It appears Microsoft will be launching a smaller, "mini" version of its Surface tablet, less than a month after the company unveiled its latest Surface Pro 3 tablet. The move, which was not supposed to be made public until a later date, was accidentally revealed in the company's Surface Pro 3 User Guide, showing the company is preparing for the launch.
The discovery was made public by observers who pointed to the guide as evidence that a mini Surface was on its way. It should be a boost for Microsoft, which has done well in the tablet market with Surface due to its computing ability and promotion as a tablet that makes a laptop obsolete.
The revelation comes as Microsoft has begun pushing Surface Pro 3 in stores and has already started sending out tablets to customers who had pre-ordered them beginning on May 20, when the new tablet was announced.
The mention of the Surface Mini has many excited that Microsoft is putting itself forward as the new leader in tablet technology, with the Mini being mentioned throughout the guide. Already, there is much media speculation on when the new mini tablet will be launched, but Microsoft has not officially commented on the potential device.
"Click the top button [of the Surface Pen] to open OneNote, even if your Surface is locked," the guide stated. "Bluetooth technology links your Surface Pen to your Surface Mini or Surface Pro 3, so when you click the button, your Surface responds instantly," the guide says.
Speculation has been surrounding the Surface Mini since the larger Surface Pro 3 was unveiled in May, as reports suggested Microsoft's top brass pulled the mini from presentation after it believed that it did not offer enough innovative features to separate it from lower-cost models already on the market. Maybe now there have been some additions to the mini that will entice users to pick up one.
By August, all Surface Pro 3 tablets should be ready to go and users are readying for purchase already.
The tablets are not cheap. The base model starts at $799 and the 128 GB version runs $999. The 256 GB will cost $1,299 through Microsoft's online store. If customers pre-ordered them, they will be shipping this week.
Users who want more storage space will have to wait until August, when Microsoft is to launch the more expensive and bigger hard drives.