Today Microsoft announced more news regarding the Surface Hub, which is their large-screen collaboration device. Built specifically for the business conference room, the Surface Hub packs some impressive features inside.

The first bit of news though is that the Surface Hub will be available for pre-order starting on July 1st, and shipments will begin in September. It will initially be available in twenty four markets, with the United States, Canada, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Qatar, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom all getting first dibs on this new device. The prices will seem steep to anyone who does not often furnish a conference room, with the smaller 55-inch model being offered for $6999, and the 84-inch model will sell for $19,999.

That is not inexpensive at all, but it should actually be less expensive that some of the other conference room solutions, and yet pack in technology that they can’t offer. Here is a table of the listed specifications:

Microsoft Surface Hub
  Surface Hub 55" Surface Hub 84"
Dimensions H: 31.75" (806.4 mm)
W: 59.62" (1514.3 mm)
D: 3.38" (85.8 mm)
H: 46.12" (1171.5 mm)
W: 86.7" (2202.9 mm)
D: 4.15" (105.4 mm)
Weight 105 lbs (48 kg) 280 lbs (127 kg)
CPU Intel Haswell (4th Gen) Core i5 Intel Haswell (4th Gen) Core i7
GPU Intel HD 4600 NVIDIA Quadro K2200 640 CUDA Cores
RAM 8 GB 8 GB
Storage 128 GB SSD 128 GB SSD
Display 55" 1920x1080 @ 120 Hz
1300:1 Contrast Ratio
100-point Multi-touch
Three Simultaneous Active Pens
Projective Capacitance optically bonded sensor
84" 3840x2160 @ 120 Hz
1400:1 Contrast Ratio
100-point Multi-touch
Three Simultaneous Active Pens
Projective Capacitance optically bonded sensor
Networking Wired 1 Gbps
Wireless 802.11ac
Bluetooth 4.0 LE
NFC Reader
Miracast Enabled
Ports Internal PC
(1) USB 3.0 (bottom) + (1) USB 3.0 (side access)
(2) USB 2.0
Ethernet 1000 Base-T
DisplayPort Video Output
3.5mm Stereo Out
RS232 Serial Port
RJ11 Connector for system level control

Alternate PC
(2) USB 2.0 type B output, connection for:
Camera
Sensors
Microphone
Speakers
Touchback™
(1) DisplayPort Video Input

Guest PC
DisplayPort Video Input
HDMI Video Input
VGA Video Input
3.5mm Stereo Input
(1) USB 2.0 type B Touchback™ Output
Sensors (2) Passive Infrared Presence Sensors
Ambient Light Sensors
Speakers (2) Front Facing Speakers
Microphone High Performance, 4 Element Array
Cameras (2) 1080p @ 30fps
Price $6,999 $19,999

The first notable aspect is the displays, which both feature optically bonded projective capacitance sensors to minimize reflections. Both models also can support an insane 100 points of concurrent multi-touch, and three simultaneous pen inputs. The 55-inch model is a 1920x1080 panel, and the 84-inch is a 3840x2160 resolution, and both have a refresh rate of 120Hz. The touch digitizer is also 120Hz, and according to Microsoft it makes the experience much more akin to an analog counterpart.

These will not be just displays to project to either. Powering the Surface Hub is a custom version of Windows 10, which is run on a Haswell Core i5 on the smaller model and a Core i7 on the larger one. The 84-inch model also jumps from integrated graphics to the NVIDIA Quadro K2200, which is a Maxwell based GM107 GPU with 640 CUDA Cores. Both Hubs come with 128 GB of SSD storage and 8 GB of RAM, as well as Gigabit Ethernet and 802.11ac, with Bluetooth 4.0 LE, NFC, and Miracast available.

They will also feature two front-facing stereo speakers, a four element microphone, two 1080p cameras each, as well as passive infrared presence sensors and ambient light sensors.

I think the steep price is going to keep these devices closely locked to their target audience of conference and meeting rooms. It would be very cool to have an 84-inch Windows 10 powered Smart TV, but for $20,000 it would be a tough sell.

I’ve asked a couple of questions to Microsoft to get some more details about this device though, including its ability to handle HDMI 2.0 inputs and a few other things, so once I hear back I’ll update the post.

Source: Microsoft

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  • mr_tawan - Wednesday, June 10, 2015 - link

    > (1) USB 2.0 type B Touchback™ Output/td>

    The td tag is not properly closed, I guessed.
    Reply
  • NZLion - Wednesday, June 10, 2015 - link

    I find it amusing to see people looking at this as if it was a consumer product and decrying the price. I look at this as a replacement for Lync Room Systems and based on that, the pricing is pretty good! Especially considering the optically bonded touch screens. I've done a 5 site LRS deployment recently, and look forward to the opportunity to put in Surface Hubs instead on a future job Reply
  • DigitalFreak - Thursday, June 11, 2015 - link

    This is exactly what I was thinking as well. The LRS costs more and is kind of a kludge (at least the Crestron ones are). Reply
  • loimlo - Thursday, June 11, 2015 - link

    Hate to say this, but the majority of my workplace's projectors were stuck with VGA/D-Sub input. They don't want to spend a penny on whiteboard/projector. I wonder how many companies are willing to invest in e-Whiteboard kind of things. Reply
  • at80eighty - Thursday, June 11, 2015 - link

    just enough have to, so the next gen gets more affordable for the next tier of potential customers Reply
  • Dubbledor - Thursday, June 11, 2015 - link

    Seems like you would need to two screens for collaborative conferencing. One for the video feed; one for the white space. Also, people tend to tire of using vertical touchscreen pretty quickly. Arms don't like it. It's actually a heck of a lot easier to collaborate via iPad or mouse while sitting. What will the other people be looking at while you're up there writing on the whiteboard anyway? Your armpits? Reply
  • fokka - Thursday, June 11, 2015 - link

    those prices are insane and how can a "TV" weigh 127kg?? also the 55-inch model should be 4k as well, since the presenter will stand directly in front of it. i mean that's the whole point: the touchscreen and the interactivity.

    i'm sure some fortune 500 corps will outfit their meeting rooms with those things, but from a technical standpoint those things have no right to be this expensive and weigh this much.
    Reply
  • mkozakewich - Thursday, June 11, 2015 - link

    You had me at 280 lbs! Reply

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