Apparently the Surface Mini wasn't just a figment of the imagination of rumour mongers, as several erroneous references to the device have been spotted in official Microsoft documentation.
A compact version of the Surface hybrid was a strongly rumoured possibility before Microsoft's Surface press event in May, with retailers even posting accessories for the device on Amazon before pulling them.
But it was the Surface Pro 3 that emerged at the event, with no smaller sibling in sight.
However, it seems the Surface Mini did exist – or possibly could be due out in the future, even – as it's mentioned in the Pro 3 user manual, no less. Paul Thurrot spotted this (via PC World), and noted in a tweet: "There are Surface Mini references all over the Surface Pro 3 User Guide. Hilarious."
In fact, there are four mentions of the Surface Mini; for example the instructions talk about pairing the Surface Pen with the Mini, not the Pro 3. Previous to the Pro 3's launch, Microsoft spilled its existence with a mistaken mention in a customer support document on its website, which it later lied about and said was a typo.
According to reports, Microsoft decided to pull the Mini back from launch at the last minute, for reasons unknown – but it's possible the device is still coming to market. Either that, or Redmond has simply thought better of making an 8in hybrid. But given that Panos Panay, Microsoft's chief Surface guy, has said the company is still working on smaller versions of the tablet, it's probably a fair bet we will see such a device in 2015, or possibly later this year.