21 May 2018
Microsoft has announced its latest office conference/collaboration display named Surface Hub 2. It will be a successor to the original Surface Hub which was launched in 2015. While the team took three years announce an upgraded version, the product makes us believe that the waiting time was actually worth it. The latest offering from the company truly looks set to change the way people collaborate on projects within an office.
The all-new Surface Hub 2 is a 50.5-inch display with resolution slightly over 4K and support for touchscreen input. It features 3:2 aspect ratio which has become a signature for Surface devices. It also happens to be one of the reasons which make it an interesting collaboration tool worth looking forward to. This aspect ratio ensures that users not only get a great user experience in landscape mode but also in the portrait mode.
It is true that most of the businesses usually use such displays in landscape but with Surface Hub 2, portrait mode is expected to take a center stage as well. It can be used for video calls where the other person will appear life-sized like he/she is actually there. This can result in a video call which feels more connected at a personal level. This mode also helps in connecting up to four panels to get a bigger display experience (called 'tiling') to get even more space for better collaborations. It further features a 4K camera for high-quality video calls which is detachable and uses a USB Type-C port.
Microsoft has teamed up with Steelcase to work on a number of mounts and rolling stands which would make transporting Surface Hub 2 easier. This will also make it easier to mount the device on any wall or just roll it to any other room within the building. It is aimed at enhancing the portability experience so that users can start collaborating at any place of their choice.
Since it is a Microsoft product, it offers deep integration with many of its software services like Microsoft Teams, Whiteboard, PowerBI, and PowerPoint among others. If the device becomes successful in attracting buyers, those buyers can end up moving to these Microsoft services to make better use of it.
There are no words on the pricing and availability details of the Surface Hub 2 yet. The team has only mentioned that it will start testing the device with selected businesses this year. It means it is expected to go on sale only in 2019.