In a bid to compete with Apple, Microsoft has now invented its Windows-based tablets with a kickstand and flexible Keyboard, well ahead of Apple’s Magic Keyboard for iPad. The new development was revealed in Microsoft’s patent application published in Europe on February 8, 2023, under number 20720607.
Microsoft is considering another advancement to outdo the iPad-keyboard combination by creating a device that could offer users tablet mode, Laptop mode and studio mode in one device. A newly developed hinge system will be used in its studio mode to securely tilt the display and angle it to enable artists who wish to utilize a Surface Pen, much like their Surface Studio desktop does.
The tablet display shown in Microsoft’s patent rests on top and conceals the keyboard when the device is closed. When in laptop mode, as partially shown in the patent, the user will be able to push the display upwardly and tilt the display as the user so chooses. In such mode, they accomplish what Apple has with the Magic Keyboard for iPad, but with greater freedom to adjust the display’s angle as opposed to Apple’s fixed single angle.
According to a Microsoft patent, the tablet computer can go into Studio Mode, which will firmly hold the display at an angle to assist artists in sketching on it using the Surface Pen. The device is seen from the side in the Microsoft patent while it is closed.
In some embodiments, a computing device includes a laptop mode, where a base—such as a keyboard—is placed in front of a display and the viewing angle of the screen is comfortable for a user to see while seated back from the computing device and typing on a keyboard, for example, generally vertically, or between 75° and 105° relative to the plane of the base.
The display may be placed above the base in studio mode, making it easy for a user to interact with (e.g., touch a touchscreen display using a finger or a stylus). In some configurations, the laptop device also switches to tablet mode. In tablet mode, the display may completely encircle the base and have a very shallow angle—less than 10°.
A keyboard, a trackpad, a touch-sensitive input, a touchscreen display, various input devices, and combinations of these are included in some base configurations. One or more display devices, such as backlit displays, non-lit displays, touchscreen displays, LCDs, LED displays, OLED displays, projected displays, other displays, and combinations of these, may be used in the display.