News Column

"Multi-Function Information Handling System with Multi-Orientation Stand" in Patent Application Approval Process

July 1, 2014

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Information Technology Newsweekly -- A patent application by the inventors Morrison, John T. (Round Rock, TX); Kamepalli, Srinivas (Austin, TX), filed on December 11, 2012, was made available online on June 19, 2014, according to news reporting originating from Washington, D.C., by VerticalNews correspondents.

This patent application is assigned to Dell Products L.p.

The following quote was obtained by the news editors from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The present invention relates in general to the field of information handling system devices, and more particularly to a multi-function information handling system tablet having adjustable viewing and cooling configurations.

"As the value and use of information continues to increase, individuals and businesses seek additional ways to process and store information. One option available to users is information handling systems. An information handling system generally processes, compiles, stores, and/or communicates information or data for business, personal, or other purposes thereby allowing users to take advantage of the value of the information. Because technology and information handling needs and requirements vary between different users or applications, information handling systems may also vary regarding what information is handled, how the information is handled, how much information is processed, stored, or communicated, and how quickly and efficiently the information may be processed, stored, or communicated. The variations in information handling systems allow for information handling systems to be general or configured for a specific user or specific use such as financial transaction processing, airline reservations, enterprise data storage, or global communications. In addition, information handling systems may include a variety of hardware and software components that may be configured to process, store, and communicate information and may include one or more computer systems, data storage systems, and networking systems.

"Consumers have come to expect that an information handling system will adapt to perform multiple functions with user-friendly interfaces. Desktop and other types of non-portable information handling systems have generally fallen out of favor with many consumers who expect to carry their information handling system with them. A typical desktop information handling system setup has bulky and awkward wires that interface peripherals, such as displays and keyboards, and a relatively large footprint that consumes desktop or office space. Desktop information handling systems do tend to have larger-sized chassis with greater storage, which makes them convenient as a household server and central data repository. Laptop information handling systems have traditionally offered portability by using a clamshell configuration having a display and keyboard on opposing portions of a rotationally-coupled chassis. The clamshell configuration offers portability with adequate room to hold powerful components having processing capabilities on par with those found in many desktop information handling systems. End users who prefer greater portability than that offered by a clamshell configuration tend to select tablet information handling systems that typically accept inputs through a touchscreen display integrated in a flat chassis. Tablet information handling systems provide convenient information consumption, such as for presenting entertainment like movies, but tend to have more limited processing capabilities due to the relatively smaller size of the typical tablet chassis. The smaller chassis size also tends to limit the size of the display and, thus, the end user's entertainment experience.

"Tablet information handling systems have limitations for performing some functions expected from desktop and laptop information handling systems. One limitation is the lack of a built in keyboard. Tablets generally include a touchscreen that presents a keyboard and accepts inputs; however, a touchscreen keyboard is typically more difficult for an end user to use resulting in slower inputs. Further, a touchscreen keyboard consumes display space and detracts from presentation of other information. Another limitation is the generally small size of the display screen included in a tablet. Although a small display supports information consumption, such as email reading, web browsing and movie watching, end users often must expand an image presented at the display to comfortably view information. Even if an end user interfaces a peripheral keyboard and mouse with a tablet, the small screen size tends to make effective information creation difficult. Further, with a small chassis and limited room to expel excess thermal energy generated by processing components, tablets typically have less powerful processors that have difficulty with complex computing tasks. Another limitation with tablets is that the planar housing can be somewhat awkward for an end user to hold and make inputs. Docking stations are available to hold tablets, however, docking stations are inconvenient for end users to carry around."

In addition to the background information obtained for this patent application, VerticalNews journalists also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "Therefore a need has arisen for a system and method which supports a tablet information handling system having an improved display presentation.

"In accordance with the present invention, a system and method are provided which substantially reduce the disadvantages and problems associated with previous methods and systems for presenting information at a tablet information handling system. Support members extend outward at the bottom surface of the tablet information handling system planar housing to hold the planar housing at plural angles relative to a resting surface, such as a desktop. Changing the orientation of the planar housing relative to the resting surface arranges the support members to hold the planar housing in different orientations, such as inclined and upright orientations selected with 180 degrees of rotation relative to the resting surface. Changes in orientation of the planar housing relative to a likely location of an end user initiate changes in the direction of cooling airflow through the planar housing so that exhausted cooling airflow is directed away from the end user.

"More specifically, a planar housing has plural processing components disposed in it that cooperate to process information, such as by execution of stored instructions. A display disposed over an upper surface of the planar housing interfaces with the processing components to present information as visual images. Support members extend outward from support cavities formed in the bottom surface of the planar housing to rest on a resting surface so that one side of the planar housing is elevated relative to an opposing side. In an inclined configuration, the support members rest substantially perpendicular to a resting surface to raise one side of the planar housing by a distance of the extension of the support members from the bottom surface. To transform from the inclined position to an upright position, the planar housing is rotated 180 degrees relative to the resting surface so that the support members are substantially parallel with the resting surface. Transitioning between inclined and upright configurations result in the image at the display being reoriented to maintain the images presented by the display upright relative to an end user. Cooling airflow through the planar housing removes excess thermal energy produced by processing components so that more powerful processing components may be included in the planar housing. The direction of cooling airflow exhaust from the planar housing is adjusted based upon the likely location of an end user relative to the planar housing. For example, if a docking connector of the planar housing couples with a docking station, then cooling airflow is directed upward and away from the docking station. As another example, if a weight switch associated with the support members detects an inclined or upright configuration, then the cooling airflow is directed in the same direction as the orientation of images presented at the display. Cooling airflow through the planar housing is exhausted in a desired direction by selecting a rotation direction for the fan.

"The present invention provides a number of important technical advantages. One example of an important technical advantage is that an information handling system has the touch interaction of a tablet, the portability of a laptop and the productivity of a desktop. For example, a moderate sized Full High Definition (FHD) touchscreen display presents information with sufficient resolution to provide efficient information creation, yet fits in a housing thin enough and light enough to allow portability, such as a maximum thickness of about a finger width and a relatively light weight. Processing components are disposed in a housing that has more room than a typical tablet, which provides more efficient handling of excess thermal energy associated so that more powerful processing components may be included in the housing. More powerful processing components efficiently run applications that create information, such as word processing, spreadsheet and multimedia editing applications. In order to dissipate excess thermal energy, one or more cooling fans provide a cooling airflow with the direction of the airflow determined by the orientation of the information handling system. Orientation-based cooling airflow ensures end user comfort during operations that generate greater levels of thermal energy. Retractable support members extend from the housing to provide multiple orientations adaptable to multiple end user functional uses, such as upright, flat and inclined orientations provided by a set of retractable support legs. The tablet information handling system also docks to a docking station for use with peripherals in an all-in-one configuration.


"The present invention may be better understood, and its numerous objects, features and advantages made apparent to those skilled in the art by referencing the accompanying drawings. The use of the same reference number throughout the several figures designates a like or similar element.

"FIG. 1 depicts an information handling system having a planar housing to contain processing components that cooperate to process information;

"FIG. 2 depicts the information handling system planar housing having selectively extended support members that provide flat, inclined and upright configurations;

"FIG. 3 depicts a rear perspective view of the information handling system planar housing raised with the support members over a support surface in the inclined and upright configurations;

"FIG. 4 depicts a blow-up view of a support member and a support cavity formed in the planar housing bottom surface;

"FIG. 5 depicts the information handling system planar housing aligned to couple with a docking station having performance boost subsystem;

"FIG. 6 depicts the information handling system planar housing having cooling airflow direction reversible by reversing the rotation of one or more cooling fans;

"FIG. 7 depicts a damper that slides within the information handling system planar housing to selectively set the direction of cooling airflow exhaust; and

"FIG. 8 depicts selective changes to a camera field of view based upon the configuration in which the information handling system planar housing is held."

URL and more information on this patent application, see: Morrison, John T.; Kamepalli, Srinivas. Multi-Function Information Handling System with Multi-Orientation Stand. Filed December 11, 2012 and posted June 19, 2014. Patent URL:

Keywords for this news article include: Dell Products L.p., Information Technology, Information and Data Storage.

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Source: Information Technology Newsweekly

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