Over the past few iterations of the Surface line up, Microsoft has continuously tried to improve the Type cover keyboard. Earlier this month, Microsoft introduced the new Surface Pro 4 along with an improved Surface Keyboard, but it appears the Redmond-based company is working on yet a few new Surface keyboard styles.
The folks at Patently Mobile posted some images of the new styles of the Surface keyboard, courtesy of the patent files by Microsoft at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). There are two types of keyboards being shown in the images revealed by USPTO: one comes with a bending mechanism while the second hinged cover.
Let’s just start with the first one, which is quite interesting. The configuration mechanism rests in the housing in the keyboard, and can be used like that if you want to use it out of the way. Alternatively, the support mechanism can slide out of the keyboard and bent to provide the device with support so it can be used as a tablet. There are a variety of ways in which the above mentioned keyboard cover can be used — as shown in the image below. This is definitely an interesting concept, but it seems the trackpad is missing on the keyboard, which may not be a good thing.
Next up is the hinged cover, which isn’t too exciting and different from all the covers available in the market. As shown in the image from the patent filing below, there’s a hinge on the keyboard to provide support to the device. Users can also use it as a closed cover with the hinge on the back to provide protection without affecting the display on the tablet.
Both the patents were filed in October 2014, so we can’t be sure if we’ll get a chance to see the such covers in reality. But, you never know, Microsoft may change their mind and decide to offer users with more options when it comes to keyboard covers for the Surface line up.