The Hub is here! A new, especially exciting product from the now revered Microsoft Surface range.
The Surface range managed to manifest something that Microsoft had previously failed to produce for years. It added a brand which offered a suite of mid to high spec PC alternatives capable of doing battle with Apple for their, until now, relatively uncontested portion of the professional Laptop/Tablet market.
Following Microsoft’s release of the new 15” Surface Book 2 and a reboot of the Surface Pro the biggest member of the Surface family has ironically managed to go relatively undetected; The Surface Hub. The Surface’s unique architecture and customisable spec made it a popular draw for personal consumers, but the Hub is fighting for an entirely different market.
Designed solely for business, to ‘unlock the power of the group’ whilst streamlining, optimising and often solving a whole host of necessary office collaboration processes that are often tiresome and difficult to manage: Conference calls, team projects, presentations etc… Microsoft has entered their gigantic champion into an otherwise uncontested arena, but is this a battle actually worth fighting?
The claim by Microsoft is that the Hub will allow and encourage seamless and integrated office ‘Collaboration’. Targeted at an office environment and not at the ‘personal user’ market means that this machine HAS to earn its keep. The Hub isn’t essential and if it doesn’t make financial sense to procure then why would any business have it?
What is a Microsoft Surface Hub?
The Microsoft Surface Hub is a goliath machine. Available with either a 55” FullHD or 84” 4K Multi-touch screen, mounted on a rolling platform or mounted on a wall this is a display of epic proportions. It supports a multitude of screen-sharing and presentation methods and you can connect other devices via integrated DVI, HDMI or VGA ports or wirelessly share your screen with Windows compatible apps, like Miracast.
With its Multi-touch screen supporting up to 100 points of simultaneous touch multiple users isn’t a problem but is instead encouraged! Having multiple people collaborating on the same project or presenting as a team is catered for by the Hub. Supplied with 2 surface pens ensures that apps like OneNote are ready to perform straight out of the box.
The Surface Hub being an interactive conference setup certainly is its main draw. You won’t be lacking canvas space whilst you work on the Surface Hub and the high quality of the display ensures that any presentation is clear and sleek helping maintain audience engagement and make your presentation, whatever the context, seamless and responsive.
Equipped with 2 integrated 1080p cameras which track and adjust their focus in response to movement across the Hub. 4 microphones capable of detecting a whisper at 23 feet give you no excuse for your respondents to not hear you during a conference call. Once it’s setup in your office space, organising any out of office meeting is easy and so is every conference you will ever organise again. It effectively eliminates setup time and allows for presentations or multimedia to already be loaded seamlessly via a network solution or appropriate input device straight onto the screen, if nothing else it certainly is tidy.
Value for Money?
With teamwork in mind, the Surface Hub focuses on time-saving and increased office collaboration as its main points of sale, these are what Microsoft is marketing as the reason a company would benefit from this product. It appears that they aren’t wrong…
One of the barriers to this product for many businesses’ big or small is the price. But with HardSoft’s flexible leasing strategy that barrier to entry has never been lower. Offering the product instantly and leasing via e-sign paperwork means you get access to the Surface Hub right now and have the opportunity to own for £1 at the end of your lease. Contact our team on 01207 1111 643 or online using WebChat to find out more about the Hub range and what opportunities it can provide your business.
An independent research organisation, Forrester, carried out a study on the Total Economic Impact (TEI) of business’ deploying the Surface Hub in their organisation, but perhaps, more importantly, an objective look at the Return on Investment (ROI) they received. Forrester detailed in their report that one architectural firm (over 3 years): Minimised their printing costs, saved time on meetings, increased sales by 20% and got an estimated total 138% ROI after the first three years of Surface Hub integration.
The Surface Hub brings to bear a whole host of interesting and certainly collaborative features. I think that the Hub fulfils its intended purpose and is a cool addition to the Surface Range and for office-based technology in general. Its price tag is high, but the benefits of owning one, objectively, are too.