Meet Microsoft’s absolutely monstrous new 4K Videoconferencing Tablet

by on January 22, 2015

Stephan Jukic – January 22, 2015

The Microsoft Surface line of tablets now also includes what could definitely be ranked as the biggest touchscreen tablet ever seen by most people. This is the Surface Hub and it’s an 84 inch monster with a 4K screen resolution that’s designed to be the ultimate video conferencing tool for sharing interactive presentations with remote attendees.

Microsoft hasn’t yet released and pricing details or even mentioned a specific release date but this device is not going to be anywhere close to cheap when it comes out.

The new Surface Hub comes with all the latest technology that anybody could want in a tool like this and some of its features (aside from the wonderfully clear 4k Ultra HD display) include Bluetooth, a built-in 4K camera, speakers, microphones, WiFi and a motion sensing system that detects when you approach and activates the interactive features of the massive wall-mounted tablet. In other word’s, this thing is in many ways just like a highly advanced big-screen 4K TV.

This tablet (if tablet is even a name that can be applied to it properly) lets users make videoconference calls right from the home screen, start and work through whiteboarding sessions and also connect to other devices like PCs, smaller tablets and smartphones.

The Surface Hub, in simple terms, seems to be Microsoft’s effort at making the entire process of holding a video conference as simple and non-proprietary as possible. Given that this is an area in which even Google often creates collaboration problems for its users, the Surface Hub might end up being very useful in the corporate landscape, if anyone wants to spend money on it that is.

In a recent demo at an event for its Windows 10 OS, Microsoft demonstrated how its  OneNote app takes over the Surface Hub’s launch screen and fom there allows whoever is driving a meeting to draw directly on the screen with digital ink, as far as the demonstration showed, this drawing was done with absolutely no visible lag in what was being done and what appeared on the screen.

Annotated images put together on the Surface Hub can then be shared to others via email or through OneNote, which is a much more efficient way of doing things than taking photos of the whiteboard screen and sending them off from a phone.

The 4K Surface Hub being shown off at a recent Microsoft event

The 4K Surface Hub being shown off at a recent Microsoft event

Finally, we come to the coolest feature about the gigantic new Surface Hub, the feature that potentially makes it much more efficient than the technology of Google Hangouts, or even Windows own Skype: joining a meeting is as simple as tapping just once and done. For such massive piece of technology, this cool simplicity is a wonderful thing to behold.

Once attendees have joined the hub meeting, they can then see the digital ink whiteboarding a presenter has done and the presenter can see their avatars off to one edge of the hub’s screen.

As for the conferencing engine, it’s Skype For Business, which is built to make maximal use of the Hub’s massive screen and built-in speakers.

And again, because the giant device can easily pair with other electronics in a conference room, date and visual stored on these smartphones, PCs and other gadgets can quickly and easily be cast onto the main, giant screen.

Overall, the Surface Hub sounds completely awesome, the main thing left to see is just how much it ends up costing.

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