Microsoft’s Surface Hub leverages synergies, enhances collaboration

Microsoft has added a new member to its Surface family of devices. The Surface Hub is a behemoth, wall-mounted all-in-one that's described as a powerful business collaboration tool.

The Surface Hub is aimed at shared spaces like conference rooms—kind of like a whiteboard on steroids. A special version of OneNote is central to the experience. Users can draw freehand on the screen with two included pens, and it's possible to connect devices like laptops and phones for even more collaborative action. Mysterious features called Touchback and Inkback presumably sync changes made to content on the hub with other devices.

There's an array of sensors on offer, too. The capacitive screen can track 100 touch points, and it can distinguish between multiple simultaneous users. The pen input is claimed to be subpixel-accurate.  For remote conferencing purposes, you get two HD cameras and a four-element microphone array.

Two models are available, one with a 55" 1080p screen with a Core i5-based integrated PC, and an big honkin' 84" 4K beast packing a Core i7. Prices are appropriately business-class: $6,999 and $19,999, respectively. Global availability will begin in September.

Comments closed
    • darc
    • 5 years ago

    “Leverages synergies”, seriously? Corporate-speak parody.

    • HisDivineOrder
    • 5 years ago

    I feel sorry for poor Surface. Got its name hijacked and now look at it? Gets it back, but with “hub” afterward.

    The original Surface product deserved better than to have its name nicked by a wannabe ipad.

    • WhatMeWorry
    • 5 years ago

    Call me a pessimist, but I can see this thing just being used as an expensive projector. But maybe I’ve been in too many expensive boardrooms (not at the table – mind you) with clueless muckety–mucks.

    Maybe there is a law here about electronic devices like: the most useful and powerful tools (i.e. expensive) wind up in the hands of the least productive.

    • FireGryphon
    • 5 years ago

    This sounds like everything a digital whiteboard should be. I’ve been using SMART Boards for years and the software is still so buggy it makes Windows 95 look like OS X. And let’s not even start with the hardware…

    Microsoft, on the other hand, seems to be getting its act together and this may be a great product.

      • sweatshopking
      • 5 years ago

      Smart boards are terrible, but ubiquitous in education. They’re a terrible product that is expensive and horrible. These would be a welcome improvement.

    • Thrashdog
    • 5 years ago

    Call me crazy, but I’d really rather have this in a bigass table a la the original Surface. That way everybody is able to see *and* interact with the work surface simultaneously. Something like that would be absolutely killer in, say the collaboration nook at the architecture firm where I work.

      • UberGerbil
      • 5 years ago

      Some smart company (or even an individual craftsman with a web presence) could build a handsome table around one of these things for exactly that kind of workplace collaboration. And for that [url=http://cdn.dailysundial.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/AE-Sexy-lady.jpg<]80s-bar-feel[/url<] after work. And... we're back at the old [url=http://s3.amazonaws.com/f01.justanswer.com/JACUSTOMEReciqvxu0/2011-05-12_024227_hitachi_tv.jpg<]cabinet televisions[/url<], except with the display facing up.

    • willmore
    • 5 years ago

    Enough with the click bait headlines!

    • Milo Burke
    • 5 years ago

    Actually, my company is in the market for a few devices like this.

    We’ve got a few 4:3 Smartboards now, and the resolution of reasonably priced 4:3 projectors is terrible, projector aim drifts over time, “pen” touch precision is terrible and can be offset by 1-2 inches despite calibration routines, and contrast is obscenely low in an office setting with fluorescent lights and windows.

    Smartboard makes much better products now, TV-based products, not sure if they are all-in-ones or just touch screens. But they are crazy high priced for for-profit businesses. I know education gets huge discounts on them, but I work in finance.

    A salesperson told me we really should pass on the touch input. Just use the wireless keyboard/mouse combos we already have. There’s no need to draw illegible handwriting on a wall. I agree, but my boss feels the ability to draw circles around stuff enhances the customer experience and helps close sales.

    He might have a point. But a giant TV is $2,000-3,000, and a giant touch screen seems to be $15,000+.

    I wonder if it’s truly worth it.

      • Andrew Lauritzen
      • 5 years ago

      > There’s no need to draw illegible handwriting on a wall. I agree, but my boss feels the ability to draw circles around stuff enhances the customer experience and helps close sales.

      I believe these support multiple pen inputs, so there’s no need to be illegible 🙂 It’s a proper digital whiteboard.

    • Srsly_Bro
    • 5 years ago

    YESS!!! IT”S HERE! I WAS WRONG! SO WRONGGGG!

    downvotes go here pls..

    [url<]https://techreport.com/news/28435/samsung-shows-off-transparent-and-mirrored-oleds?post=913124[/url<]

      • derFunkenstein
      • 5 years ago

      We’ve got both kinds of down clicks. Here AND there.

        • Srsly_Bro
        • 5 years ago

        aww you shouldn’t have.

      • Deanjo
      • 5 years ago

      And still….. nobody cares.

        • sweatshopking
        • 5 years ago

        Anyone who works in education cares. Don’t be mad cause apple can’t compete. They’ll copy it soon enough. Just wait!

          • Deanjo
          • 5 years ago

          Lol, coming from a family with 8 immediate family members that are teachers I can assure you they really don’t care.

          (Christmas’s and Easters are like a bloody teachers convention at home)

            • sweatshopking
            • 5 years ago

            Post secondary?

      • BIF
      • 5 years ago

      Making it jump to your post was annoying. I stopped caring and downvoted you six times. Okay, three times, but I was so mad I was seeing crosseyed!

        • Srsly_Bro
        • 5 years ago

        Sorry for any trouble your lack of control over your emotions have caused.

          • BIF
          • 5 years ago

          No problem, that’s why I pay the fee for three downvotes at a time; it’s great therapy, right down there with running stuff down the garbage disposal. Srsly!

            • Srsly_Bro
            • 5 years ago

            lol

    • UberGerbil
    • 5 years ago

    The headline [url=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GyV_UG60dD4<]in-jokes[/url<] just keep getting better and better.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 5 years ago

    This is the single greatest headline in the history of TR. And after the week we had last week you probably need the encouragement. 🙂

    • Milo Burke
    • 5 years ago

    I’ve always wanted to leverage synergies!

      • blastdoor
      • 5 years ago

      It’s pretty much the only thing you can do with them 😉

    • blastdoor
    • 5 years ago

    Maybe my after work beer is skewing my judgement, but I actually think this is a product competitors (particularly Apple+IBM) should take seriously. It’s the kind of thing that has the potential to impress senior management types and drive decisions about other products (i.e., generate a halo effect). Sometimes it’s worth developing a niche product if that niche is important enough (for example, Apple keeps the Mac Pro around because they recognize the importance of the small but influential group of people who buy that computer).

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