For years Microsoft was rumored to be working secretively on a curious, dual-screen device called Courier. It never saw the light of day and even got lumped in with notable bombs like the Kin and Spot watches.
It turns out, however, that Microsoft wasn’t quite ready to walk away from the Courier completely. In 2017, they filed for a new patent for a dual-screen “notebook” design. Today, they unveiled a device that looks almost exactly like what’s pictured in the filing.
That’s it up above: the Surface Neo. Each side is just 5.6mm thick — about half a millimeter thinner than the current-gen iPad mini. It weighs just under a pound and a half.
360-degree hinges let you set the Surface Neo up like a book, a tablet, or a traditional laptop. You can type on-screen, or you can place a special Bluetooth keyboard on top of the lower display. When you do, the screen automatically adjusts itself and adds an area that functions like Apple’s Touch Bar. During the stage demo today, Microsoft presenters used it to insert things like emoji and animated GIFs while typing.
Transcribing a lecture? You can drag a video you’re watching down to the bottom display and dedicate the top one to your document.
Here’s what it looks like in action:
While this is a Surface device, it doesn’t run the same version of Windows 10 that you’d find on the Surface Pro 7. The Surface Neo runs a brand new creation called… wait for it… Windows X.
Windows X is designed to provide an optimal experience on dual-screen devices like the Surface Neo. It automatically re-flows apps when you drag the from full screen (which Microsoft calls “spanning”, logically enough) to a single display and vice-versa.
Got Outlook running on one display? Tap to open an attachment and Windows X will automatically open it on the other display.
You’ll have plenty of time to save up for a Surface Neo if you like the look of what Microsoft has cooked up. It’s not due to arrive on store shelves until the holiday shopping season next year.
Images courtesy Liliputing