Nearly a year ago, Microsoft debuted its whizzy Surface Hub 2, essentially a 50-inch Surface tablet designed specifically for collaborative office environments, but offered few details and only a "2019" availability date. The original Surface Hub is a clunky, unwieldy device.
Microsoft invited some members of the press to its campus this month to get a look at the various new Surface Hub 2 machines in action. Microsoft's second-generation model, which Redmond first teased previous year, comes with the same combination of built-in apps and software, including Windows 10, Office 365, Microsoft Teams, and the Microsoft Whiteboard app that can be used with the included Surface Hub pen. The 50-inch model is 40 percent lighter at 61.6 pounds than the v1 Surface Hub, with a 60 percent thinner display with a thin edge and smaller 15mm bezels, according to Microsoft. What is interesting is that the new collaborative PCs are upgradeable, unlike the first-gen Surface Hubs launched in 2015. An all-in-one PC at heart, the Surface Hub 2S can be configured with either Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise, so it will also work with whatever software and apps your company already uses.
Microsoft will start selling its Surface Hub 2S 50-inch this June at a price of $8,999. It's essentially a Windows computer inside a TV format with a touchscreen that can be used with Microsoft's Surface Pen stylus.
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The Hub has clever 4K rotating cameras that can plug into any of the four sides, stereo speakers with a built-in subwoofer, and an eight-array far-field microphone.
Surface Hub 2S is also a product built of compromise. Built in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, along with Miracast with Touchback support, so you can cast content from a tablet or phone to the Surface display, and interact with it using the touch screen. For example, next year Microsoft plans to release its Surface Hub 2X processor cartridge offering higher GPU performance along with a set of new software capabilities. The upgrade cartridge will be sold separately; pricing and availability have not been shared.
Microsoft's Surface Hub 2S will be available in the United States starting in June for $8,999.99. The 2X release also will support dynamic rotation, multi-user authentication, tiling, and other features Microsoft had been touting as coming originally with Surface Hub 2.