Xbox Surface rumoured to be Microsoft's 7-inch gaming tablet

A gaming-focussed rival to the iPad mini?

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Microsoft is said to be working on its own 7-inch tablet, but unlike the iPad mini, it'll be focussed on gaming.

Sources familiar with the plans have confirmed to The Verge that the Xbox Surface tablet is on the way.

Specs for the tablet leaked back in June. The sources have confirmed that they're correct and that Microsoft is working on the final implementation now.

So the Xbox Surface should run on a custom ARM processor and high-bandwidth RAM designed for gaming. But these specs could change to make way for an as-yet unannounced Intel SoC.

The Xbox Surface won't run a full version of Windows, but a custom Windows Kernel, much like the Amazon Kindle Fire does with Android.

It should have some functions of a normal tablet, but the focus will be very much on gaming.

Secret manufacturing

The Xbox Surface should be manufactured in the same factory as other Microsoft products, but separate from the companies that usually put together its devices. Any fully-fledged next-gen console, like the rumoured Xbox 720, should be made by Pegatron or Foxconn as usual.

Microsoft is said to be developing the Xbox Surface at its Silicon Valley offices. It recently locked down some Xbox-related buildings there, hinting it was testing some new gaming hardware. Other parts of the Xbox team are likely to be experimenting with making games and software for it.

The device is expected to be announced ahead of the Xbox 720, so hopefully it won't be too long before we see if these rumours are on the money.

Via The Verge