Microsoft now unveiled its next-generation conference room digital whiteboard, dubbed the Surface Hub 2. Just like its predecessor, the Surface Hub 2 is essentially a giant touchscreen Windows PC designed to be mounted on a wall or rolled around like a whiteboard. While the original Hub shipped in 2016 arrived in 1080p 55-inch and 4K 84-inch options, the new Surface Hub 2 features a massive 55-inch touchscreen display with a 4K+ resolution and 3:2 aspect ratio. The highlight of the new model is its design as the Hub 2 is lighter and thinner than the original. Microsoft has gone with a sleeker display design with ultra thin bezels. This lack of bezels enables a feature called “Tiling Mode”.
It is designed to allow pairing of multiple Surface Hubs together to get a larger screen. Microsoft said the feature allows up to four whiteboards tiled horizontally or vertically when more screen real estate is required.
More interestingly, the Surface Hub 2 can be employed in portrait orientation as well, unlike the previous model which was limited to landscape position. There’s something called “Dynamic Rotation” which will automatically adjust the content whenever you rotate the display.
The device comes equipped with a special hinge on the back that will allow users to switch its orientation from landscape to portrait. The hinge is inspired by the same muscle wire lock mechanism employed on Microsoft’s other Surface Book laptops. Microsoft is also working with Steelcase to produce stands and wall mounts for the Surface Hub 2.
The software of the Surface Hub 2 is of course powered by Windows 10. Microsoft Teams, Microsoft Whiteboard and Office 365 have all been optimised to run on the interactive whiteboard. The company also said the Hub 2 would feature Windows Hello logins, to automatically sign in people for the conference, and as well allow multiple logins simultaneously through a fingerprint reader.
The Microsoft Surface Hub 2 features removable 4K webcams that rotate along with the device. The device also has integrated speakers and far-field microphone arrays that will presumably allow users to issue voice commands from across a room.
Microsoft isn’t providing details regarding pricing or launch date yet but is just teasing the new model for the moment. The company will launch an early adopter program later this year to test Surface Hub 2 before the commercial launch in 2019.