Microsoft’s Surface Book 4 might not have a detachable display

Microsoft’s Surface Book 4 might not have a detachable display

Introduced alongside Windows 10 back in 2015, Microsoft’s Surface Book hasn’t exactly been successful by any metric. It hasn’t been imitated by the rest of the PC market, and it hasn’t sold as well as the more popular Surface Pro. Not only is it expensive, but some would say that it’s impractical. According to a patent spotted by Windows Central, Microsoft might be redesigning the product with the Surface Book 4.

The patent shows a laptop that uses a hinge similar to what’s found on the HP Elite Folio and HP Spectre Folio. At a desktop scale, it would be similar to a Surface Studio. Here’s how it would work. You can lift the display like a regular laptop, and then if you want, you can pull it forward to set it to different angles. It should also lie flat to be used as a tablet. According to the report, it might also have a larger, 14-inch display.

This new design, while not entirely original in the Windows space (there have been tons of convertible designs), would solve a lot of problems for the Surface Book 4. The problem with having the ability to detach the display is that in order for the tablet to work on its own, all of the guts need to be in the screen. That includes a battery, the CPU, the memory, the storage, and more. The base only includes a second battery and depending on the model, a dedicated GPU. Because of this, the Surface Book tends to be very top-heavy.

Having a convertible instead of a detachable solves this problem. It means that the product not only doesn’t have to have all of the guts in the display, but you don’t need to have things like dual batteries anymore. The screen doesn’t need to have its own battery at all on the Surface Book 4. With the base being heavier and the screen being lighter, using it on your lap should be much easier.

In the six years since it was introduced, the Surface Book has only been refreshed twice, but later this year seems like a great time for Microsoft to roll out the Surface Book 4. After all, alongside Windows 11, there should be a hardware event where Microsoft can show off some hero devices. And that’s exactly the time that the Redmond firm would be likely to show off redesigned hardware.

You can treat this as a rumor for now, but we should be learning more in October. And frankly, that’s not too far away.

About author

Rich Woods
Rich Woods

Managing Editor for XDA Computing. I've been covering tech from smartphones to PCs since 2013. If you see me at a trade show, come say hi and let me ask you weird questions about why you use the tech you use.