Skip to main content

Qualcomm’s dual-screen PC concept looks like two connected Surface Go tablets

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Qualcomm made it no secret that it wants to push its ARM-based Snapdragon processors into dual-screen Always-Connected PCs during our interview with the company prior to the launch of the 8cx chipset, and now we’re getting an idea for how these devices will work. At the Snapdragon Summit in Hawaii, Qualcomm showed a video with a dual-screen PC that’s powered by the Snapdragon 8cx chip, and the internet called the concept a mere mashup of two Surface Go devices, according to a report on MSPowerUser.

Twitter user KevinCocquyt39 identified the resemblance to Microsoft’s Surface Go tablet in his response to Microsoft pundit WalkingCat’s post. “That’s 2 Go’s ‘magnetized’ together (a screen instead of a detachable keyboard)?” he asked.

Each of the tablets in Qualcomm’s dual-screen prototype appears to share the same 3:2 display aspect ratio as Microsoft’s Surface Go. As KevinCocquyt39 pointed out, the two devices appear to slot into a folio cover, with a tablet occupying each side of the folio that could open and close like a hardcover book.

In response to the tweet, Thurrott reporter Brad Sams suggested that the new pin layout used to connect the Surface Go to its keyboard cover was designed for an unspecified function: “FYI: Older Surface covers will not work with the GO,” Sams tweeted. “New pin configuration for some super sekret [sic] things later.”

Prior to the Surface Go’s launch, it was rumored that Microsoft had considered Qualcomm’s chipset for use in its low-cost tablet. However, for reasons unknown, Microsoft ultimately went with long-time partner Intel for the Surface Go’s GPU when it debuted the device. It’s unclear if the device shown in the video at Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Summit is an early prototype that is part of the company’s early work with Microsoft, or if Qualcomm is working on a new dual-screen device with Microsoft or other Always-Connected PC manufacturers.

Qualcomm senior director of product management Miguel Nunes only noted that the Snapdragon chipset was a more ideal solution for dual-screens compared to Intel solutions on the market because of power consumption. “Technically, if you look at the screen, it’s the number one consumer of power on a system,” he explained. “In an Intel solution, they already don’t have great power with one screen. When you have two screens, it’s not going to be great. That’s why those products won’t ever come to the market because power consumption-wise, it’s going to be dreadful.”

If Qualcomm adopts a two-device solution that can function independently and is connected with a bridge, then having two processors, could negate any battery benefits. Until now, most of the dual-screen concepts and leaks we’ve seen are for a device with a single processor that can power two displays.

This isn’t the first time that we’ve heard ARM-based processors used on dual-screen computing devices. In addition to Samsung’s and Huawei’s efforts to bring dual-screen phones to the market, in the past, it was reported that Dell was working on its own version of a dual-screen PC that was internally referred to as Januss.

Editors' Recommendations

Chuong Nguyen
Silicon Valley-based technology reporter and Giants baseball fan who splits his time between Northern California and Southern…
Why the Surface Neo could work, but a dual-screen MacBook would be horrible
Rumors are swirling of a dual-screen MacBook, but that’s the last thing we need
microsoft surface neo dual screen apple macbook behance mac cover

It seems to be a favorite pastime of my fellow tech journalists to bemoan Apple’s steadfast refusal to equip its MacBooks with touchscreen displays.

Since Apple has come out and essentially said “for God’s sake, no, we’re not making a touchscreen MacBook, you blithering idiots,” (I’m paraphrasing, of course), this idea seems to have reinvented itself in the form of a touchscreen keyboard. This would, err, “bless” the MacBook with two screens, one for looking at and one for pushing and poking. And if you keep up with the world of tech news, it seems as though Apple likes this idea.

Read more
Surface Neo vs. Surface Duo: Microsoft’s dual-screen devices, compared
Microsoft has two new dual-screen devices. Which has the best chance of success?
surface neo vs duo

Microsoft pioneered the 2-in-1 PC with the introduction of the Surface. But heading into the future, the company is taking its most famous brand in an entirely new direction. For holiday 2020, Microsoft will be releasing not one, but two, foldable devices: The Surface Neo and Surface Duo.

We went hands-on with prototypes of both devices during Microsoft's October 2 event in New York City and came away impressed. Both devices share the same a similar design, but there's still quite a lot of differences between the two. Although not much is officially known about the devices, in this side by side comparison, we'll give you a look at the design, performance, and portability of the two.

Read more
Surface Neo, Microsoft’s dual-screen tablet, will launch in 2020
Surface Neo

During Microsoft's annual hardware event, the company announced a slew of amazing new devices. However, one device that quickly captured many eyes was Microsoft's first dual-screen 2-in-1 tablet.

According to the company, the Surface Neo (previously referred to as Project Centaurus) is currently in the works. Microsoft said the Surface Neo is one of the lighter products in its Surface line, weighing in at 655 grams with a 5.6mm LCD screen, making it the thinnest LCD ever created. The Surface Neo's small frame was designed to accommodate various lifestyles while ensuring productivity remains intact.

Read more