Microsoft's Surface 'Centaurus' - best guess predictions

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Microsoft's dual screen designs have been much covered here on AAWP, but maybe, just maybe one of them is about to be shown off in public at the upcoming New York event on October 2nd. I'm hearing too much buzz now to be 'nothing'. It won't be a Surface Phone, those plans got scrapped, but project 'Centaurus', a netbook-sized device running Windows Core OS, though it's not known yet what consumer catchy name it will launch with.

Fellow Brit Zac Bowden has been following project 'Centaurus' more closely than most and has presented his best guess predictions for the device to be shown off in a couple of weeks. Here's a quote:


Kicking things off with the display, we understand Centaurus features two displays that are joined together by a hinge mechanism that allows the device to fold open and closed like a book. The two displays together equate to around 13 or 14-inches of screen real estate, and the device itself can be used in many different "postures" such as a tablet, laptop, and more. The term "posture" is something Microsoft has been using internally to describe the many different ways a device like Centaurus can be used.

The two displays are located on the inside of the device, and have noticeable top and bottom bezels, with thinner bezels on the sides. I think the iPad mini is a good reference for what the bezels will look like on Centaurus. The middle bezel where the two screens meet is indeed smaller, with only a few millimeters between both screens. Both "halves" of the device are expected to be around the same thickness so that when the device is closed, it appears to be uniform.

On the outside, we understand that Centaurus features one USB-C port for power and data transfer, the usual power and volume buttons, and a magnetic strip on one side for a pen accessory. I heard from one source that Centaurus will be able to charge the pen accessory wirelessly, just like the Apple Pencil and the iPad Pro. We'll have to see if this turns out to be accurate, but recent changes to the Windows SDK suggest it's a feature that is in the works...

Read the full article here.

In terms of internals, Zac's betting on Intel chipsets again, for app compatibility reasons, he thinks it's too early for another UWP/ARM-only device. He's probably right (he usually is), but it's a shame. Yes, there are still plenty of customers wanting full Intel x32/64 compatibility, but at some point surely the future needs to 'happen', and ARM chipsets enabling a doubling of battery life will be a huge step.

Windows Core OS isn't a great consumer name, by the way, we've heard 'Windows Lite', 'Modern PC', 'Lite OS', and others. Whichever way Microsoft goes, let's hope they simplify the current naming leak mess!

PS. As per the photo above, Zac says:
If you're using the device in a laptop orientation, then one screen will turn into a dedicated virtual keyboard and touchpad, with the other screen becoming the primary one for all your content.

Source / Credit: WC