HTC’s hinge nerds patent new tablet design

tab4Despite being accused of never innovating, HTC’s engineers are always coming up with new and interesting designs, both software and hardware.  Their latest patent application is for a hinged device that slides open into a flat tablet-like device. Interestingly their render of an actual device does not show any keys, suggesting again a dual-screened device, like their earlier patent application.

HTC explains their invention as such:

The present application generally relates to a portable electronic device, in particular, to a portable electronic device having two bodies capable of being stacked or spread.

Portable electronic devices refer to electronic devices capable of being carried and operated by users. Portable electronic devices generally have small volume and weight for being carried by users conveniently. Common portable electronic devices include mobile phones, multimedia players, personal digital assistants, handheld game consoles, handheld satellite navigation systems, and notebook computers.

Most of the current portable electronic devices adopt a two-layer folding or sliding design, thus the two bodies of the portable electronic device have a minimum volume when being stacked and a large area when being spread. However, as for sliding design, the two bodies are still partially stacked when sliding with respect to each other, thus definitely reducing the area utilization rate of the lower body.

Accordingly, the present application is directed to a portable electronic device having a function of stacking or spreading bodies thereof.

The present application provides a portable electronic device having a first body, a second body, and a moving mechanism. The moving mechanism is disposed between the first body and second body, such that the second body is moveable between a first position and a second position with respect to the first body. In the first position, the second body is stacked on the first body. In the second position, top surfaces of the first body and the second body are substantially coplanar.

Based on the above description, the present application stacks or spreads the two bodies via the sliding mechanism and the moving mechanism, so as to improve the area utilization rate of the first body.

Having a “coplanar” design does not facilitate the use of a keyboard much, except to allow the keyboard to be even larger, but such a design would certainly look good on a dual screen device.

Read the full patent here and the design after the break.

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