Remember Microsoft’s Surface Hub? You’re forgiven if you don’t, considering it was announced way back in January 2015. The gigantic, wall-mounted tablets were originally meant to ship in September last year but were pushed back to January 2016. As this new date approached, the Windows maker decided to postpone the release yet again and put the prices up. But now, almost a year and a half after they were first revealed, the Surface Hub is shipping.
Unless you’ve got an awful lot of money to spare, you’re unlikely to purchase a Surface Hub. The Windows 10-powered device is essentially designed as all-in-one replacements for conference room equipment such as projectors, webcams, speakerphones, whiteboards, etc. There are two versions available: a 1080p 55-inch model that costs $8999, and an 84-inch 4K Hub priced at $21,999.
Both Surface Hub models come with Haswell processors; a Core i5 in the 55-inch and an i7 in the larger version. Intel’s HD 4600 or Nvidia’s Quadro K2200 provide the graphics, there’s 128 GB SSD storage, 8 GB RAM, four USB ports (two of which are USB 3.0), 100 points of touch input, Bluetooth 4.0, 802.11n Wi-Fi, NFC, and gigabit ethernet. You even get digital pens (which are said to be excellent), a dual webcam, and noise-cancelling microphones.
If you do want a Surface Hub for your company's office, you may want to make sure you pick a sturdy wall to mount it on; the smaller Hub weighs 105 pounds and the 84-inch model is a massive 280 pounds.
The Hubs may be pretty expensive, especially the larger version, but Microsoft knows a lot of large organizations will be willing to pay this kind of money for a device that can replace so many pieces of office equipment.
"We are not just releasing a powerful device," Brian Hall, general manager of Microsoft devices marketing, wrote in a blog post. "We are releasing a team-empowering solution that will make meetings more productive, modernize workflows, and let people engage with data much better."