Microsoft’s Surface Book range has proven to be a huge hit with businesses, students, and consumers since its launch in 2015. Unlike the Surface Laptop, which also looks like a traditional notebook from the outside, the Surface Book has a detachable screen that leaves the keyboard behind and works like a tablet.
The fourth entry in this transforming line of laptops is expected to hit the market later this year as an upgrade to 2020’s Surface Book 3. However, there are already rumors that the Surface Book 4 could completely rethink its most iconic feature.
The Surface Book’s moving hinge was revolutionary when it fell off. However, new information has been leaked suggesting that Microsoft completely redesigned the hinge. The company’s US patent applications show designs that are very similar to previous laptops in the range – but with one massive change. Instead of having just one hinge, the drawings show two.
The new double hinge allows the screen to swing at two different points and rotate upwards. The designs, which are similar to both the HP Elite Folio and Apple’s Magic Keyboard for the iPad, suggest that you can pull the screen towards you as well as move it backwards. This should allow more flexibility when using the Book 4, as the screen can be placed in many other positions.
However, it could also mean removing the Surface 3’s current big selling point – the tablet-style detachable screen.
Experts assume that Microsoft wanted to equip the Surface line with more powerful chips. The current detachable design limits the computing power, as the processor has to be housed behind the display instead of in the laptop socket.
If the rumors are true, Microsoft is hoping the new laptop will outperform its last experiment with new screen shapes. Last year, the Surface Duo smartphone came on the market with a dual-screen design – but is widely considered a flop due to its high costs and software bugs.
Other features recommended for the new Surface Book include a larger trackpad, powerful RTX graphics, and a fresh 14-inch display with dynamic adjustments. It will likely come with a smart pen with pressure sensitive writing capabilities.
Thanks to its release date later this year, it will also be one of the first devices to ship with Windows 11. Windows Central expects the price to start roughly the same as the Surface Book 3, which is a day from $ 1,599 (£ 1,154) and. means high.
The leak follows another patent Microsoft filed earlier this year that showed a “swappable” back cover that users can swap out to give the laptop a new look. We’ll find out for sure in October when Microsoft is about to release the new laptop along with a ton of other new hardware.