Microsoft has unveiled the Surface Hub 2, a follow-up to its original interactive touchscreen digital whiteboard first released in 2016. The new model vastly improves on the limited specs of its predecessor, offering a 50.5-inch touch display, 4K+ resolution in a 3:2 aspect ratio.
Thanks to specially developed hinge mechanics on the rear, the Surface Hub 2 will allow users to seamlessly rotate the screen between portrait and landscape, all the while keeping on-screen content in place as it rotates.
Its included 4K cameras are removable and also rotate with the screen. The screen is also equipped with integrated speakers and far-field mic arrays, making video chat collaboration a breeze.
Users can even tile multiple displays together to create one giant – and very expensive – screen.
The device runs Windows 10 and Office 365, along with the collaborative tools of Microsoft Teams, and the MS Whiteboard app.
“Surface Hub 2 was designed from the ground up to be used by teams – to get people out of their seats, to connect and ideate, regardless of location, claims Panos Panay, Microsoft’s Chief Product Officer in a blog post revealing details of its latest device.
“The new Surface Hub 2 is sleeker, more agile and more affordable to fit any workspace or work style. The gorgeous 4K+ 50.5” multi-touch display creates an inviting canvas to co-create, harnessing the power of Microsoft Teams, Microsoft Whiteboard, Office 365, Windows 10 and the intelligent cloud.
“The 4K cameras that rotate with the device, integrated speakers and far field mic arrays allow everyone in the meeting to feel as if they are right in the room with the rest of the group, while our standard Surface 3×2 aspect ratio means everyone has more usable space to create and collaborate.”
Microsoft asserts that half of all Fortune 100 companies are using the original Surface Hubs.
Surface Hub 2 is expected to hit retail next year, and is currently undergoing sturdy and intensive trials with select customers.
The original Surface Hub which had an 83-inch screen and was priced at over $22,000 was cost-prohibitive for many companies. By offering a smaller one-size model, Microsoft indicates prices will come down substantially for the newest version.