Microsoft first gave us a glimpse of the massive Surface Hub display when it announced Windows 10 back in January, but the company today is finally giving us an idea of how much businesses will have to fork over when it comes to put in a purchase order. The smaller of the two, the 55-inch Surface Hub, is priced at a steep $6,999. However, the towering 85-inch Surface Hub will cost an eye-watering $19,999.
Microsoft hopes that the Surface Hub will empower businesses by making the conference room more intelligent. “What struck us is that while there have been a number of devices designed to improve our productivity as individuals — from the PC to the smartphone to bands and watches — there has yet to be a device truly optimized for a group of people to use together,” said Mike Angiulo, Corporate Vice President for Microsoft’s Devices Group. “We decided to take on that challenge. Just as the PC revolutionized productivity for individuals, we set out to build a device that would transform the way groups of people work together.”
Microsoft has thrown everything but the kitchen sink at the Surface Hub, enabling such features as support for simultaneous input from up to three digital pens, an astounding 100-point of touch, built-in dual motion-sensing cameras (1080p), a built-in four-array microphone (for controlling the display with your voice), and stereo speakers. The Surface Hub also incorporates the latest connectivity standards including Bluetooth, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, HDMI, and wireless projection.
We also can’t forget that both the 55- and 84-inch Surface Hubs are also fully functional Windows 10 computers that come with Office preinstalled. The smaller model has a 55-inch 1920x1080 display operating at 120Hz and a contrast ratio of 1300:1. Powering the device is a fourth generation Core i5 processor with 8GB of RAM, Intel HD 4600 graphics and a 128GB SSD. The larger model ups the ante with an 84-inch 4K (3840x2140 @ 120Hz, 1400:1 contrast ratio) display. The processor sees an upgrade to a fourth generation Intel Core i7, but still retains 8GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD. However, the graphical hardware sees a significant upgrade to an NVIDIA Quadro K2200 to handle 4K content.
The steep price tags might seem like a lot for even businesses to swallow, but Microsoft counters that its all-in-one solutions are a more fiscally responsible alternative. “In an average conference room, Surface Hub replaces a number of disparate tools and technologies, including the audio-video conferencing system, display, projector, wireless receiver, and the analog or digital whiteboard at a lower upfront cost,” Angiulo added. “And when you look at ongoing management costs, the story gets even stronger. Rather than having to manage multiple components separately, as a Windows 10 device Surface Hub can be easily and centrally managed by IT.”
Orders for the 55- and 84-inch Surface Hubs will kickoff on July 1 and devices will begin shipping in September.