Chinese site iFanr is reporting:
Today, insider sources revealed to Love Fan children, Microsoft will launch a 7.2-inch tablet, the resolution is 1600 × 1200, a single glass full lamination technology. The effective area of the tablet (active area) and the proportion of the visible area (view area) are 4:3. As to whether the system is using Windows 8 is unknown.
That’s more like it.
I suspect this is due to Microsoft’s $300M investment in Nook Media.
A 4:3 tablet is more suitable to reading books and magazines, as I earlier pointed out.
In addition, I’m speculating there could be a Special Edition of this tablet that is a Barnes & Noble exclusive — if the tablet itself is not exclusive to Barnes & Noble to begin with as its next-generation of Nook.
There have been no signs of Nook Media opening Android on its current line of tablets. Dumping Android for Windows RT — and with Microsoft’s marketing muscle — arguably isn’t a worse move than sticking with closed Android. The question becomes how adroitly could Nook Media/Barnes & Noble make such a switch without alienating its current customers?
On the other hand, this would be a tablet that no one else has. Amazon and Kobo are still wed to Android and are unlikely to drop it any time soon.
A 7.2 inch screen could fit into the current eInk 6-inch Nook Touch size — 6.5″ x 5.0″ — if they handle the bezels correctly. Very portable. An iPad Mini is 7.87″ x 5.3″.
And such a hi-res screen — that’s a ppi of 277.78 — would be better than the current 9.7-inch Retina iPad, which is 263.92. And it’d be close enough to a Retina iPad Mini (ppi of 324.05) not to really matter.
So yeah, if they get the price right — and if this is the next Nook — this is a potential winner for Nook Media that could also bolster Microsoft’s tablet ambitions.
Update, Monday April 15, 2013: Now IMP3Net [Google English] is repeating the above news. Maybe that’s the Internet Echo Chamber at work. Or maybe they trust the site as a source of advanced information. If this turns out to be true, you read it here in America first.