The latest line of Surface devices may only be just out of the door but Microsoft is, of course, already looking to the future. As well as the possibility of a modular Surface Studio and AMD-powered laptops, the latest rumour suggests something a little more out there.
Apparently, Microsoft may well take a leaf out the Lenovo Yoga Book… book (pictured above) and release a device with two screens.
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Rather grandiosely dubbed ‘Project Centaurus’, the oddball device has been in development for around a year, according to Windows Central, and will run Windows Core OS rather than Windows 10. That’s software specifically designed to deal with the added challenges an extra screen bring, such as different orientations.
Like the Lenovo Yoga Book – which coped just fine with Windows 10 back in the day – the second screen would be touch sensitive, and depending on the context could turn into a keyboard for typing or a sketch pad for doodling.
The latter is certainly helpful – the Surface Pen works with my Surface Laptop 2, but it feels a touch awkward. Virtual keyboards often feel a touch uncomfortable to use for extended periods due to their lack of tactile feedback.
The plan is for Project Centaurus to act as a showcase for what’s possible with the dual-screen form factor, and what they (potentially) lack for prolific writers, they make up for in flexibility.
A dual-screen device can quickly transform from a laptop into a tablet, into a larger tablet, or a digital book, after all. The only issue is that Windows 10 is not used to such flexibility, hence the need for a tweaked experience, and Microsoft wants to lead the way before other manufacturers jump on the bandwagon.
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Project Centaurus is due to arrive in autumn 2019 according to Windows Central, so – if that’s correct – we don’t have too long to wait to see if this experiment kicks off the next big thing in portable computing, or goes the way of the Zune.
Does Project Centaurus look exciting or uninteresting? Let us know on Twitter @TrustedReviews.