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How the Surface Book’s amazing hinge works

Updated Dec 19th, 2018 9:06PM EST
Surface Book Hinge Mechanism
Image: Microsoft

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Microsoft on Tuesday had its best product unveiling in years and revealed several interesting products that culminated with the announcement of the Surface Book, which it bill as the “ultimate” laptop.

Microsoft dazzled the audience by revealing the Surface Book is actually more than a MacBook Pro clone, as it’s able to transform into a tablet. To make everything happen, there’s a new hinge mechanism at play that’s not available on any other laptop. The component has a weird, and absolutely cool name – the Dynamic Fulcrum Hinge (DFH) – and here’s how it works.

DON’T MISS: Microsoft made the ultimate laptop: the Surface Book

The DFH has been specially created to accommodate the 13.5-inch display. The hinge has to both be able to sustain the weight of the large screen, and also connect it to other components inside the keyboard dock – the graphics card, for example, is placed in the dock and so are all the various ports and card slot.

Thus, the hinge has an extending mechanism that lets it rolls outward as it opens up. The movement makes the hinge push the display slightly backwards from the dock, The Verge notes. When fully closed, the hinge wraps itself tighter, leaving a slight crease between the screen and the dock. Clips at the base of the tablet let it lock into the dock, and a button on the base frees the tablet portion so it can be detached easily.

In addition to the DFH, Microsoft also uses a muscle wire lock that’s supposed to secure the tablet tightly into place. Pressing the button on the dock will release the tablet from the lock.

The following series of GIF animations show what the DFH looks like and how it’s supposed to work.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.

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