(Pocket-lint) - Well here's something a little different. A 2020 Microsoft patent has revealed a possible alternative future for Microsoft's laptop products, as the embedded patent images below show.
As you can see from the illustrations, the existing Surface Book's distinctive hinge - called the 'Dynamic Fulcrum Hinge', as revealed back in 2016 - could be swapped out for a dramatic dual-hinge style design instead.
The WinFuture source article suggests this is in a bid to take on Apple's Magic Keyboard design setup (turning iPad into MacBook, in effect) - but we see it as entirely different.
At first glance those images look more like the next-gen Surface Studio, but upon closer inspection you can see the secondary hinge to the centre of the screen's rear. This enables the ability to pull the screen forward into a more easel-like position, delivering greater variety of plausible screen positions.
That's quite the departure from the existing Surface Book 3, of course, as the current Dynamic Fulcrum Hinge is designed to be flexible, but also allow the screen to detach - in a tablet-like style - for versatile use in that format.
Perhaps the traditional 2-in-1 at this size and scale just isn't resonating with customers as much as it first did? We'll have to wait and see if a future Microsoft laptop employs this hinge style, it could make for a very interesting alternative setup indeed...