Is Microsoft preparing a modular Surface foldable?

Move over Surface Neo? Microsoft is yet to release either of its two foldable dual-screen devices, though there are hints that the Surface Duo will be here sometimes in July.

However, the company seems to already be making plans for their successors.

At least, on paper.

It looks like Redmond has patented a new device, which comes with a magnetic hinge that allows one screen to be detached from the other. This makes this primary differentiating factor of this potential new machine over the Duo and Neo.

Both these dual-screen machines were announced by Microsoft back in October 2019, and this new creation could be pitched as a follow-up to those devices.

This diagram that accompanies the patent sheds light on how it might actually work:

Modular Surface Foldable Patent

Microsoft notes that the user can separate the device portions and use them individually. From this perspective, the present hinge assembly implementations can be viewed as virtual hinges that allow this new product more flexibility than what is available on the current Surface lineup.

Currently, the Surface family is made of devices that only allow for screens to be detached from keyboards, like the latest Surface Pro 7 and Surface Book 3.

This new device could have both screens work independently as tablets.

It is worth a mention that only a small fraction of designs that companies patent ever hit store shelves as final products. Nevertheless, this newest patent hints that Microsoft sees a future in foldable devices, and is already working on prospect hardware.

Let’s just hope we don’t have to wait too long for this.

If it does hit the market, that is.

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