The Surface Mini in Red

Posted on June 30, 2017 by Brad Sams in Hardware with 39 Comments

Several years ago, Microsoft was planning to release a smaller Surface device known to those following the company closely, as the Mini. The device was canceled at the last minute and the final fate of the tablet is unknown.

The reason I say it is unknown is that this tablet had been mass produced in the tens of thousands before it was canceled and in some instances, Microsoft had to turn around trucks that were carrying the devices to shopping centers and retail outlets to prepare the device for sale. This was, by all accounts, a last minute cancellation of the device and frankly, it was the correct move but what happened to the machines that were produced remains a mystery.

The tablets were likely recycled but it’s fun to think the shells were turned into Surface Pens or buried in the desert next to the ET games Microsoft dug up.

We know it was the correct move to cancel the device as the 8in tablet market does not exist today. Apple has a few devices in this segment but has not updated them frequently and Windows OEMs are not selling tablets in this size either.

Yes, the device is crudely cut out from another image I have…this was done to protect the source of the information.

That being said, earlier today Windows Central posted up shots of a black Surface Mini without the cover and I figured it was time to post the image I have of the device now that the cat is out of the bag (I honestly forgot about them).

The device ran Windows RT, had a 1440×1080 display, Snapdragon 800 processor, 1GB of RAM (yes, just one) and 32GB of storage (although I believe 64GB would have been an option as well). The cover, which is a rubber-like material was around the outside of the tablet and added a kickstand and the connection point for the cover.

The Surface Mini would have made a few fans but overall, it didn’t offer enough differentiation from what was already available in the market and Microsoft was still recovering from the massive write-down of the Surface RT which means they were hesitant to take additional hardware risk at that time. Since this device was canceled, the Surface brand has become a staple of the industry and continues to be a bright spot for Microsoft hardware.

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