Google's Jamboard takes the whiteboard into the cloud

Google had a big hardware event a couple weeks ago, but the search giant didn't show all of its physical devices then. The company has now announced the Jamboard, a digital whiteboard with a 55" 3840x2160 display and tight integration with Google's G Suite services. The manufacturer says the Jamboard's screen is "built for precision drawing" and has the "best-in-class touch response time." Google doesn't say what hardware specifications and software technology go into the Jamboard, though we wager it's based on Android or Chrome OS.

Google is touting the Jamboard's ease of use as a selling point, saying it's designed to be brought into a room and readied for use just by powering it up. The device includes a video camera, microphone, speakers, and Wi-Fi connectivity. Potential buyers will surely cross-shop the Jamboard against Microsoft's Surface Hub. The Jamboard share the same size screen as the 55" Surface Hub, but that device has a mere 1080p screen. Buyers must opt for the pricier 84" Surface Hub to get a 4K screen.

The final price of the Jamboard is said to be "under $6,000," compared to $9,000 for the 55" Surface Hub and a whopping $22,000 for the larger 84" 4K Surface Hub. Google says the Jamboard will ship to customers some time in 2017. The company says it will be partnering with BenQ and "its network of channels and resellers to help bring the Jamboard to market," suggesting the possibility that BenQ will build the device on Google's behalf.

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