Tech industry analysts have been saying that tablet PCs and touchscreens are the future of personal computing, but man consumers have been reluctant to make the switch from their traditional laptop and desktop computers. According to a report from PC Magazine, however, Microsoft has made a huge step forward after it began shipping its king-sized wall-mounted touch screen, the Surface Hub.
The Surface Hub was designed as a platform for collaboration and marketed to businesses and large-scale organizations. It was first revealed in January 2015, but only began shipping recently. The Surface Hub comes in two sizes – a 55-inch version is available for $8,999 and an 84-inch version is available for $21,999.
The aim of the Surface Hub is to replace the whiteboard in the conference room setting, allowing smoother integration between videoconferencing and note-taking. The units contain fourth-generation Intel Core processors, Intel HD 4600 or Nvidia Quadro K2200 graphics chips, 128 GB of solid state storage, 8GB of RAM, four USB ports, Bluetooth 4.0 capabilities, Wi-Fi and gigabit Ethernet connections. The smaller model weighs in at 105 pounds, and the bigger version weighs 280 pounds.
The company was slated to start production on Surface Hub last September, but delayed the start date so they could scale up operations and produce even more. The Surface Hub allows users to call collaborators on Skype, take notes with a OneNote notebook, and connect third-party devices like mobile phones or tablets. The screen supports 100-point touch, allowing multiple people to mark up text and images and move things around at the same time.
The Surface Hub also has a camera that points at the user at eye level, making it seem like you’re having a face-to-face conversation with the person on the other end. Microsoft hopes that businesses will adopt the Surface Hub for all of their collaborative needs, and at that price, they better be prepared to deliver.
A news release describing the details of the Surface Hub can be found here.