Tri-Screen Device Patent Hints Microsoft Is Working On A Surface Trio Handheld

Microsoft Surface Trio Patent filing

Microsoft's dual-screen Surface Duo didn’t exactly wow consumers. The Surface Duo 2 may be a bit more popular, but it’s still not really groundbreaking or record-setting in terms of unit sales. Now, it appears the Redmond-based company is working on a new design for the Surface handheld. Instead of two screens, it may some day feature a triple-screen design. The information regarding the rumored Surface Trio hand held comes courtesy of a patent filing, which of course may or may not see the light of day as a retail product.

Regardless, Microsoft first filed the patent June 23, 2020, so this has been in the works for a while. The device is quite similar to the Surface Duo but adds another display. The patent filing demonstrates one feature, however, that might allow the Surface Trio to really turn heads and excite consumers.

In this handheld, Microsoft is apparently designing and placing the hinges in a way that will allow you to keep a display exposed even when it’s collapsed or folded. The Surface Duo is an “all or nothing” affair. You’re forced to expose both displays or none, even if you reverse-fold the handheld. It isn’t exactly an ideal arrangement.

Microsoft USPTO Filing Abstract
Microsoft's USPTO Patent Filing Abstract

With the so-called Surface Trio, you’d have more options. Close all the hinges one way, and the Surface is put to sleep. If the design mirrors the current Surface Duo 2, a gap between the displays would allow you to see the screen light up with notifications. If you just need to use one display, you’d just reverse-fold the screens to leave one exposed. Open it all back up and you’ve got your larger, three-display layout.

At this point, all we have is a patent filing, and a rather aged one at that. Microsoft could still be developing the so-called Surface Trio, or the project could be shelved or abandoned altogether. Furthermore, we don’t really know yet how the operating system, probably an Android build, might be tweaked to cater to supporting three displays and the additional functionality that comes with them.

More news surrounding the product may come in the next few months, especially since the cat’s officially out of the bag regarding its concept and design. Stay tuned, and we’ll be sure to loop you in as we learn more about the possibilities of a three-display Surface handheld.