7 Things I Want in a Surface Mini

While we’re waiting to find out what Microsoft has in store for Surface on May 20th I thought we could have a little fun musing about what I’d like to see in a Surface Mini.

1. Pen with Active Digitizer

If it comes with a Pen with an Active Digitizer I’m 90% there. People who have not lived with an Pen with an Active Digitizer have a hard time understanding just how much more you can do with a device with this capability.

Eleven years ago I was completely taken with the Tablet PC with the Active Digitizer.  With that came the ability to write and sketch as easily as I could on paper. Size, weight, and battery life all conspired against the brilliance of this concept but as the hardware improved, it led to Surface Pro and Pro 2.

2. Make it Light

Certainly no more than 0.75 pound (341 grams). People are constantly asking about my devices and why I use them. Please let me not have to rationalize the weight compared to other devices that are the same size.  Besides I want to be able to use it anywhere, set it up on lecterns, music stands or prop it up in places never intended or imagined for a device like this.

I also want to fearlessly hand this to others, typically to read something on the screen. I don’t want to see it tumble from their hands because they were surprised at the weight.

Weight matters.

3. Battery Life

Give me at least the battery life of a Surface 2.  I want battery management to be the last thing on my mind as I’m using it. And while I’m at it, please let me charge it up through via USB Port or my existing Surface AC power supplies.

Minimum: 10 hours

4. Windows – Both Flavours Please

I’d really like the choice of operating systems, and I want two versions of Surface Mini with support for Windows x86 and Windows on ARM.  For me I’d give up an hour or two of battery life to be able to run the same software as I can on my Surface Pro 2. I may not need that all the time but often enough that it’s critical.

5. Ports and Expansion

Give me a full sized USB port – USB 3 would be nice. I want to use all my USB devices without having to buy an extra adapter. And a Micro SD slot would be great.

6. 4G LTE

I’m in an urban area where Wi-Fi is everywhere and it is only once or twice a week that I have to tether my Surface to my Windows phone. I understand that most people are not so lucky. And now that I think of it, if it were available I’d get it with 4G LTE.

7. Office 2013

I’d really like to see Office bundled with the Surface Mini. Couple this with the Pen and I can be really productive in places where it’s just not appropriate to flip open a keyboard. I mark up documents all the time. The Pen is so much better than a keyboard for this, so give me a Surface Mini that I can write on, that I can use in any position or posture, with or without a place to put it.

I’d be okay without this if there is full support for the Pen in Outlook.com versions of Office.

I started off with only 5 things but you know how it goes.

Tick tock, tick tock. May 20th is coming up fast. I can’t wait to see what’s next for Surface.

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