Microsoft is working on a new design of its Surface Pro, which is expected to launch later this year. While the Surface Pro design has not changed significantly since the Surface Pro 4, Microsoft is expected to tailor the screen bezels, add a USB-C port, and make the next Surface Pro design a little rounder, like the Surface Go. We've seen a patent suggesting a thinner Surface keyboard, and now one has come out showing a Surface Pro with a USB-C port and a new type-cover model.
Spotted by Windows United The new patent describes how Microsoft plans to use magnets to prevent the Surface Type Cover from fluttering around when it is not in use. You are currently folding the keyboard under the device to use it as a tablet, and it will simply be held in place as you grasp the device. Microsoft suggests using magnets to mount the Type Cover under the device, much as the company uses magnets to hold the keyboard against the display. This will probably work if the Surface Pro is closed the other way, making it difficult to open in a bag.
The patent may only deal with magnets, but contains some far more interesting hints on the future of the Surface Pro. Microsoft seems to change the selection of ports on the Surface Pro. If you take a closer look at the picture above, you will notice that there is a new USB-C port on the side next to the regular USB-A and Mini-DisplayPort. If you blink a little more, you may find that Microsoft has also moved the headphone jack down and adjusted the kickstand access tab.
The most interesting part of these patent images is that there is no Surface Connect connector on this device. This may indicate that Microsoft is preparing to break off its magnetic charger to boost the USB-C charge on its surface lead. Microsoft was known to be cautious about the introduction of USB-C and especially about removing ports like the Mini DisplayPort. "The last thing I want to do is remove the port they need today and tomorrow and the next day to reach a technological milestone that will put a barrier on my clients," Panos Panay, head of the site, said Launch of the Surface Pro 5 in 2017.
If Microsoft really drops Surface Connect, the company can upgrade to USB-C and ThunderBolt 3. Microsoft's proprietary Surface Connect was never developed with ThunderBolt 3, and so it is limited to a maximum of 120 watts, which caused some problems for the Surface Book 2. Microsoft may not have completely abandoned the idea of magnetic loading, as Apple did when charging USB-C. An earlier patent has suggested a USB-C charger with magnets.