Last week, we finally got some pictures of the Surface Mini tablet that Microsoft cancelled at the last minute three years ago, and in retrospect it seems that the company probably made the right good call. The Surface Mini ran the crippled Windows RT which had very few interesting apps, and to this day there is still no real market for small Windows tablets.
We'll never know if the Surface Mini could have eventually resonated with consumers, though it seems another Microsoft partner did believe in the form factor. Two years ago, well-known leaker Evan Blass revealed the first render images of the cancelled Nokia Mercury tablet, which pretty much looked like a giant version of the cheap Lumia smartphones that were popular back in the day.
From the Lumia graveyard: Microsoft/Nokia Mercury. pic.twitter.com/FB24IfKcCz
— Evan Blass (@evleaks) November 30, 2015
If the recent Surface Mini pictures did titillate your interest for small Windows tablets, the folks over at Windows Blog Italia have just published some real pictures of the Nokia Mercury tablet, which only show the front and back panels of the handheld device (via Neowin).
Unlike Microsoft's Surface Mini, the Nokia Mercury tablet ran full Windows 8.1 and featured an Intel Atom processor with either 1 or 2GB of RAM. These are not exactly high-end specs, but the plastic design doesn't exactly scream premium quality either. Interestingly, the cancelled Nokia tablet also had a few buttons on the side as well as what appears to be a microSD or SIM card slot for data connectivity.
As a reminder, Nokia only released a single Windows tablet back in 2013, the 10.1-inch Lumia 2520 Windows RT tablet which was discontinued after Microsoft bought the company. At the time, Nokia was a still a beloved phone manufacturer, but trying to transition into a tablet maker didn't make a lot of sense, especially since both Windows RT and Windows 8.1 were not great tablet OSes.
Again, we'll never know if the Nokia Mercury tablet could have become popular with consumers, but phablets are slowly but surely replacing small tablets these days. Let us know in the comments if you still think there is a market for small Windows tablets in 2017.