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Microsoft's Surface Phone to turn into mini laptop via "determinative hinge" patent

The mini laptop mode transforms the lower display side into a virtual keyboard with trackpad. (Source: FPO)
The mini laptop mode transforms the lower display side into a virtual keyboard with trackpad. (Source: FPO)
The special hinge system allows the upper part of the Surface Phone display to act as a laptop screen, while the lower part displays a virtual keyboard with trackpad.

Microsoft surprised everyone when it announced last year that Windows 10 will not be further be updated for handheld ARM-based devices, but rumors about a Surface Phone with a totally new Windows 10 version specifically designed for handhelds started to surface long before the surprising announcement. Up until now, the Surface Phone (aka Project Andromeda) appeared to be a hybrid crossing between smartphone and tablet, with a little bit of foldable action thrown in the mix. However, a recently revealed patent involving a “determinative hinge” system presents the possibility of transforming the Surface Phone into a mini laptop complete with keyboard and trackpad.

The patent was filed back in 2016 and, as always, it may very well not make it to the actual Surface Phone. The special hinge system features a notch on one of its surfaces, which snaps into position to create a stable point at 135 degrees, allowing the device to behave like a traditional clamshell laptop. When pushed beyond the threshold, the screen half can be fully open to 180 degrees. The other half of the display will automatically show a virtual keyboard and trackpad when the hinge snaps into mini laptop mode.

Microsoft is expected to release the Surface Phone in late 2018 with the new C-shell Windows 10 that is specially adapted for smartphone and tablet use. The new OS is rumored to support Win32 apps from the Windows Store at some point after its launch.

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Determinative hinge schematics (Source: FPO)
Determinative hinge schematics (Source: FPO)

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2018 03 > Microsoft's Surface Phone to turn into mini laptop via "determinative hinge" patent
Bogdan Solca, 2018-03- 2 (Update: 2018-03- 2)
Bogdan Solca
Bogdan Solca - News Editor
I stepped into the wonderous IT&C world when I was around 7. I was instantly fascinated by computerized graphics, be them from games or 3D applications like 3D Max. I like to keep myself up to date with all the new technologies that get released at an ever increasing rate these days. I'm also an avid SciFi reader, an astrophysics aficionado and, as of late, a crypto geek.