The classic whiteboard is a ubiquitous fixture of conference and boardrooms in modern offices. It's been around a while, though—long enough that it seems like it's about time for a change. Microsoft enjoyed some success in entering the “digital whiteboard” space once with the Surface Hub, but the hardware's high price and limited availability kept it from enjoying widespread success outside of high-end boardrooms. Now the company is improving the formula with the smaller, sleeker Surface Hub 2.
If you forgot or missed the original Surface Hub, it was an all-in-one computer with a large multi-touch display intended for wall-mounting. Business users could use it for collaborative creation or for life-size videoconferencing. The new model is much thinner than the original and includes 4K video cameras, integrated speakers, and far-field mic arrays to improve the telepresence experience.
Presumably, the Surface Hub 2 is also faster than the original version, although Microsoft isn't talking specs at this time. Along those lines, the company vaguely describes the screen resolution of the Surface Hub as “4K+.” We do know that the Hub 2's display will come in the usual Surface 3:2 aspect ratio.
Where the original Surface Hub came in 55″ and 84″ versions, the Surface Hub 2 is a 50.5″ display with a dynamic rotation feature. You can also link up to four Surface Hub 2s into one giant touch-capable display. Microsoft has partnered up with Steelcase to provide a line of rolling stands and rotation-capable mounts for the Surface Hub 2.
In the blog post, Microsoft says it will be testing the Surface Hub 2 with “select commercial customers.” We'd reckon that being one of the “more than 5000 customers” who bought the original Surface Hub is a good way to get fast-tracked into said tests. Us mere mortals will be able to buy one of the big displays in 2019, but keep your wallet fat if you're after one. While Microsoft didn't say how much the Surface Hub 2 will cost, the last-generation models went for $9,000 and $22,000 depending on size.