2Two Sizes to Choose From
Microsoft is offering two sizes of its Surface Hub: one, a 55-inch HD option, and the other, a 4K 84-inch display. Microsoft said the 84-inch option is best-suited for companies that need high-quality video and have many people in a meeting, while the smaller option may be ideal for companies that have smaller rooms and don’t require the same fidelity. Either way, the device should work out well for most companies.
3Big Screens Double as Touch-Screens
Arguably the most important component in the Surface Hub is the large touch-screen. Presenters can draw on the screen to illustrate ideas. Meeting participants can collaboratively draw on the screen to share their thoughts. The touch-screen integration is critical to Surface Hub’s success as a collaboration system.
4It’s All About Meetings
Microsoft has made it abundantly clear that its focus with Surface Hub is on meetings. The company has said that the technology works best as a conferencing and team collaboration system. Microsoft is smart to focus Surface Hub on a single activity and not try to be all things to all people, a move it has made on several occasions in the past.
5Microsoft Apps Are Fully Integrated
Microsoft’s applications will find a suitable home on the Surface Hub. According to the company, the platform includes support for Skype for Video for teleconferencing, and OneNote will, of course, be available so users can take notes on the screen. Office will also come bundled with the device, which runs on Windows 10.
6Windows 10 Sits at the Center
Following that, it’s important to point out that Windows 10 is the central focus in the Surface Hub. The device runs on Windows 10, which drives the systems many services. Microsoft is pitching Surface Hub as a Windows 10 all-in-one, and by the look of things, it might just be one of the best of its kind.
7Bring Your Own Apps
Microsoft has said that customers will be able to develop applications for Surface Hub. That’s an extremely important feature that cannot be overlooked. After all, some companies have unique needs and being able to develop proprietary software would be extremely desirable. Look for the application-development aspect of Surface Hub to win over some customers. In addition, the system will run all current Windows-compatible apps.
8You Won’t Need to Buy Office
As noted, Office comes bundled with Surface Hub. But even better, Microsoft said that the copy will be a full installation and will not require companies to buy another seat just to get it up and running. That may seem like a small bonus for such an expensive product, but historically, Microsoft has always marketed its flagship office productivity suite as a distinct product that was sold separately.
9So, What’s Inside?
The Surface Hub is no slouch when it comes to power. The smaller version comes with a fourth-generation Intel Core i5 processor, while the larger model has an Intel Core i7. In addition, the 84-inch Surface Hub has the Nvidia Quadro K2200 for graphics, compared to the Intel HD Graphics 4600 on the 55-inch model. Since the device doubles as a computer, customers can also expect 128GB of storage on a solid-state drive and 8GB of RAM.
10There’s Also a Video Experience
Let’s not forget that the Surface Hub doubles as a video conferencing platform. On the front of the display, Microsoft has bundled two wide-angle HD cameras that facilitate conversations. Those cameras point not only at the room, but also at the person working on the Surface Hub for an up-close shot. No one is outside the range of the built-in Surface Hub cameras.
11It’s Not Cheap, and It’s Launching Globally Later This Year
For all this, a company shouldn’t expect to get a deal on the Surface Hub. But whether it’s priced right is up for debate. The 55-inch model will set customers back $7,000, while the 84-inch model will go for a whopping $19,000, thanks to its 4K display and better specs. Microsoft said it will start accepting pre-orders on the Surface Hub in July for an eventual launch in September.