The rumor mill has been up and firing recently, delivering a number of details surrounding Microsoft's new range of refreshed Surface tablets. Well-known Microsoft expert Paul Thurrott has shared some details about a possible Surface Mini, as well as releasing a picture of what could be Nokia's upcoming 'Sirius' tablet.
Thurrott claims Microsoft will ship a mini-sized Surface, likely with an 8-inch display, sometime this year, but after the Surface Pro and Surface Pro 2 have been released. The device will feature an ARM-based Qualcomm Snapdragon SoC, meaning it will run Windows RT 8.1, unlike other 8-inch tablets from Acer and Toshiba that run full Windows 8.1.
Nokia's Sirius tablet, pictured above in an alleged image, will also run Windows RT 8.1 on a Qualcomm Snapdragon SoC; Thurrott has narrowed down the model number to the MSM8974, indicating it's a Snapdragon 800 SoC with a quad-core Krait 400 CPU clocked up to 2.3 GHz, and Adreno 330 GPU. The tablet will also reportedly feature a 10.1-inch 1080p IPS LCD display, 6.7-megapixel rear camera with Carl Zeiss optics, and LTE connectivity.
Nokia will also produce a special cover for the tablet, integrating a keyboard as well as an extended battery. Thurrot expects the Sirius to weigh under 600 grams, come in under 9 mm thick, and be priced at $499, which may be a little expensive considering the device will run Windows RT.
The Sirius will go head-to-head with Microsoft's second-generation Windows RT-based Surface, which is rumored under the name of simply 'Surface 2'. The refreshed tablet will reportedly look identical to the current Surface RT, although it will be upgraded with a Nvidia Tegra 4 SoC, 10.6-inch 1080p display, Bluetooth 4.0, a full-sized USB 3.0 port, and a two-position kickstand.
Microsoft is also preparing a Surface Pro 2 which, like the Surface 2, will look essentially identical to the current-generation Surface Pro. Like previous reports have indicated, the Surface Pro 2 will be upgraded with a Haswell CPU, bringing longer battery life and more power to the system. Additionally, there will be a choice of RAM options with the Surface Pro 2, the dual-position kickstand will make it into the design, and it will support an upcoming Power Cover: a new protective cover like the Touch and Type Covers, although this time with an integrated battery.
An event has been slated for September 23, where the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 will likely be unveiled. The release of new tablets, alongside Windows 8.1, Windows RT 8.1, and the first Nokia tablet, will certainly make the latter parts of this year interesting for Microsoft customers and enthusiasts.
The Microsoft Surface RT offers the flexibility of a Windows 8-based tablet as well as an ultrabook-like computer. The Surface RT is powered by a quad-core Nvidia Tegra processor, 2GB of memory, a 1,366x768 wide-screen display, and Windows RT. Other features include a USB 2.0 port, HDMI-out, and a vapor-deposited magnesium chassis.
The Microsoft Surface Pro offers the flexibility of a Windows 8-based tablet as well as an ultrabook-like computer. The Surface Pro is powered by a Core i5 with Intel HD Graphics 4000, 4GB of RAM, USB 3.0, and a miniDisplayPort. It also comes with a pressure-sensitive stylus with palm-rejection technology that magnetically clips to the charging port, and a Full HD (1920 x 1080) display instead of the 1366 x 768 variety on the ARM-based model.
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