The long-rumoured dual screen laptop from Microsoft - codenamed 'Surface Andromeda' - could be inching closer to an official announcement. The most recent leaked memos and uncovered patents point to a folding, miniature Surface that could be launching in a few month's time. Here's what you need to know.
Last month, technology journalist Paul Thurrott leaked fresh details about the fabled dual-screen Andromeda laptop, claiming it could be launching as early as 2018. Now, a Microsoft internal document obtained by The Verge strongly backs up the idea of a miniature folding Surface.
The memo specifically refers to a "pocketable Surface" that will "blur the lines between mobile and stationary computing" and form part of a “new and disruptive” product category. Them's fighting words if ever we heard them.
Andromeda's design is described as having a "wraparound" display with a seamless hinge separating both halves of the screen. These 3D renders based on the latest patents are reportedly accurate to existing engineering samples:
— David Breyer (@D_Breyer) December 18, 2017
The latest leaked documents also make mention of stylus support (natch) and an ARM-based processor for higher power efficiency. It rather sounds like a Nintendo DS that runs Windows instead of games.
This all looks very intriguing, but will we actually see a commercial version in the shops? As The Verge notes, Microsoft has a track record of canning products very late into development. Indeed, the similar sounding Surface Mini had its plug pulled mere weeks before its slated release date.
The Surface family of computers is a big part of Microsoft's resurgence over the last few years. The Surface Mini was meant to accompany the Surface Pro 3 back in 2014 but Microsoft held it back. While it looks a lot like a Surface Pro that's been cut down, it ran a Snapdragon processor, just 1GB of memory and 32GB of storage.
But something tells us the Andromeda will make it the production line (in one form or another.) After all, Microsoft is in sore need of a pocketable device following the demise of its Windows Phone platform. A dual-screen MS laptop would also align with similar concepts that were unveiled at Computex 2018 by Asus and Intel.
Whatever Microsoft does, it would appear we have a new - and potentially game-changing - product category waiting in the wings.