Microsoft preparing Surface Mini, Nokia 'Sirius' tablet pictured

By on September 13, 2013, 7:30 AM

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.




User Comments: 15

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Wagan8r Wagan8r said:

It's really hard to get excited about either of these when you have the Asus Transformer Book T100 with full Windows 8.1 AND a keyboard dock for only $350. The only upside for the Suface 2 and the Nokia Sirius is that the Adreno 330 and the Tegra 4 GPUs are both about 35-60% faster than the Ivy Bridge GPU inside the Bay Trail Atom.

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

The hardware specs for the Sirius look great but $500 is asking a bit too much for a Win 8.1 RT product. If it were Win 8.1 Pro, that would be an entirely different story, in fact it may even be a bit of a bargain. The Snapdragon 800 & Adreno 330 aren't usually found in budget kit, yet.

Guest said:

Low resolution, 2gb ram, smaller screen I think?

RH00D RH00D said:

I fail to see how $500 and Windows RT is bad buy. Windows RT, even with its restrictions, is far more functional and has way more features than an iPad with iOS which would cost the same $500 yet no one complains about the price of the iPad...

1 person liked this | treeski treeski said:

I fail to see how $500 and Windows RT is bad buy. Windows RT, even with its restrictions, is far more functional and has way more features than an iPad with iOS which would cost the same $500 yet no one complains about the price of the iPad...

Apps, apps, apps.

Wagan8r Wagan8r said:

I fail to see how $500 and Windows RT is bad buy. Windows RT, even with its restrictions, is far more functional and has way more features than an iPad with iOS which would cost the same $500 yet no one complains about the price of the iPad...

Because of its own internal competition with Windows (x86). See my post above. It's a simple scenario of more money for less functionality.

1 person liked this | pmcardle said:

I fail to see how $500 and Windows RT is bad buy. Windows RT, even with its restrictions, is far more functional and has way more features than an iPad with iOS which would cost the same $500 yet no one complains about the price of the iPad...

Apps, apps, apps.

The 16GB iPad was $499 from the beginning before they had "Apps, apps, apps".

treeski treeski said:

The 16GB iPad was $499 from the beginning before they had "Apps, apps, apps".

Yeah... back when there was no competition in the tablet market.

1 person liked this | pmcardle said:

The 16GB iPad was $499 from the beginning before they had "Apps, apps, apps".

Yeah... back when there was no competition in the tablet market.

And it's still $499 (with all the competition), what's your point.

Oh, Apps, apps, apps - 95% of which are totally useless.

Guest said:

The app pool takes time to grow, also, the Windows apps do provide many of the core functions at the moment, just less "fun" apps. By "fun" apps, I refer to apps that people discard or forget about after half an hour of usage.

To be honest, the number of apps an average consumer uses is limited, it sure doesn't go above 100 in most cases. The availability of greater number of apps is always a win for the users, but I don't see it as a major factor if the tablet is being used for work.

Railman said:

So the Surface 2 looks identical to the old Surface. Why would anyone rush out to buy it as it looks pretty boring even to an old guy like me. The iPAD is far more better looking and that is why the Surface is not selling. It might sell better if cheaper but not in significant numbers. The technology under the hood is irrelevant to image obsessed persons.

pmcardle said:

So the Surface 2 looks identical to the old Surface. Why would anyone rush out to buy it as it looks pretty boring even to an old guy like me. The iPAD is far more better looking and that is why the Surface is not selling. It might sell better if cheaper but not in significant numbers. The technology under the hood is irrelevant to image obsessed persons.

I didn't like the looks of a Surface either until I actually picked one up and held it at a local store. The finish, quality and workmanship are at the same level as the iPad (if not more). It also has USB, micro SD for additional storage / functionality and works like a PC rather than a cell phone. Some older folks like me find that more appealing. I purchased an iPad 1 for the wife on day one and then an iPad retina (3) when it first released for me. To be quite honest, I'm over the whole Apple iStuff thing. I can't stand their way of controlling and limiting the things you can do with your own device, especially iTunes - what a joke of a software that is. I'm jumping ship to the Surface Pro 2 as soon as it's released for sale. I fully understand that these are my opinions and others may think totally different - I just wanted to share...

treeski treeski said:

And it's still $499 (with all the competition), what's your point.

Oh, Apps, apps, apps - 95% of which are totally useless.

Maybe 95% are useless, but iOS still has a LOT of useful apps that haven't made their way to Windows or WP yet. It's getting better but still has a long way to go. There's also the issue of when apps finally make it to Windows when they almost always initially launch on iOS, then Android, and then hopefully Windows.

I don't own any iOS or Android devices, but it's obvious it's an up-hill battle for Windows in the mobile space, and app availability is an important factor.

Railman said:

So the Surface 2 looks identical to the old Surface. Why would anyone rush out to buy it as it looks pretty boring even to an old guy like me. The iPAD is far more better looking and that is why the Surface is not selling. It might sell better if cheaper but not in significant numbers. The technology under the hood is irrelevant to image obsessed persons.

I didn't like the looks of a Surface either until I actually picked one up and held it at a local store. The finish, quality and workmanship are at the same level as the iPad (if not more). It also has USB, micro SD for additional storage / functionality and works like a PC rather than a cell phone. Some older folks like me find that more appealing. I purchased an iPad 1 for the wife on day one and then an iPad retina (3) when it first released for me. To be quite honest, I'm over the whole Apple iStuff thing. I can't stand their way of controlling and limiting the things you can do with your own device, especially iTunes - what a joke of a software that is. I'm jumping ship to the Surface Pro 2 as soon as it's released for sale. I fully understand that these are my opinions and others may think totally different - I just wanted to share...

Nothing wrong with you having a positive opinion. Frankly I just prefer a traditional PC which you can configure yourself. My next preferred option would be a laptop. To me most tablets seem to be oversized smartphones and as I already have a smartphone I do not need a tablet.

Teko03 said:

They really need to lose the angled sides on the Surface. It's terrible for the speakers. That or they need to re-locate the speakers to be forward facing. Even after the volume patch, the volume is still way too low. Another rant is the camera --- no I'm not expecting a 41MP Pureview Camera in the Surface, but both cameras in the current Surface are terrible, I mean 2005 terrible. They're both useless as cameras & webcams. Last wish, multiple kickstand positions, I personally think 3 would be good...not the rumored 2.

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