Remember that smaller Surface that Microsoft was planning to launch alongside the Surface Pro 3 earlier this year? No? Me neither. Microsoft pulled the device even before it launched, meaning no-one outside the company was able to see or get one. That was until recently that is, as Brad Sams from Neowin has managed to spend some quality time with what appears to be the never-released Surface Mini.
According to Sams, from the get go, it's pretty obvious. It's a Surface, but mini. Much like the iPad and iPad Mini, the Surface Mini is a smaller brother to its bigger Surface brothers. The Surface Mini runs Windows RT 8.1 too, meaning you can run Office on the desktop and that's about it. You can download apps from the Windows Store and they work as expected.
The Surface Mini, much like the Surface Pro 3 has support for the new Surface Pen, meaning OneNote is a big feature on the device. Double-pressing the top of the pen would open OneNote on the device for quick note-taking. There's no mention of the Surface Mini including palm-block technology though, which is a real shame.
Under the hood, the device sports a Qualcomm Processor, MicroSD slot, USB port and 1GB of RAM. Considering these devices were build long ago, the specs for the Surface Mini are now outdated. If Microsoft does plan on launching the Mini anytime soon, they'd have to price it low (and we mean very low) or scrap this model in-particular and rebuild with higher-specifications.
Sams also talks about a new case for the Surface Mini. The actual device itself doesn't have a kickstand as it's a device designed for note-taking and not media consumption. However if you wish to sit the device up, Microsoft designed a case with a kickstand built in which allows you to do that. The case comes in multiple colors and can detach the front of the case to reveal the screen. The case doesn't have a keyboard considering 8-inches isn't the biggest space for typing.
So overall the Surface Mini sounds like a compelling device. Too bad Microsoft never officially released it. Microsoft has no plans on releasing the Surface Mini anytime soon either, meaning your dreams of having a note-taking small form-factor Surface is still just a dream sadly. Hey Microsoft, if you're not doing anything with these devices, I'll happily take one off your hands.