and dual apps
  • So basically you want smaller tablet...?
  • I do feel a little silly using my Dell Venue Pro 8 next to my 1520...
  • Exactly.. But, imagine the 1520 running pro...
  • RT is dead
  • Yeah. And I've heard the PC is dead, and Windows is dead, and Xbox is dead. If RT could talk it would probably say, "The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated." Or maybe it would just let Cortana tell us.
  • +920  
  • +925
  • It is if you want a toy. Mine works hard and works well. A mini RT tablet would fit my needs very well and I'm not afraid to pay for Microsoft reliability.
  • People want both. 
  • No, RT will be the new platform for phones and tablets.
  • Very likely that MS will make a few changes, drop the name RT since it is badly tainted, then just rebrand it. 
  • I'm very sure they will rebrand a new platform, and all apps can be used on all platforms. A major new step, and I hope it will be soon, my guess is end 2015 or maybe 2016. It could be great with only one platform - PC, Tablets, Phone, Xbox and TV.
  • Same here. I've been waiting for this for so long...
  • But I think we still need to wait, from words to action in the shops Microsoft always are slowly. I hope they will change that in the future.
  • What's the right price?
  • $399
  • $399? I just got a Surface with 64GB for $299. A smaller one might be cool to have but I'm not paying more for it.
  • Gettting a Surface 1 just now puts you in the cheap market. Not comparable to a new device. 399 sounds just about right. Preferable with ARM SOC (Windows RT) and active stylus. 
  • If I was to guess (which is all we're doing at this point anyways), I'd say it'll sell for between $299 and $349. My reasoning being that the current 32GB Surface 2 sells for $449, so this would be about $100 cheaper. Just a thought. $399 would be the absolute top for an 8" Surface, though even that seems too high.
  • I second your reasoning for that pricing suggestion.  I would lean toward $299 for the 32GB and $349 for the 64GB version. that should create enough pricing headroom for the 106" surface 2.
  • $249 for 32gb?
  • Precisely.  What is the right price?  It's different for everyone.  But "most" of these people who read these types of sites thinks these companies should be giving away their products for peanuts.  The Price is the Price.  If you think it's too much don't buy it.  Or if you have a job save a few bucks if you think you can't live without it.  It's very simple. 
  • Too many people buying subsidized Android tablets who blame capitalism if a company makes money.
  • Subsidizing is simply another, nefarious, way to make people spending; exactly as revolving card are.
  • At the end of the day you have to sign the contract. Nobody is holding you at gunpoint forcing you to.
  • 1020 nothing comes close.
  • I would say that the 1520 does, but the camera needs some serious attention, which it doesn't seem to be getting....
  • I don'r know that I agree with that. My wife has the 1520 and the1520 images are nearly as good as my 1020.
  • See, the thing about them 1520 is that it doesn't take good images easily... High light pictures are way to blurry, and low light pictures are bright, but to noisy.. At times I wished I had my 920 with me because after a few updates the 920's software really takes advantage of the hardware... Not to mention that video is not great at all on the 1520 with it sometimes stuttering... I'm not nitpicking, but these issues are true, they're evident, and they need to be addressed... Nevertheless, when I can finally get my 1520 to take good pictures they are nothing short of amazing for a smartphone, so I know a little twerking can make it a great camera... Funny, twerking is now in the dictionary for W8.1... LOL!
  • Nokia is ignoring the 1520 just like they ignored the 820. The 1520's video capabilities go on par with my LG thrill at night.
  • Do you think that the picture quality is poor for a 20mp Lumia camera?
  • Have you tried taking a stroll at night with your 1520 recording the beach or park where there's light, it's awful, take the same stroll with your 920 it's higher quality. I have little problems with its camera quality I can beautiful pictures on most situations but video is really poor.
  • Exactly.. We need a update.. Hopefully the Cyan update will bring a fix to 1520 devices..
  • Will buy one if it comes with "Metro" Office 2013. I don't want my 365Office subscription to go to waste.
  • It will...any tablet under 10" I think includes Office.
  • Remember that WP is going to be getting that cool new, feature rich, universal Office app that W8.1 is getting... 1520?
  • Really? Haven't heard of that before.
  • Hell yes!!!... And, no other platform can do this... Basically WP will be getting a full Universal Mobile touch version of Office.. This should shut up those who say that WP phablets are nothing but big phones, and don't have true phablet capabilities... Seriously, this is one of the most exciting new things coming to WP8.1.. All of the features we got with the WP8.1 preview are cool, but its just the beginning.. There's much more to come over the course of 2014..
    .........................
    http://www.wpcentral.com/microsoft-demos-new-touch-focused-office-apps-c...
  • I wish it was WP exlusive .. Seeing it's built using DirectX that may take a while cos we first need DirectX support on our phones which was rumored in 2015 I think.. If of course DirectX is needed.. :)
  • "Metro" Office is not ready yet. Posted via the WPC App for Android!
  • They'll price it wrong. I'll hang on to my Dell Venue 8 Pro until the price drop.
  • +928, I'll keep my $100 DV8P for now as well. I barely use it, but it does come in handy. I wonder how small the SM is going to be. Hmmm..
  • Or a Surface phone?
  • A Surface phone would be news. But I don't think that will happen until RT and Windows Phone become one and the same.  I don't see that happening for a while, if ever.
  • Isn't that just a Lumia?... Nevertheless, I do think it would be cool if MS had multiple brands of WP devices... Multi purpose devices like the Lumia line, a Surface line that is more business/enterprise oriented, and a "sport" line with devices that are waterproof, and more rugged.. That would be awesome..
  • That is actually a very good idea.. Ima steal this >=D -- Bam --
  • Take it!!.. Take it and run with it...
  • A waterproof surface mini with LTE would be awesome, but it would have to have lots of memory built in.
  • Super idea, hey what about a MS job :)  it could help a lot.
  • I'd take it if they offered..
  • Three sifferent styles would be really nice, i like this, MIcrosoft! DO IT!
  • Three, or even four, styles would seriously get WP8.1 recognized.. It's almost a no brianer... I suspect that MS has thought of this.
  • This was my first thought. I think sexy new hardware would compliment 8.1 just fine.
  • Yes. My Surface RT runs like molasses.
  • Clear some space on your hard drive, that should help. I moved my documents, pictures, and video folders to a SD card and it helped huge for performance
  • I'm curious about it but at the same time, my surface is my laptop. I can't see me using anything less than 10.6 inches
  • I have a surface pro 2 and I l;ove it, but there are times I wish I had something smaller to carry around for consumption only.
  • Like a 1520?
  • Have a 1020. Tough to give that up just for the bigger screen.
  • Same. I already have a Venue 8 Pro,but if its reasonable I'll still buy one of these.
  • I think 350 would be the right price, just like with the surface 2, 50 bucks below ipads
  • Price plus a PEN and better than 1080p (8") dispaly! That's my dream list. I need high rez and the pen for fresh paint.
  • Let me guess... $800 with LTE.
  • I am going to choose between this and Asus vivotab note 8
  • Hopefully they'll announce an availability date that is only a couple weeks away.  I hate when Microsoft announces something without a date, and then it lands several months later.  It just kills all the excitement by the time you can buy it. Besides, the speed at which Samsung "borrows" ideas, they can build one from scratch and have it in stores in a couple months. 
  • Woot!
  • Please be full Windows 8, my RT has almost made me lose faith in app centric products :|
  • While I agree, I wouldn't hold my breath.
  • Hey SwimSwim, do hold you breath when you dive deep..
  • Haha, where'd that come from? But alas, I don't dive. And for a swimmer, I actually have terribly small lung capacity. :/
  • It'll be RT, doa to everyone but Microsoft fans.
  • Unfortunately. While I agree RT is the future of Windows so Microsoft can dump all the old baggage of old versions of Windows, it's still premature. RT is the future, but as usual, Microsoft is always too early or too late.
  • Lol. But you know surface rt is one of the best selling windows tablet? So it is about time. And the surface brand is now establish. Tablet market is really for a killer hardware, so msft has a real opportunity here. Just price and market it right. Posted via the WPC App for Android!
  • RT SUCKS. I need legacy apps!
  • non touch legacy apps in a small screen? have fun with that.
  • RT is fine for people like me who just need it for school and web browsing with very little interest and interaction with unnecessary apps.  IF you need legacy, there is surface PRO for you and tons or shitty laptops from Acer and such.  More options is better than ignoring the minority.   I dont understand how some of you cannot see this shit?  THere are two options for a reason.
  • RT is pointless. For apps and web browsing most normal people buy iPads and Nexus 7s.
  • Is the Surface RT 2 better at running Windows RT than the original? If so, how much so? If it's substantially, then I may buy this mini tablet of (almost) my dreams :)
  • From what I hear, the Surface 2 runs RT buttery smooth.
  • Upgraded from original RT to Surface 2 a couple months ago and love it. Performance is substantually better than the RT. Also went from around 6 hr battery to around 9 hrs on the Surface 2. This new Surface mini will most certainly be RT its the most ideal form for it. If its not an RT device then its safe to say Microsoft has given up on RT.
  • Ideal? Bay Trail STILL consumes less power than the Tegra 4 in the Surface 2, guys. This has been a fact since it released, and will continue being a fact. AMD's new APUs and Intel's Cherry Trail come out this year, they're also both great in low power and will be very competitive with ARM. x86 being more power hungry was busted quite a long time ago. Don't want to deal with "legacy/old" apps on your tablet? Don't install them.  Don't want your kid installing old apps and viruses? Lock down the UAC. If your kid is smart enough to figure a way around that they probably wouldn't be good with an RT anyways.    Windows 8.1 is simply more flexible.
  • My Asus 8" device can't even outlast the first generation RT and all the review tests I've seen confirm this too.
  • But your (and my) Asus 8" Note 8 is smaller, thinner and lighter than the first gen RT. Batteries aren't made out of air. My Asus is giving me 8+ hours, and more standby time than my Surface 1 RT ever could. With light/moderate use, I charge it once a week. What a pleasure.
  • I'm not saying that RT is the "ideal" OS, but if Microsoft plans to continue the RT line, an 8in or mini device is the ideal form factor to put RT. Personally I would never think of using a mini device, or my S2 for that matter, to do real work; I have a laptop for that. But I like the convenience of having a light OS, without the bloat of a full-blown windows OS as a consumption and portable device. Having Office, and open ports are plusses.
  • Indeed it does! I have the Surface 2 and it definitely runs 8.1RT buttery smooth!
  • Ya, my first Gen Surface is pretty slow. But I've heard the S2 is smooth and fast. I was debating getting a Surface 2. But I may hold out to see what this Surface Mini is like.
  • It is light years better. Almost any Gen 1 device is inferior to a Gen 2 or newer. Just bought the wife her first Surface 2, and is liking it over her normal Win8 laptop. A few app exceptions that aren't deal breakers, and she's been happy
  • I think you mean windows metro. Microsoft has said that are going to discontinue RT with windows 9
  • Where did they say this?
  • They did not. Actually RT and Windows Phone will evolve in PRT according to Microsoft. Remember universal apps? Windows RT is here to stay.
  • you're gooung to use the desktop on a 7-8" device? it's hard enough in a 10.8" device. are you also going to carry around a mouse?
  • RT =/= Metro   I do carry around a mouse with my surface pro, actually.