A second-generation Surface Hub has been rumored for quite some time, and Microsoft has delivered today with the introduction of the aptly named Surface Hub 2. The first-generation Surface Hub is available in both 55-inch and 84-inch versions, while the Surface Hub 2 features a 50.5-inch touch screen display (no larger size will be offered, at least initially).
The PixelSense display has a 4K+ resolution with a 3:2 aspect ratio, which should be familiar to anyone that has used Surface-branded hardware. An intriguing aspect about this collaborative digital whiteboard is that it is now able to rotate from landscape to portrait mode. This is a rather interesting take on the Surface Hub concept, and you should definitely check out the video below to see the future in action.
In addition to the trick rotating feature, the Surface Hub 2 supports tiling, which allows you to pair up to 4 screens together in either landscape or portrait mode. Each display can independently show content or spread content (a la video) across all four displays (if so equipped). Rounding out the hardware is a 4K webcam that attaches to the display with a USB-C connection, which is a nice touch given that Microsoft has shunned the standard for its other Surface hardware.
When it comes to accessories, Microsoft partnered with Steelcase to develop a rolling stand that will allow businesses to easily transport the Surface Hub 2 from room to room.
In addition to the new hardware that the Surface Hub 2 represents, Microsoft has also made some significant updates to the software running in the background.
“The original Surface Hub advanced this mission, making it possible to join a meeting or open a whiteboard with one touch. Now Surface Hub 2 takes it even further with multi-user sign in,” said Surface chief Panos Panay. “This feature is a truly magical experience. Using multi-user sign in, multiple people can authenticate in the same Surface Hub 2 workspace, allowing them to simultaneously access their documents and ideas, merging them with the ideas of their teammates – and making collaboration as natural as meeting at a whiteboard.”
Microsoft hasn’t given any pricing details on the Surface Hub 2, but it will likely be competitive with other products in this space, like the $5,000 Google Jamboard. For comparison, the current generation 55-inch Surface Hub is priced at around $9,000. Microsoft says that the Surface Hub 2 will ship in 2019.