This week, Microsoft announced an upcoming press event on May 20, during which the company will be hosting a “small gathering.” The general consensus points to that being the day that Microsoft finally announces the long awaited Surface Mini tablet. But new reports today are suggesting that the Surface Mini may not be the only new tablet to be unveiled in two weeks.
A post on Neowin today reports that Microsoft may announce some larger Surface tablets in addition to the Mini—though it is frustratingly light on details. The post does, however, mention that sources have mentioned the possible inclusion of i3 and i7 processors. Currently, the Surface Pro 2 is armed with an i5 processor—so new Surface models with more and less powerful chips might make interesting additions to the product line. Certainly a Surface Pro with an i3 would still be a plenty powerful tablet, and might not even break the bank.
A post on Bloomberg also points toward new Surface models besides the Mini that seem to corroborate Neowin’s processor talk. The post says that Microsoft will unveil devices powered by Intel’s processors, a clear indication of possible i3 or i7 models. Meanwhile, the post also indirectly says that the Surface Mini will come equipped with a Qualcomm processor, the kind that usually pops up in mobile devices. That contradicts what we’d heard earlier—that the Mini would have an ARM processor. Either way, it’ll be interesting to see what Microsoft has crammed into the Surface Mini.
But, there are other questions that need answering. Namely, will this event usher in yet more interest in the Surface product line? We know that both models of Surface 2 sold better than their original predecessors, but that the line as a whole is still a money-loser for Microsoft. So the addition of a smaller, less expensive Surface tablet could potentially hook new users. But it seems to me that the best argument for a Surface at all is the Pro, which offers users the full Windows experience, rather than the less robust RT flavor.
I’m hoping that Microsoft does lift the veil on differently powered models of Surface Pro. That could offer users more flexibility in terms of what kind of performance they want out of their purchase, and could offer some different price options that might lure in more new users. If that happens, there may be hope for the Surface line yet.