Microsoft’s alleged Surface mini won’t just be notable for its size. The device is supposedly coming with heavy emphasis on “high quality” stylus input—not something typically associated with smaller tablets, Tegra Note notwithstanding—that will be integrated with Microsoft’s OneNote software. What’s more, Microsoft’s mini tablet will be powered by a Qualcomm processor and Windows RT, ditching NVIDIA’s Tegra technology for the first time, one report says.
The event scheduled for May 20 will actually feature multiple models, too, including an Intel-based tablet running Microsoft’s more robust Windows 8. It’s unclear if the Intel model will be a follow up to the Surface Pro 2, which isn’t all that old, or if we’ll see a high-end Surface Mini Pro or something of that nature. That would certainly help differentiate Microsoft from the swath of existing small tablets—but how would a full Windows experience translate to the smaller form factor?
A smaller Surface has been brewing in the rumor mill for months and months, and finally we’ll see what Microsoft has been cooking up. For all of its quirks and lagging ecosystem, the Surface is a pretty amazing gadget that sports some of the best hardware out there. If Microsoft can cram that into a more portable form factor, I’m sure many folks who use Office and such will be all over it. We’ll see how it turns out in just a few weeks.