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A PC in your palm? Microsoft leak reveals 'pocketable' Surface device in the works

The upcoming device could be a Nintendo DS on steroids, offering two screens and a hinged design.

Published onJuly 2, 2018

An unofficial render of a smartphone/laptop hybrid from Microsoft running on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 850.
  • An internal Microsoft document has reportedly revealed more details about a new Surface device, combining smartphone and PC characteristics.
  • The device apparently looks identical to renders posted on Twitter late last year, featuring a hinged design and two screens.
  • Microsoft may launch the foldable gadget later this year, but it could still be canceled.

A leaked Microsoft document obtained by The Verge has revealed the existence of a “pocketable” Surface device, straddling the line between PC and phone. According to the outlet, Microsoft says the new device will create a “new and disruptive” product category.

“It’s a new pocketable Surface device form factor that brings together innovative new hardware and software experiences to create a truly personal and versatile computing experience,” reads an excerpt of the document.

The Verge understands the new Surface device looks virtually identical to the renders posted by designer David Breyer on Twitter. It’s also believed that Microsoft is experimenting with stylus input and, when combined with the hinged design, it looks like the company could deliver a notebook-style experience.

@zacbowden @h0x0d @windowscentral #Surface Andromeda Render according to the latest patents
— David Breyer (@D_Breyer) December 18, 2017

The new device is tentatively set for a 2018 launch but it could yet be pulled, according to the publication’s sources. After all, the company previously canceled a Surface Mini device weeks before launch. Heck, the new device seems inspired by Microsoft’s canceled Courier tablet project, which had two screens on a hinge as well.

This isn’t the first time information related to the foldable device has surfaced (heh) online. We’ve seen a steady stream of Microsoft patents related to foldable devices and hinged designs since late 2017. Most recently, WinFuture reported that the Redmond company and Dell are indeed working on foldable hybrid devices.

Is an Arm-powered Surface coming?

A Snapdragon 835 laptop.
A Snapdragon-powered laptop running Windows 10.

Microsoft has found some success with new device categories in the recent past: it launched the Surface family in 2012 — devices which sold well before their form factor was adopted by competing devices like Apple’s iPad Pro and Google’s Pixel C.

Microsoft and mobile: Can it stop shooting itself in the foot?
The Nokia Lumia 1020

We don’t know for sure whether the new Surface device will run an Arm or traditional x86 processor. The mobile-focused Arm architecture usually delivers much better battery life at the expense of performance, while the opposite is generally true for x86 architecture. Microsoft has also been working hard to make Windows 10 run on Arm chips, although 64-bit apps aren’t compatible just yet.

What would you like to see from the foldable Surface device? Would you buy one in the first place? Let us know in the comments section!

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