While Microsoft opted not to mess with the screen size or aspect ratio for its Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 tablets, the company is reportedly working on a wider range of Surface devices than what it first revealed last week.
That’s according to Panos Panay, Microsoft’s vice president in charge of Surface. Geekwire reports that Panay briefly mentioned the possibility of more shapes and sizes for Surface during a Monday night event at the Microsoft Store in Seattle. All existing Surface tablets have 10.6-inch displays with 16:9 aspect ratios.
“We have a lot of great things that we are thinking about and working on, and there are multiple aspect ratios and sizes and awesome things to come from Surface,” Panay said said. “That’s the best answer I have for you.”
In other words, Microsoft isn’t ready to talk specifics about future Surface products. The company certainly isn’t about to acknowledge the widely-rumored Surface Mini, which could arrive later this year or early next year.
Both larger and smaller devices would be welcome additions to the Surface family. Microsoft was seemingly blindsided by the rise of small, cheap tablets such as Amazon’s Kindle Fire and Google’s Nexus 7; in response, it tweaked its system requirements and slashed licensing costs for small slates. Several small Windows tablets are expected later this year, but Microsoft may wish to set an example with one of its own.
A larger Surface could appeal to users who want something more like a laptop. While Microsoft is pitching the existing Surface tablets as the best of both worlds, the 10.6-inch screen size presents some challenges. It may be harder for some users to see, and it reduces the amount of room available for the keyboard and trackpad on the Touch Cover and Type Cover accessories.
If you find the 10.6-inch display to be just right, the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 launch on October 22, with pre-orders available now.