Google’s 55-inch 4K Jamboard Takes On Microsoft Surface Hub At Bargain $5,000 In May

Google Jamboard

Google has finally attached a price to its forthcoming Jamboard, an interactive digital whiteboard designed to facilitate real-time collaboration in the work place. The company announced today at its Google Cloud Next conference that its Jamboard will cost $4,999 and that it will be available sometime in May. Whether or not it will take pre-orders before then is not clear.

The Jamboard is Google's answer to Microsoft's Surface Hub, the latter of which notched over 2,000 customers at the end of 2016. Both sport a 55-inch display that can be written on, only Microsoft's asking price is significantly higher at $8,999 (or businesses can splurge $21,999 for an 84-inch version). That gives Google the advantage on price, though there are other factors that separate the two. For example, the Surface Hub features 100 simultaneous touch points versus 16 on the Jamboard.

One thing other than price that works in Google's favor is that the Jamboard sports a 4K (3840x2160) resolution. Microsoft reserves that resolution for its 84-inch Surface Hub, whereas the 55-inch model has a Full HD 1080p (1920x1080) resolution at 120Hz.

Here is a look at the full spec sheet:
  • 55-inch 4K Ultra HD display
  • 120Hz touch scan rate, 60Hz video refresh rate
  • 16 simultaneous touch points
  • Handwriting and shape recognition
  • Built-in tilt support, Built-in wide-angle camera, Built-in microphones
  • Down-firing speakers
  • NFC support
  • HDMI 2.0, USB Type C, 2 x USB 3.0
  • SPDIF audio out
  • 802.11ac 2x2 Wi-Fi, GbE LAN
  • Google Cast
  • 2 x Fine tip passive stylus, Eraser, Microfiber cloth
  • Rolling stand (optional accessory)
Just as the Surface Hub is able to sync Microsoft's productivity apps, the Jamboard syncs with Google's own collection of enterprise of apps (G Suite). It also features support for Google search, Hangouts, and Cast. For organizations that are heavily invested in Google's apps and service, the Jamboard is a natural fit.

The obvious upside here is cost, though there is an additional fee of $600 per year for management. Those who sign up before the end of September will see that price cut in half. Users will also receive a free wall mount.

Google did not say if it plans on launching the Jamboard outside the U.S.