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Samsung wants to turn an Android phone into a Windows laptop

Samsung Android Windows phone laptop patent

Samsung files a new patent application that lets your smartphone transform into a full Windows laptop experience

Samsung may not be selling laptops in Europe any more, but that hasn’t stopped the company from thinking up new ways to make portable Windows devices – only this time it hopes to add an Android smartphone to the mix to create a new kind of dual OS hybrid. 

In a patent application first spotted by Patently Mobile last week, Samsung describes a mobile device running Android that can switch over to Windows when it’s connected to a docking station with a screen and keyboard. The phone would slot in above the keyboard, and you would be able to close the notebook dock like an ordinary laptop with the phone still inside. 

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Of course, being a patent application, there’s no guarantee that Samsung will actually bring such a device to market, but it does reveal some interesting details about how it might work. For instance, the brains of the device would be held in the smartphone, which would be able to run both Windows and Android depending on whether it was attached to the dock. 

“If a docking apparatus is not connected, the bios may proceed with booting under the first operating system (Android), and if a docking apparatus is connected, then the bios may proceed with booting under the second operating system (Windows),” the patent notes.

When attached to the notebook dock, the phone would then be able to perform a number of functions. In one configuration, for example, it could act as a touchpad. In another, it could extend the main Windows display or run Android in addition to Windows, providing two different operating systems simultaneously. 

Samsung Android Windows phone laptop patent diagram

The patent application doesn’t just limit the choice of OS to Windows and Android either, as it says that “other operating systems may be applied” as well, potentially paving the way for a device which runs Samsung’s own Tizen interface. 

It’s not clear what the notebook shell would add to the device, but it does say that it would be “lighter and slimmer” than your average laptop chassis due to all the components being housed in the phone rather than the laptop. 

It’s a novel idea, but whether the two operating systems will work together successfully is another thing entirely. For instance, how useful will it actually be to an extended display or another OS appear on your smartphone when it’s so much smaller than the main display? Still, we’ll be interested to see if Samsung ever brings this kind of device to market, as it would certainly be very convenient to have all your computing and mobile needs combined in a single multipurpose device. 

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