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Microsoft has been working on a couple of concepts revolving around a foldable Surface device. Recently the company was rumoured to have shown a device with a foldable display.
Now a new patent (via WindowsUnited) filing from Microsoft shows a thinner, better hinge for future Surface products. The new thinner hinge should make the device thinner overall which should ideally reduce weight and give Microsoft some extra room to work.
The present concepts relate to devices such as computer devices that use hinge assemblies that can rotationally lock first and second device sections. Consumers usually prefer thin devices such as laptops, tablets and smartphones. The hinge assemblies can meet consumers’ desire for thinness while meeting other design parameters such as ease of opening and closing.
Beyond the illustrated tablet configuration, in other implementations, the first and second portions 102 and 104 may be manifested as other form factors. For example, the first and second sections could be represented as an input and display page of a notebook computing device. In another example, the first and second portions could be represented as two sides of a foldable smartphone or a portable smart device. In such an example, one or both of the first and second portions may include a display 118 and / or multiple displays.
The good news here is that the new hinge can be used on all the products so Microsoft can use it on the next Surface Pro as well as on the foldable device. At the moment, it’s just a patent so it might be a couple of years before Microsoft actually adds the new hinge to the Surface lineup.