Microsoft is preparing a smaller version of its Surface tablet, in an attempt to take on the growing dominance of the iPad mini and a growing number of 7-inch, Android–based tablets.
According to a report from Chinese tech site WPDang, the Redmond–based company is planning a model with an 8–inch screen. The device will apparently be called the Surface mini and will hit shelves in the first half of 2014.
Interestingly, rumours also claim that Apple is planning to include gesture control tech in the Surface mini, along the lines of its huge popular Kinect system for its Xbox gaming consoles. That would not only allow non–touch control, but also facial tracking, a boon for video calling and security features.
It’s unclear as to whether Microsoft is planning on using the scaled back RT version of its Windows platform, or if it will opt for the full–on approach of Windows 8.1 for the slate.
The device’s launch would not be hampered by an 8-inch Nokia tablet. The much–rumoured Lumia 2020 has apparently been shelved, with Microsoft’s takeover of the Finnish mobile maker nearing completion.