In Review

Microsoft Surface Hub 2: the sleek wall-mounted tablet for both the office and home

Tech giant wants to change the way we all work with its second-gen touchscreen panel

The first generation of Microsoft’s Surface Hub was a surprise hit when it launched in 2015 - and now the company is aiming to repeat that success with its second-generation model.

The original version of the wall-mounted touchscreen computer appeared to be quite a niche product, thanks to its large proportions and focus towards businesses, rather than domestic consumers. However, the giant touchscreen has proved popular over the past three years, and has few direct competitors in the market, Ars Technica says. 

In a bid to capitalise on growing demand for jumbo conference screens, Microsoft has announced a new version of the Surface Hub, to be launched next year.

The panel has undergone a design overhaul, with the previous version’s sizeable bezels replaced with ultra-thin borders that run around the edges of the screen. 

Microsoft Surface Hub 2

The touch panel itself measures 50.5in, with a 4K+ screen resolution and aspect ratio of 3:2 - the same as Microsoft’s other surface products. 

While the first generation Surface Hub could only be used in landscape mode, the new version can be rotated and turned into a portrait screen. This can be helpful for digital note-taking, which can be done using the Surface Pen stylus that comes with each device.

The Surface Hub 2 is part of Microsoft’s ecosystem of consumer products, which includes the Surface Pro tablet, so the new device can run the same software suites as a standard computer, such as Microsoft Office and Adobe Photoshop. 

But what really sets the Surface Hub 2 apart is the capability to attach four of them to each other in order to form one massive touchscreen panel. For instance, you can connect four panels portrait mode at the sides to form a long landscape screen.

The new workstation also gets its own stand, which looks similar to an easel, although most customers are more likely install the panel on a wall in a meeting room or in their home office.

Microsoft’s chief product officer, Panos Panay, said the new Surface Hub is aimed at getting people “out of their seats, to connect and ideate, regardless of location”.

Microsoft has released footage of the Surface Hub 2 in action, but the price and a specific release date have yet to be announced. The current model costs $9,000 (£6,700).

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