Microsoft may have introduced the Surface Duo last year, but since that October event (and ahead of the ‘holidays 2020’ launch) details on the Android-powered dual-screened device have appeared, keeping interest high in the new machine.

The latest tweet from Panos Panay reveals that Microsoft’s Chief Product Officer is “pretty pumped” about the Duo… but it has posed a question.

What is that mysterious raised area at the ‘back’ of the Surface Duo? 

Some believe it to be part of a bumper case for the Surface Duo. With its non-standard design, protective cases may well be in short supply when the Surface Duo launches, so it would make sense for Microsoft to sell a case alongside the dual-screened device. But if this is a bumper case, why is it not protecting the hinges or the other half of the device?

Although the quality of the image leaves a bit to be desired, zooming in to the image and playing around with filters suggests that this is part of the actual casing. I’m more inclined to this idea rather than a case. Without a closer look at the design this could be for a number of reasons. Two that spring to my mind; a support for the back to back screen orientation because the hinge has a millimeter or two of clearance needed, or raising one of the external antenna out of the core design.

Or maybe it’s just space for a bigger battery.

Finally for now, this could be a modesty screen. No doubt Microsoft has some hardware and features on the Surface Duo that are not yet in the public domain. The obvious hidden hardware is the camera unit, but there may be something else lurking. Recall that the party trick of the Surface Book’s detachable screen was never demonstrated or even hinted at until the launch event, is there a similar surprise lurking in this Android-powered Microsoft device?

It’s worth remembering that this is not necessarily the final hardware. Even if that was available, Panay might have an emotional connection to an earlier physical model and this is his personal device, rather than a ‘test the latest build’ version.

Nevertheless, the heat under the Surface Duo speculation has been turned up a little higher this Thanksgiving weekend.

Now read more about how Microsoft’s Windows 10 for ARM project has been given legitimacy by Apple…


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