Microsoft made a big announcement today with the launch of the $8,999 Surface Hub 2S, the newest version of the company's giant, multi-user, touch screen collaborative tool. Though it has a distinct look and specialized purpose, the Surface Hub 2S shares DNA with the best all-in-one PCs on the market.
Designed with meeting rooms and business teams in mind, the newest member of the Surface Hub family is one part 4K touch screen, one part all-in-one PC and a whole lot of hands-on collaboration. The Surface Hub 2S expands this product line for 2019 with a mobile 50-inch model that has battery power for literal off-the-wall use.
Ask people about the Microsoft Surface and you'll probably get comments about the latest Surface Book laptop or Surface Pro tablet, or maybe the Surface Studio 2 desktop. But you probably won't hear about the Surface Hub, or run into many folks outside of a tech magazine newsroom who remember that the Surface name first arrived in 2007 as a touchscreen-based coffee table, designed for collaboration.
The latest version of this is the Surface Hub 2S, which is a Microsoft product inside and out. The Surface Hub 2S comes with Windows 10, Microsoft Teams, Office 365, Microsoft Whiteboard and the intelligent cloud, along with built-in Microsoft Teams and Skype for Business integration. An all-in-one PC at heart, the Surface Hub 2S can be configured with either Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise, so it will also work with whatever software and apps your company already uses.
But the biggest feature is the touch screen. The device also comes with a Surface Hub 2 Pen, which lets you use the Hub in whiteboard mode with pressure sensitivity and tilt sensing for a natural inking experience on the Gorilla Glass-covered display. The screen also supports up to 10 points of multitouch, allowing more than one person to use the touch screen at once.
The Surface Hub 2S is mobile – past models have been stationary, wall-mounted units designed for dedicated meeting rooms – with a battery for cord-free power and an optional Steelcase rolling stand that lets you move the device around the room or around the office. It's also got an integrated battery tray; APC by Schneider Electric provides a mobile charging battery that sits in the tray and powers the device without a wall outlet. The lithium-ion battery powers the 50-inch Surface Hub whether you're moving it across the room or actively using it for Skype calls or team white board use.
The screen uses Microsoft's preferred 3:2 aspect ratio, and a PixelSense display with 4K+ (3840 x 2560) resolution. Built into the slim 15 millimeter bezels is a Doppler presence sensor that lets you automatically power on the Surface Hub by simply walking up to it.
An included Surface Hub 2 Camera offers 4K video capture for Skype calls, and it magnetically attaches to the Surface Hub for easy installation that stays secure even when wheeled from one meeting room to another. Built in speakers provide sound and far-field microphones make it easy for anyone in the room to join the conversation without fear of not being heard.
The edges of the display have USB-C connections for adding cameras, storage and other peripherals. They all feature the magnetic attachment used by the Surface Hub 2 Camera, but will work for connecting other USB-C-equipped devices. On the back of the system you'll find USB-A and C ports, HDMI input, mini DisplayPort output, and a Gigabit Ethernet connection. Built in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, along with Miracast with Touchback support, so you can cast content from a tablet or phone to the Surface display, and interact with it using the touch screen.
Inside is an Intel Core i5 8th generation quad-core processor, 8GB of memory, and 128GB solid-state drive. The new models of the Surface Hub also have a modular design that will let you unlock new features in the future. Microsoft calls the update 2X, and it includes screen rotation and the ability to tile multiple Surface Hub devices together. The 2X update requires a processor upgrade, but the modular design lets you swap out the necessary hardware with a removable cartridge. The upgrade cartridge will be sold separately; pricing and availability have not been shared.
The Microsoft Surface Hub 2S will sell for $8999, and begins shipping within the U.S. this June, with other markets to follow.