Update: Digital Trends took an exclusive look behind the scenes at the making of the Surface Hub 2, spoke with chief product officer Panos Panay, and spent some time using the device. Here’s our hands-on preview of the Hub 2S.
Microsoft will release a boatload of new information about its Surface Hub 2, the sequel to its original digital whiteboard, the Surface Hub, in just a couple of weeks. The software giant has invited select members of the press to “experience new ways to work better, together,” on April 17 — suggesting that its next-generation boardroom system will be revealed in greater detail than ever before.
Microsoft announced the Surface Hub 2S (and its next-generation upgrade, the 2X) in May 2018. Since then the company has released details on its features and aims, including its ability to be physically upgraded using a “processor cartridge” system, that would make it possible to turn the 2S into a 2X when that system is released in 2020. The Surface Hub 2S is expected to release before the second half of 2019.
We also know that the 2S and 2X will only come in one size: 50 inches. That’s a little different from the first-generation Surface Hub, which came in 55-inch and 85-inch models, each offering its own bespoke hardware configuration. It’s not clear what kind of internal specifications the 2S or 2X will sport, although one of the newer generations of Intel CPUs and a powerful Nvidia Quadro graphics card, seem likely.
Beyond hardware upgrades, Microsoft is excited about feature upgrades of the Surface Hub 2S and its eventual sequel. They will be mounted on Steelcase portable stands for wheeling between rooms and meetings, or can be mounted on a wall for a more permanent fixture. They can work in both portrait and landscape mode, with the eventual 2X offering the ability to connect multiple displays together for even larger and more nuanced display options.
Software improvements include deeper integration of Microsoft applications like the conferencing tool Teams, and the Whiteboard app. Microsoft will also take the opportunity to leverage its Bing search engine for accessing information outside of the immediate Surface Hub 2. Other devices like Android and iOS smartphones, as well as Windows laptops and tablets, will be able to collaborate with the Surface Hub 2 display and accessories like the Surface Pen can be used in conjunction with intelligent ink for easy on-screen writing.
Another exciting aspect of the Surface Hub 2S and 2X could be their use of a version of Windows Core OS that has been rumored to be in development for a number of years.
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