Microsoft may have pretty much given up on smartphones, but the company continues to crank out new laptops and tablets. And according to a report from Windows Central, it looks like next year Microsoft may introduce a tablet that’s nearly as portable as a phone.

It’s code-named Andromeda, and it’s said to be a tablet that you can fold up and slip into a pocket… you know, like a phone.

Surface Pen

In fact, you may even be able to make calls on the device, so it could be a kind of smartphone replacement. But don’t call it a phone, because it’s not expected to work the same way as today’s phones.

Instead, it’s a portable device designed for note-taking using a digital pen and touchscreen display. It’s sort of like a portable digital notebook that runs Windows-powered software including Microsoft’s OneNote app.

Rather than compete with Android or iOS, Microsoft is said to be trying to develop a new category of device aimed at a different niche: folks looking for an upgrade from pen and paper rather than from an iPhone or Android.

It’s unclear of the Andromeda device will ever see the light of day, but it seems to be in keeping with the hardware and software Microsoft has been designing for the last few years. I suspect Microsoft has the expertise to build an interesting product in this space… but what remains to be seen is whether anyone would be interested in buying that kind of device.

Microsoft had previously developed a Surface Mini tablet that was said to put note-taking front and center, but the company scrapped its launch plans for that tablet at the last minute and we only know about it thanks to a series of leaks.

Windows Central says the soonest the Andromeda device would launch (if it launches at all) is 2018.



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9 replies on “Report: Microsoft is working on a pocket-sized foldable tablet”

  1. I assume this part of them experimenting what they can do with an ARM based solution. While there’re several unknowns about their ARM plans (ie. how close is it to an x86 Windows desktop device?), I’m interested to see what this is.

    I’m definitely part of the niche group who like very mobile full desktop OS devices and would buy this if it turns out to be a good device.

  2. Presumably some want such a device but I wonder why Microsoft and countless other companies do not fill the much more important market gap of a hybrid of iPad (unbroken 4:3 display), ebook reader (unbroken matte 4:3 display) and Windows tablets. That is what I want. Instead we might see a broken display device, which is never a substitute for an unbroken display. iPads are a failure because they do not have Windows, ebook readers are a failure because their functionality is limited, Windows tablets are a failure because they do not have a matte display or have a useless 16:9 ratio if they have a matte display.

  3. This sounds like a very niche device, so I’m worried for the long-term support of it.

    Then again, I still carry a pen and notebook with me so I’m interested to see what they come up with. I can’t even properly explain why I use a notebook instead of springing for something like a Galaxy Note or an iPad Pro 10.5.

  4. Ofcourse i’m excited to see what they create.

    As a very recent ex-windows-phone user, and a digital artist; the concept intrigues me.

    BUT… Microsoft now has a very consistent record of poor product support – Band, WP7/8/10, RT, Zune, Groove etc.

    Burn me once, shame on you – burn me twice?

  5. Does it play lots of games? Because otherwise I see no reason to swap out my Surface Pro iPad Pro combo (both of which do pens too).

  6. They can call it as they wish but it would be a phone and it would compete with foldable phones.
    If when folded it would have a 8 inch display or greater, then it’s a tablet but would require rather large pockets.

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