Despite having yet to be officially confirmed, the Microsoft Surface Mini tablet remains one of the most hotly-debated devices of 2013. With the original Surface RT and Surface Pro tablets having failed to meet with an real success since their respective launch dates, pressure is growing on the Surface Mini to make up for lost time or face the prospect of being the Surface brand’s swansong.
Details are still relatively thin on the ground, but this week has seen a price put to the Surface Mini for the first time by Maxwell Chang of Topolgy analysts – an estimate of $299 for the second-generation Surface tablet. If accurate, the Surface Mini will launch as a direct rival to the likes of the iPad Mini 2 and perhaps the Google Nexus 7 2 – both of which are expected to launch during the same fall Window.
The appeal of a 7-inch or perhaps an 8-inch Surface Tablet is clear, as should it run a full version of Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating as expected, it will deliver the total package the first two Surface tablets failed to bring quite spectacular. The Surface RT underperformed for a sensible price and the Surface Pro performed to the extreme for a completely OTT price.
What was need was something right in the middle – a Surface table that performed well and was priced in accordance with its rivals. The Surface Mini at $299 could be exactly that tablet.
In any case, this will undoubtedly be Microsoft’s last shot at success in the tablet PC market as it will take something seriously impressive for the Redmond software giant to be able to sweep its prior hardware misfires under the rug. If the Surface Mini isn’t a hit, it will be the end of the Surface hardware range as a whole.