According to a newly granted Microsoft patent, the company is considering developing a new tri-folding Surface gadget, similar to a Samsung prototype we saw just a few days ago. Microsoft’s latest dual-screen phone, the Surface Duo 2, was released in September, but a patent discovered by Patently Obsessed was filed in August.
Apple has hinted that it wants to go beyond that design and make a gadget with two hinges that connect three different monitors. Despite the fact that the patent was submitted last year, it was awarded on December 23.
Microsoft working on triple screen Surface concept
The three screens would potentially unite to make a single, massive tablet screen, akin to Samsung’s design. However, the true advantage of this design is that the displays may stack on top of each other, lowering the total size of a multi-panel device.
This would have been made feasible via rotating hinges, which would allow the device’s main screen to remain on the exterior, similar to the Huawei Mate X. It’s a formula for a hefty phone, but one that may provide you with the screen real estate of a huge tablet.
Just on the negative, if Microsoft’s fairly rudimentary patent is any indication, this notion may be a ways off. This patent application, unlike Samsung’s, contains no information on the placement of circuit boards, sensors, or cameras.
As is always the case, patents aren’t a guarantee that a product will be released. Microsoft did, however, enter the foldable market in 2019, two years after its patents were discovered in 2017. And the fact that Samsung is experimenting with similar concepts means that our folding phones may have a future.
Whereas a tri-folding smartphone sounds wonderful in principle, Microsoft’s two-screen gadgets need to be polished before we get too enthusiastic.
In our Microsoft Surface Duo 2 review, we complimented the device’s hardware upgrades over its underpowered predecessor, which took it closer to becoming something we’d want to keep in our pockets on a daily basis.
However, the overall experience is marred by a number of software issues, including crashes and freezes, as well as short battery life (around 10-12 hours per charge, in our experience).
Because devices like the Surface Duo 2 are built for entrepreneurs and power users who frequently wish to run distinct programs on the two displays, these functionalities are very crucial.
Microsoft’s patent doesn’t go into detail about how this concept would be applied to three displays, and it’s likely that it would be a better fit for true foldable like those made by Samsung.
But, no matter how many displays it has, we’re looking forward to the day when Microsoft’s elegant Courier idea, which goes back to 2009, becomes a completely polished reality.