The latest rumor surrounding the unannounced Surface Mini tablet is that Microsoft will market the tablet as a note-taking device, complete with a stylus. There's now speculation that the device will have an 8-inch screen instead of 7-inches so that the user can easily take those notes. The Office suite really isn't ideal for the smaller form factor.
So far we still have no official word regarding when this product will go retail. However, previous talk pointed to both April and June, and since Microsoft's BUILD developer conference has come and gone, June looks like the likely candidate. Heck, it could appear this fall with Windows 8.1 Update 2 for all we know.
Sources told Neowin that the Surface Mini may include a built-in Wacom digitizer so that the consumer can use a pen-like stylus instead of the fat and round versions. This will be the tablet's biggest selling feature, as Microsoft may have a long battle ahead if it relies on just software- and hardware-based competition.
The report also states that the Surface Mini was supposed to launch alongside the Surface 2 back in October 2013, but the company chose not to do so. Why? Because Microsoft had enough issues keeping Surface 2 in stock when it first hit the market. We also heard that the Surface Mini team was pulled from the project to help get the Xbox One out the door.
So where is the Surface Mini? Again, it probably won't arrive until sometime this quarter. Sources say that the device is actually complete, and that it's up to Microsoft to make the announcement. We have a gut feeling that this tablet will be tied into E3 2014 somehow, as previous rumors hinted to a strong Xbox presence on the 8-inch device.
On the other hand, this latest rumor has the Surface Mini pegged as the best note-taking device on the market. If that's the case, Microsoft will be competing directly with Nvidia (Tegra Note 7) and Samsung (Galaxy Note). Guess we'll find out in the next several months.