Something to look forward to: Microsoft expects that most people will return to workplaces later this year, even as many organizations plan to downsize their floor space. The company believes a larger Surface-branded digital whiteboard will ease that transition and help with the social distancing requirements.
Last year, Microsoft came up with the slimmest and lightest device in the Surface Hub family, the Surface Hub 2S. It was a 50-inch, 4K, multitouch PixelSense display hooked to internals that are able to provide 50 percent faster graphics performance — all for an eye-watering price of $9,000. It also promised that a bigger variant would arrive this year.
At the Ignite conference earlier today, the Redmond giant unveiled the much-awaited 85-inch Surface Hub 2S, which is going to cost $22,000. Organizations can choose between a floor supported wall mount, a floating wall mount, and a mobile cart co-designed with Steelcase.
Microsoft says it was able to fit the giant screen in a chassis that’s 20 percent thinner and 30 percent lighter than its predecessor. The bezels have also been trimmed by 45 percent, although at this size it seems unlikely that anyone would complain about it. If anything it looks appropriately modern.
The internals haven’t changed, and they still come in a swappable compute cartridge that contains a quad-core eighth generation Core i5 CPU paired with 8GB of RAM and a 128 GB SSD. However, Microsoft now allows customers to choose between running Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise in addition to the traditional Team SKU, which is getting a 2020 update in the coming months.
The Windows 10 Team 2020 Update integrates the much improved Chromium-based Microsoft Edge browser, and is designed to make Microsoft Teams the central hub for collaborative experiences with features like proximity join.
Microsoft initially planned to launch the new Surface Hub 2S with Windows 10 Core OS and an upgraded compute cartridge, but those plans were scrapped as the software isn’t yet ready for prime time. The Windows 10 Team 2020 Update will also become available to older Surface Hubs, along with the ability to run Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise.
The 85-inch Surface Hub 2S is available for pre-sales reservations in the US, as well as other regions in the coming months. Microsoft will start shipping them in January 2021.