The Surface Hub 2 can ’tile’ four units into one big display

Nearly three years after the launch of the original Surface Hub interactive whiteboard, Microsoft introduced the second-generation model on Tuesday, May 15. It won’t be made widely available to businesses until 2019, but Microsoft plans to test the Surface Hub 2 waters this year with “select” commercial customers. Pricing will be “competitive” with other devices on the market, Microsoft says. 

The unit Microsoft introduced on Tuesday sports a 50.5-inch multitouch screen with a 3840 x 2160 resolution. By comparison, the original 55-inch unit has a 1920 x 1080 resolution for $8,999, while the pricier 84-inch sports a 3840 x 2160 resolution for $21,999. That said, Microsoft appears to be shooting for the best of both worlds with a “sleeker, more agile, and more affordable” device for collaboration. 

Microsoft doesn’t mention a larger unit like the current 84-inch model, and there’s good reason why the company may not take this larger avenue: Tiling. With the introduction of the Surface Hub 2 comes the ability to align up to four Hubs together to create one enormous touch-supporting screen. Microsoft’s example shows four digital whiteboards vertically mounted side-by-side, showing one presentation although you can mount them horizontally too. 

“Seeing four of the beautiful Surface Hub 2s lined up together has undeniable visual effect and will have a profound impact on what groups can accomplish together, allowing users to display multiple pieces of content side-by-side,” says chief product officer Panos Panay. “Imagine how much your team could get done being able to work simultaneously across Microsoft Whiteboard, PowerBI, PowerPoint, and a full view video call.” 

Unfortunately, Panay doesn’t get into the hardware specifics. Instead, he says the Surface Hub 2 is easier to move around in your workplace thanks to a collaboration with Steelcase. The company created rolling stands and easy-to-use mounts for better collaboration between team members throughout the building.  

The current models rely on fourth-generation Intel Core i5 (55-inch) and Core i7 (84-inch) processors. For graphics, the 55-inch model uses the CPU’s integrated HD Graphics 4600 component while the 84-inch model sports a discrete Nvidia Quadro K2200 graphics chip. Both have 8GB of system memory and 128GB of storage on an SSD. 

Powering the Surface Hub is Windows 10 Team, a customized version of Windows 10 Enterprise. It’s designed from the ground up to support the large screen and 100-point touch input. It doesn’t have a lock screen, but rather a welcome screen listing specific apps and scheduled meetings generated by the device’s calendar. Anyone can use the hub without the need to log into the operating system itself. 

With the Surface Hub 2, the upcoming device will support multi-user sign-ins. With this feature, teammates can log onto the device simultaneously and share their documents and ideas to create one big collaborative project. Previously, only one individual could sign on at a time to retrieve their files and schedules from the cloud. Presumably the Surface Hub 2 still doesn’t provide means to actually log into the operating system itself. 

“This feature is a truly magical experience,” Panay says, “making collaboration as natural as meeting at a whiteboard.”

Microsoft hasn’t announced an official price yet, but a representative gave us the following statement: “Surface Hub 2 pricing will be competitive with other devices in market. We’ll have more to share in the coming months.”

Product Review

Asus Zephyrus S is a laptop for gamers. Everyone else need not apply

RTX graphics have finally made it to gaming laptops, and the first we've tested is the new Zephyrus S. Now with a 17-inch display and those new graphics inside, the Zephyrus' unique design boasts some additional power.
Mobile

The 2019 iPhone could put a charge into your other Apple gadgets

While it's not been long since the last iPhones launched, rumors for the next iPhone are already surfacing. Apple's 2019 flagship could include a variety of upgrades ranging from a new design to enhanced features.
Computing

Looking for a new laptop? These 5 notebooks are on sale through Presidents’ Day

If you're ready to ditch your aging notebook, you can score some fantastic Presidents' Day savings right now on Microsoft's Surface Pro 6, Dell's XPS 13, HP's Spectre x360, Lenovo's Yoga C930, and Dell's G5 15 Gaming laptops.
Mobile

Apple’s most affordable 2018 iPad is now even cheaper on Amazon at $249

The entry-level iPad is the iPad to get for the vast majority of people. It's inexpensive, well-designed, and quite powerful, especially for the price. Speaking of price, the 9.7-inch iPad is now even more affordable from Amazon.
Computing

The HoloLens 2 will be announced at MWC. Here's what we know about it so far

The HoloLens 2 is ripe for an announcement. Here's what Microsoft has revealed so far, what's likely in store for the next generation HoloLens, and everything that we know about this mixed reality headset.
Computing

Don't know what to do with all your old DVDs? Here's how to convert them to MP4

Given today's rapid technological advancements, physical discs are quickly becoming a thing of the past. Check out our guide on how to convert a DVD to MP4, so you can ditch discs for digital files.
Computing

In the age of Alexa and Siri, Cortana’s halo has grown dim

In a sea of voice assistants, Cortana has become almost irrelevant. The nearly five-year-old voice assistant is seeing little love from consumers, and here’s why it is dead.
Computing

Wi-Fi helps connect all of our devices at high-speed, but what exactly is it?

What is Wi-Fi? It's a technology we all use everyday to connect all of our portable devices, but understanding how it works and how far it's come from its humble beginnings is another thing entirely.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Grow veggies indoors and shower more efficiently

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Web

Are you one of the billions who have watched these super-popular YouTube videos?

Viral videos can quickly garner millions upon millions of views, but even they fall well behind the view counts on the most watched YouTube videos ever. Those have been watched billions of times.
Computing

Windows updates shouldn't cause problems, but if they do, here's how to fix them

Windows update not working? It's a more common problem than you might think. Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take to troubleshoot it and in this guide we'll break them down for you step by step.
Computing

Speed up your system by tweaking the startup application in Windows and MacOS

Bothered by programs that automatically start when you boot your computer, or want to add a new one to the list? Here's how to change your startup programs in Windows 7, 8, and 10, along with Apple's MacOS.
Business

Marriott asking guests for data to see if they were victims of the Starwood hack

Marriott has created an online form to help you find out if your data was stolen in the massive Starwood hack that came to light toward the end of 2018. But take note, it requires you to submit a bunch of personal details.
Computing

Apple may go big with a redesigned 16-inch MacBook Pro, 31.6-inch 6K display

In a research note, well-respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo writes that there are indications the company could be releasing a 16-inch MacBook Pro, as well as a 31.6-inch 6K display in 2019.