Microsoft is expected to unveil a new Surface Pro later this year, and according to some new patents, it could feature a significant redesign.
Spotted by Windows United, the patent shows off smaller display bezels, a USB-C port and a more rounded design. Additionally, the patent suggests Microsoft will make the Type Cover keyboard thinner for the Surface Pro 7.
Further, the patent details how Microsoft intends to implement magnets in the Pro 7 to keep the Type Cover in place when not in use. The current Surface devices include magnets on the front to keep the Type Cover closed. However, the patents appear to have magnets on the back as well, potentially to hold the cover in place when you fold it around to the back of the Surface.
While the patents focus on the use of magnets, there are also hints about the future of the Surface Pro. Looking closely at the illustration, it appears to have some new ports. Namely, there’s a USB-C port on the side, flanked by a USB-A port and Mini DisplayPort. It also seems to have a headphone jack, now residing at the bottom.
Interestingly, the image doesn’t show a Surface Connect port. Granted, we only get to see one side of the device, but the absence is surprising. It could suggest Microsoft plans to break away from the magnetic charging port and use USB-C for charging.
However, I can’t see Microsoft going this route. The company has avoided adopting USB-C in almost all of its devices, except the new Surface Go, which includes both USB-C and a Surface Connect port. To me, this would be the ideal solution for the Surface Pro 7. Replacing the Surface Connect with one USB-C just won’t cut it — although it could get by with two.
One of the most significant issues with the Surface Pro 6 was the port selection.
I appreciate Microsoft’s dedication to users with old standards, but the company also needs to offer newer standards like USB-C to help bridge the gap. If the patents are accurate, the Surface Pro 7 might just do that.