Microsoft Surface Hub Live Demo Shows Collaborative 84-inch 4K Windows 10 Beast In Action
Earlier this month, Microsoft offered more details and availability
information for its forthcoming Surface Hub system. With pre-orders starting July 1st, these 55-inch or 84-inch machines offer a new collaborative version of the Surface experience for businesses, scientists, education and perhaps even power user consumers. Last week, while visiting our friends at CDW in Chicago
, (more on this in the days ahead, think logistics and tech inventory powerhouse), we got to spend some time downtown at Microsoft's Envisioning Center
Microsoft Technical Solutions Specialist, Mark Skoog showcased the company's Perceptive Pixel technology that they've been developing further since its acquisition back in 2012
and its related impact to science, humanity and business productivity. He took time to demo the new Microsoft Surface Hub as well, which makes use of Perceptive Pixel tech on a number of levels with tight integration with both Windows/Surface and various apps like Office 365
and Microsoft's Power Bi data visualization platform.
As far as the hardware goes, the Surface Hub is based on an Intel mobile platform with a 4th Generation Intel Core mobile processor (Haswell
) with integrated Intel HD Graphics 4600 on the 55-inch model and NVIDIA Quadro
K2200 mobile graphics powering the 84-inch version. There are also a number of sensors onboard the Surface Hub including infrared, imaging and depth of field sensors, as well as two built-in wide-angle HD cameras.
The system is still being refined somewhat before the first customer models ship, but Mark's demo was impressive to see live and in action, nonetheless, and with very few hiccups we might add...
Toward the end of the video, you get to see us literally get some hands-on time with the Surface Hub and the surprising aspect was how responsive it was to multi-touch input. In fact, at one point there were three or four of us, all with our mitts on the display and drawing. The Surface Hub took all inputs effortlessly, allowing us to all draw simultaneously with seemingly zero lag. The processing engine onboard certainly wasn't struggling to keep up, but it was perhaps even more impressive to see the 84-inch panel we were on, with a 120Hz refresh rate, keeping pace with our inputs and looking sharp. With display technology this large, many times input and touch responsiveness comes at the expense of display quality. That simply wasn't the case with Surface Hub -- it was large, responsive and crisp.
The applications and usages you can think of, with a large collaborative, sort of "super-smart smart board" like this, are promising. For business and in the enterprise especially, teleconferencing has become almost commonplace. But true collaborative work environments that support telepresence capabilities like the Surface Hub can potentially revolutionize and reinvent the traditional business meeting.
The 55-inch Microsoft Surface Hub comes with a 1920x1080 120Hz display with a contrast ratio of 1300:1. The system is powered by a 4th Gen Core i5 processor with 8GB of RAM, Intel HD 4600 graphics and a 128GB SSD. The 84-inch Surface Hub model offers an 84-inch 4K (3840x2140) display at 120Hz with 1400:1 contrast ratio. This system is powered by a 4th Gen Intel Core i7 CPU with 8GB of RAM, a 128GB SSD and discrete NVIDIA Quadro graphics.
Pre-orders start July 1 with shipments in September, 2015. Pricing is set at $6,999 for the 55-inch model and $19,999 for the 84-inch big boy.