Back on April 11, we heard rumor that Microsoft is working on a 7-inch Surface tablet, with the information being provided to The Wall Street Journal by unnamed sources. That rumor has surfaced again, this time with NPD DisplaySearch telling the folks over at CNET that Microsoft will produce a 7.5-inch tablet of some sort, and that unlike the late-2013 date supplied by the original sources, the tablet won't be available until 2014.
According to the first rumor, the tablet would go into production later this year. But NPD DisplaySearch's analyst Richard Shim says: "From the supply chain side, we're seeing the panel specifications, the touch module, the mass production schedule being made ... Mass production is Q1 2014. Apparently, pretty significant volume. Multiple millions."
The rumored tablet is said to have a 7.5-inch display with a resolution of 1400 x 1050 (233 ppi), which puts it ahead of both the iPad mini and Nexus 7. The price, however, will still be on the higher end, with a different source saying that Microsoft is aiming at $399, but that the price may drop below that. The company has been taking steps to get the price lower, which includes changing panel suppliers.
It's worth noting, however, that a few days ago DigiTimes published a piece alleging that Microsoft will be rolling out a second-gen Surface tablet that measures in between 7 and 9 inches and will be announced soon, possibly this summer. Such a rumor is more in line with the rumor heard earlier this month via the WSJ, but until Microsoft says anything official, it is all speculation at this point.