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October 31, 2013

Quick Look–Building the Surface Kickstand

Today’s quick look focuses on one of the most iconic feature of Surface, the kickstand. It is handy in so many situations, yet it truly melts into the device when you’re not using it. In this interview, design lead Ralf Groene talks about the work required to make the kickstand work brilliantly in two different positions, but still disappear into the device when not in use.

The kickstand has always been a differentiator for Surface, and the new two-position kickstand it makes Surface even more versatile. It is obviously useful in allowing Surface to act like a laptop when paired with a Type or Touch cover, but Surface owners know that its utility goes far beyond that. It props the device up perfectly for watching movies (even in coach, even with the seat in front of you reclined). It makes taking photos and videos incredibly easy, since the front-facing cameras are angled so that when the kickstand is deployed they’re pointing straight out. The new Food & Drink app even features a hands-free mode, allowing you to advance through a recipe by waving your hand in front of your Surface, conveniently standing at the ready thanks to the kickstand. Just this morning at the gym I watched a trainer set a Surface on a shelf as a countdown timer as he ran an exhausting class.


Think of the times you’ve tried to set your tablet at just the perfect angle to do something, and tried again when it slipped. The Surface kickstand is a killer idea, and one you should check out.

Dan Laycock
Senior Manager- Microsoft Surface