Following what can be kindly described as a middling first wave of Windows 8 and RT-based tablets, most tech-savvy folks probably expected Microsoft and its partners to dial it up a notch come the fall of 2013. Or at least be a little wary about their prospects in a very competitive world.
But there’s nothing wary or cautious about a dozen new slates being prepped for commercial launches ahead of the holiday season. Not even close.
The pack will be headlined by Microsoft’s second-generation Surface efforts, which might include three, count’em three new pads. You got your Surface Pro 2, your Surface RT 2, which have stopped being question marks a long time ago, plus a Surface Mini that’s rearing its head for the first time in the rumor mill today.
According to Paul Thurrott of WinSuperSite, this little guy will sport an 8-inch screen (unknown resolution) and run Windows RT 8.1, plus pack Qualcomm heat (fingers crossed for Snapdragon 800).
No words on pricing for this alleged Surface Mini just yet, but chances are its commercial release will go down “a bit later” than its cousins, so fairly close to the holidays.
Next on the list, we have a few slates that have been (in part) formally introduced already, namely the Asus Transformer Book T100, Dell Venue (which, by the by, will sport a 1,280 x 800 pix res panel after all), Lenovo Miix 8, 10-inch Miix 2 and Toshiba Encore.
Then there’s the Nokia Sirius, caught on camera less than 24 hours ago and tipped to cost $500 while boasting quad-core Snapdragon 800 power and a Full HD screen, and finally a mysterious 10-incher from Dell and upgraded Acer Iconia W3.
The Dell gizmo, codenamed Midland, looks like it could actually make a bang, especially with decent pricing: $400. Decent considering its list of features, which is said to include a 10.8-inch 1,080p panel, Intel Bay Trail chip, 9-hour battery and, I’m guessing, full Windows 8.
As for the new W3, that will simply swap the current 8-incher’s Clover Trail processor with a newer, faster Bay Trail unit while keeping the price bar fairly low, at $349.
Now tell me there’s not at least one gadget in this flock you’re intrigued about.