Microsoft has yet to announced a next-generation Surface tablet. But a few weeks after reports surfaced suggesting that the next Microsoft Surface would have a 7 inch screen, there’s word that the company might be going with a slightly more unusual (but still portable) size.

CNET reports there’s evidence that the new Surface tablet could have a 7.5 inch, 1400 x 1050 pixel display.

Microsoft Surface RT
Microsoft Surface RT

That suggestion comes from NPD DisplaySearch, which says supply chain sources are getting ready to mass produce display panels based on that specification.

Most tablets on the market right now have 10.1 inch, 9.7 inch, 7.9, or 7 inch displays, although there are some other screen sizes in the wild. But this would be the first tablet I’m aware of to feature a 7.5 inch screen with 233 pixels per inch.

Microsoft’s no stranger to ordering custom panels though. The Surface RT and Surface Pro tablets each feature 10.6 inch screens. That’s not exactly a common screen size either.

It’s not clear how much Microsoft would plan to charge for a 7.5 inch Surface tablet, what kind of processor or other specs it will have, or if this is even anything more than a guess on the part of NPD DisplaySearch. But if Microsoft follows market trends at all, it’s likely that a smaller tablet would be cheaper than the company’s larger models.

Right now prices start at $499 for a 10.6 inch Surface RT and $899 for a Surface Pro.


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20 replies on “Report: Microsoft working on a Surface tablet with a 7.5 inch high-rez screen”

  1. Why in heaven’s name would you do a screen 30 pixels short of full HD – are they just ASKING for trashing by the tech press?

    1. Resolution isn’t what’s really important but rather the resulting pixel density!

      Basically, size matters when considering the quality of a screen and how far the user will be from viewing it!

      In this case we’re dealing with a small 7.5″ screen for this product, which means it gets about 233.3 PPI, which is higher than the about 218.4 PPI of the full HD, 1080P, resolution on the MS Surface Pro 10.6″ screen!

      Besides, there are other factors that are also important for screen quality and those are getting ignored way too often!

  2. Watch, as Windows chases is the 7 inch tablet market 2 years after everyone else got started

    1. Yeah, like there are a lot of 7″ tablets with desktop OS… Nope, not a single one!

      Besides, Windows was on 7″ long before modern tablets… On UMPC’s, netbooks, etc.

      Also, it’s not like they could have made them affordable before now anyway! Desktop OS require quite a bit more performance than a mobile OS!

      1. still running on standard ARM processor, which has been cheap for years. Anrdoids homescreen is aka a desktop, and they should have made windows RT years ago, the tech was there, but M$ is a “me too” company now

        1. There’s nothing “me too” about Windows 8. They’re the first ones to seriously try to push a desktop OS onto both traditional PC and mobile devices.

          And no, the Android desktop is not comparable to a desktop OS! Android is a mobile OS by design, and that’s from the ground up. Aside from Widgets, the Android version of a desktop isn’t interactive or useful aside from being able to tap your apps you’ve placed there instead of having to go to the full list menu…. though you can create folders but that’s pretty much it.

          Support for mouse UI on Android is still as limited as the reverse is true for a desktop OS traditional lack of touch UI support.

          While ARM may be cheap but that’s because it started as a very low end processor. It has taken years for them to just rival Intel on the lowest end they support with their ATOM. Mind also that it wasn’t that long ago that most ARM tablets were priced higher than say netbooks with ATOMs.

          Even now many of the below $200 tablets are only low to mid range ARM SoC devices that offer less than what’s needed to rival even a ATOM system!

          So any serious comparisons should keep all of that in mind!

          1. Accepting the truth is not crazy, it’s the only logical way of coming to a correct conclusion instead of a made up one!

            Really, pretending something is more than it really is, or different than it really is, isn’t logical or going to change the actual reality!

            So sorry but simply not accepting a answer, because it’s not the answer you want, is not a valid argument!

  3. And, how are we supposed to see the menus on the desktop side of Win 8? How small will the buttons be? Are they reconfiguring the UI for smaller screens?

    1. Same way people have been doing so with UMPC’s with down to 5″ screens…

      Sure, it’s not for everyone but there’s always a trade off for mobility and there are people who actually like having a really small and portable computer despite the increased difficulty…

      Add a thumb type keyboard, along with a optical mouse and/or WACOM digitizer, and you can still get work done too.

    2. As long as there is a mouse and/or active pen. Also, like with phones three screen will new close to your face.

    3. If MS did its homework, it would provide a few ways to address this issue. One way would be to use a virtual screen, which would extend the actual screen boundaries past the physical display. Windows Magnifier in full screen mode could be used to magnify the entire screen. Try this in Windows 7. Doing this with the pathetic Atom Z6xx’s was painful. Bay Trail brings more muscle to the task.

      1. It would be nice if they were default but at least there are 3rd party solutions that provide that kind of functionality…

  4. What took them so long? Oh yeah, it was Apple that gave them a kick in the rear with its Retina display.

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