Giant 84-inch $20K Microsoft Surface Hub to launch in September – ExtremeTech
Microsoft’s Surface and Surface Pro lineups may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but the reality is they’re multitasking beasts in a field full of consumer tablets that major on the basic tasks, but “minor” on advanced capabilities. Now the company’s back to offer one more to the enterprise world: a tablet for the boardroom that’s reminiscent of the original Surface table in size and price.
The giant tablet, called the Surface Hub, is a bigger Surface tablet with the same note-taking features that you’ve come to expect on the company’s current lineup. While Microsoft’s Surface tablets have catered to individual consumers and professionals, so far, the Surface Hub looks toward enterprise-sized settings for boardroom collaboration.
The Hub will arrive in two sizes – a 55-inch tablet with a full HD display (1080p), and a show-stopping 84-inch tablet with Ultra HD (3840 x 2160) resolution with a 120Hz refresh rate. The 55-inch model weighs 105 pounds, while the 84-incher weighs 280 pounds. Both Surface Hub models feature 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 Low-Energy (LE), gigabit Ethernet, NFC, Miracast, four USB ports (two USB 2.0, two USB 3.0), 8GB of RAM, and 128GB SSDs. Both Hub versions utilize fourth-generation Intel Core i5 (55-inch) and Core i7 (84-inch) processors. The 55-inch Hub will feature Intel’s integrated HD 4600 graphics; the 84-inch model will have NVIDIA’s Quadro K2200 640 CUDA GPU.
Both Surface Hub models allow multiple people to interact with the tablet simultaneously, thanks to the Hub’s 100 touch points. Two digital pens in a magnetic holster activate OneNote upon detachment. And the Surface Hub is excellent at connecting with other devices: Anything written on the Surface Hub whiteboard can be “beamed” to employees’ personal Android tablets and smartphones, for example. Personal devices can also beam content to the Surface Hub via Miracast, while teleconferencing employees can see your notes in real time.
Speaking of which, the Surface Hub can allow telecommuters to see the entire room of board members, with its two, wide-angle, 1080p cameras at 30fps that let you engage them with the built-in Skype app. When your session is complete, you can transfer the notes on the Surface Hub back to your personal devices by selecting an “I’m done” button. That clears your notes from the Surface Hub and lets you start the next meeting afresh. The Surface Hub’s note-wiping feature is excellent for corporations with multiple divisions that share just a couple of boardrooms.
The Microsoft Surface Hub will run the full Windows 10 experience when it becomes available for mass purchase in early September. The 84-inch Ultra-HD-resolution Surface Hub model will cost $19,999, while the 55-inch Surface Hub 1080p resolution model will set you back $6,999. Microsoft says that it wants to make the Surface Hub available via the same channels as the current Surface lineup, so expect to see the Hub in 23 other countries as well as the US. Microsoft may even bring the Hub to its own stores, although the company has yet to confirm it. Pre-orders start July 1, so get in line now.