In a joint demo with furniture maker Steelcase, Microsoft gave details of its thinner, lighter, battery-powered 50.5in model and promised to trial the 85in model with customers next year.
Microsoft has unveiled details of the Surface Hub 2S, in an announcement made in partnership with office furniture manufacturer Steelcase. In a blog post, Microsoft chief product officer Panos Panay said: “Today we joined Steelcase in New York to share our vision for empowering teams and unveiled new details about the Surface Hub 2S product line, introducing the new 85-inch screen size and bringing unprecedented, battery-enabled mobility to the 50-inch collaboration device.” Some of the key elements of the announcement are:
Surface Hub 2S will cost $8,999.99 and will be generally available in June in the United States with additional markets to follow. Updated software for Surface Hub 2S will be launched at a later date.
Surface Hub 2S has an APC Charge Mobile battery that, when paired with Steelcase RoamMobile Stand and Wall Mount, enables true mobility. The Steelcase accessories cost extra.
Microsoft will begin testing Surface Hub 2S 85-inch with select customers in early 2020.
In his blog post, Panay said that Surface Hub 2S will be 40% lighter than its predecessor with a 60% thinner display. It will offer 50% faster graphics performance than the original Surface Hub. Surface Hub 2S will also offer the thinnest edge and smallest bezels in its class while no AC power connectivity will be required when it is paired the Steelcase Roam Mobile Stand and APC Charge Mobile Battery.
In reaction from around the web, Sam Rutherford of Gizmodo wrote: “It seems like every day there’s someone in a fancy office talking about how teamwork and collaboration is the key to success. And yet, most of us are still stuck with the same infuriating video conferencing tools that make people want to give up. But the Microsoft Surface Hub 2S feels a bit different, a bit more advanced, and it might actually deliver on the promise of making collaborating with your coworkers just a bit less painful.”
However, Tom Warren of the Verge website, was more cautious. “If you want all the optional extras then it will run to $12,000. The future doesn’t come cheap,” he said, while adding: “It’s fair to say that the Surface Hub 2 is a beautifully designed piece of hardware. Compared to the original Surface Hub, it now looks and feels like real Surface hardware, and it’s far more striking than competitors like Google’s Jamboard.”
Kyle Wiggers, of Venturebeat.com, wrote: “The most obvious change is the form factor. The 50.5-inch Hub 2S trades the outgoing model’s 16:9 aspect ratio for 3:2, ups the resolution to 3,840 x 2,560 pixels (9.8 million pixels total, high enough to see up to four video feeds at 1080p), features three-way speakers with built-in tweeters and a rear-firing subwoofer, and has a lighter frame. (At between 55 and 77 pounds, it’s measurably less heavy than the first Surface Hub.) Meanwhile, its 3:2 aspect ratio brings it in line with Microsoft’s Surface laptops and tablets, while the reduced size allows it to sit on a rolling easel-like stand for portability.”