We’re still waiting on a Surface Mini, and it looks like we may just finally get that, as Corporate VP of Microsoft Surface tablets Panos Panay has told Geekwire that more Surface slates are on the way, including versions in “multiple aspect ratios and sizes.” Panay also confirmed that an LTE version of the Surface 2 will be hitting store shelves early next year.
Panay says that Microsoft has “a lot of great things” that it is “thinking about and working on,” including “multiple aspect ratios and sizes and awesome things to come from Surface.” This doesn’t necessarily mean that we’ll see a 7-inch Surface Mini, but the rumors and this quote sure do hint to the fact that we’ll see a Nexus 7 and iPad mini competitor from Microsoft eventually.
As for the LTE version, Panay says that he expects the Surface 2 LTE model to be available initially on AT&T in the US and Vodafone in Europe. Unfortunately, though, Panay made it clear that the Surface Pro 2 would not get an LTE version of its own. Seeing as how most users will go for the Surface Pro 2 when it launches, this is quite a disappointment.
Microsoft failed miserably with the original Surface series, seeing a $900 million write-off because the company didn’t sell as many as they had hoped. Microsoft joined the tablet race at a late time, with the iPad already dominating the market, and the Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire taking over the 7-inch tablet category. When Microsoft joined in with the Surface, many people who have been wanting a tablet, already had one.
Since the Surface tablet’s release, Microsoft has been trying its hardest to get consumers to buy its tablets, and it thinks that these second-generation devices will do the trick, since they have better performance than the previous Surface generation. Microsoft is touting these new tablets as full-on computers, for which the company says the same can’t be said for the iPad and other tablets on the market.
The Surface Pro 2 received a 20% performance boost over its predecessor, but what’s perhaps even more impressive is that battery life was improved by 75%, according to Microsoft. Panay says you’ll be able to get 10 hours of battery life out of the new Surface Pro 2, “depending on how you use it.”