Microsoft is exploring the possibility of using broadband chips
in Surface Book and Surface Pro to compete against the likes of
Apple MacBook, according to the latest patent filed by the
Microsoft is looking at an “interchangeable housing panel”
where the chassis can be “swapped out” to enable faster
internet connectivity and other features.
In the patent filing,
Microsoft noted that it wants to provide users with simple and
easy to implement “panels”, so that you can change the outlook
of the device and add support for additional features, such as
faster cellular connectivity.
In fact, you’ll be able to switch between different ‘costumes’
while retaining the integrated and seamless feel. You can also
switch between “limited” and “high-speed mobile data”
connectivity by swapping out the ‘standard Wi-Fi connectivity’
module of Surface Pro or Surface Book.
The broadband module would mean better reception and speeds. It
could be as quick as Qualcomm-powered Surface Pro X and that’d
obviously be a major benefit.
While it’s certainly an interesting concept, it’s unlikely that
such a modular Surface Book would be able to perfectly repair
We shouldn’t get too carried away with Microsoft’s idea here,
though, as this is just a patent. Also, we’ve heard plenty of
rumours about ‘modular’ Surface products in the past and
Microsoft has also filed patents for bendable, foldable
products with detachable components.
As always with patents, this is no guarantee that a finished
modular Surface product will appear at all, but this shows the
way that Microsoft’s hardware research and development division
It’s also worth noting that the Surface Book 3 is just a few
months old and Surface Book lineup is typically updated every
two years, which means you shouldn’t expect the next-gen
hardware to hit the shelves until late 2021 or early 2022.
While Surface Book 4 is not launching anytime soon,
Microsoft is currently planning to launch Surface Pro 8
with Intel Tiger Lake power. Unfortunately, its design will be
unchanged from the past few generations of Surface Pro.