Although the Surface Pro 7 has only just been released, it seems that Microsoft is working hard on its successor, the Surface Pro 8, with a new patent that seems to indicate that the company wants to make an attachment with louder speakers to the 2-in-1 laptop/tablet hybrid.
The patent, noted by Windows Latest, seems to show a sizeable extra speaker built into the Type Cover of a Surface Pro device. The Type Cover is a peripheral device for the Surface Pro that not only covers the screen when it is not in use – to protect it from damage – but also works as a keyboard and stand. Adding a built-in speaker to the Type Cover would be a convenient way to improve the sound quality of future Surface Pro devices.
Of course, placing a speaker in the Type Cover brings specific design challenges, because Microsoft does not want to make the cover too bulky, which would affect the thin and light design of the Surface Pro.
According to the patent, called Extendable Resonance Box Housing for Electronic Devices, the speaker faces the display and can be used in both “a closed configuration and an open configuration, so that in the open configuration”, meaning the additional speaker can be used even when the Surface Pro 8 (or any other Surface Pro device on which it appears) is closed.
Microsoft is trying to prevent future covers with a built-in speaker from becoming too bulky by placing the speaker on an “outer surface of the expandable housing and pointing so that the disc magnet assembly faces the inside of the resonance box, and the speaker cone faces out on the outside of the resonance cabinet. ”
This means, according to the patent, that the Surface Pro “achieves the advantage of amplifying audio through the resonance box without significantly increasing device volume or requiring an additional speaker system.”
Although the extra speaker may not increase the size and weight of the Type Cover, this can certainly have an impact on the price. Microsoft sells the Type Cover separately. For example, the Type Cover for the new Surface Pro X costs a hefty $ 269 (£ 259, AU $ 429). If a future version also includes a speaker, that price could rise even further.
But for people who use their Surface Pro devices to watch movies or stream music, having an extra speaker can make a huge difference, which means a significant improvement when it comes to sound quality compared to the small and small speakers, which are built into the body of the Surface Pro.