Microsoft is expected to launch a mini version of Surface tablet which, per rumors, may boast of a Kinect-like feature that can interpret specific gestures made by a user.
Microsoft has already released the second-generation of the Surface tablets, the Surface 2 and the Surface Pro 2, in October this year. Previously, it was speculated that Microsoft may also launch a smaller 7-inch tablet, dubbed the Surface Mini, along with the full-sized tablets. However, after the release of the second-generation Surface tablets, rumors are now hinting that the smaller Microsoft tablet may launch in spring 2014.
The tablets industry is getting flooded with a range of smaller and bigger tablets made by an array of technology companies. However, the full-sized 9.7-inch iPad and the smaller 7.9-inch iPad mini are the most popular tablets in the market.
If Microsoft launches a smaller tablet, it will face stiff competition from the likes of Retina iPad mini, Nexus 7 (2013 edition), Kindle HDX, and more. However, reports suggest that Microsoft may deploy certain features such as the Kinect technology in the Surface Mini, which may attract many customers and at the same time, give competition to rivals.
Chinese website WPDang claims that the Surface Mini will sport an 8-inch Full HD screen with 1080p display. The tablet may let its users give commands with specific air gestures, similar to the Kinect technology found on Microsoft Xbox 360 and Xbox One. An Intel Bay Trail processor is expected to power the Surface Mini and the tablet may run on Windows 8.1. Rumors also suggest that a cheaper version of the Surface Mini may also arrive, equipped with an ARM processor.
Gesture command feature is attractive but the technology is not entirely new. Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone also boasts an "Air Gesture" feature that allows users to scroll through pages without physically touching the handset. However, the technology is still to be seen in a tablet.
Microsoft has not neither confirmed the features of the Surface Mini nor the launch date for the tablet.
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