As everyone’e product cycles start to get back in sync after the disruptive impact of the coronavirus, eyes are turning to Microsoft’s Surface line-up in general and the Surface Book in particular. And it could be that the fourth premium portable will be unilke any other Surface Book.
The traditional laptop form of a hinged screen will be twisted, lifted up, and create a revolutionary mobile computer. And it’s expected to arrive later this year.
The new feature lines up with one of Microsoft’s recently published patent, that described a laptop hinge that would allow both for the tilt of a screen and lifting up away from the traditional position demanded by a regular hinge. That patent’s illustrations also show a keyboard and trackpad base that looks remarkably like that of the Surface Book and Surface Laptop, right down to the Surface Connect port.
The Surface Book took a revolutionary approach to Microsoft’s hardware line-up. The detachable screen, allowing the Surface Book to become a de-facto Surface Tablet helped it stand out. Since then the competition has brought similar concepts to market, and the ‘tablet plus detachable keyboard’ format has become more popular. The Surface Book is not especially unique right now.
And Microsoft has another Surface product that covers the laptop base that was originally the sole domain of the Surface Book. The Surface Laptop (and the smaller Surface Laptop Go) can satisfy a much larger portion of the market, right up to specs that are in excess of the Surface Book.
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So what of the hinge? Curiously, it would not be the first hinge of this style in the Surface range. The huge Surface Studio sports the same tilting and lifting hinge that allows the monitor to be set at a convenient angle. What’s not convenient is the portability – put simply it’s not portable. But a laptop sized device with a similar hinge?
When you have a brand in your portfolio that is known for inspirational design; when you have a design on the drawing board that does just that; and when you have a desktop product that offers synergy to a new mobile product… then it’s time to refresh the Surface Book.