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Surface Hub, meet Google Jamboard

Both Google and Microsoft have a vision for big-screen digital collaboration in the office. (Source: Google)
Both Google and Microsoft have a vision for big-screen digital collaboration in the office. (Source: Google)
Google has announced that its collaborative computing effort, the 55-inch Surface Hub competitor known as the "Google Jamboard", will be available in May of this year for US$4999, plus a US$600 yearly management fee. It is still significantly cheaper than Microsoft's US$9000 55-inch Surface Hub.

On Thursday, Google announced pricing and availability for its collaborative computing device, the Google Jamboard. Similar to the smaller 55-inch Microsoft Surface Hub, the Google Jamboard is an "interactive whiteboard" that seeks to facilitate increased collaboration, conferencing, and creativity in the workplace.

According to Google's announcement, the Jamboard will be available for US$4999 in May. While the Jamboard is coming to market months after the Surface Hub started shipping, Google is undercutting Microsoft significantly on price. Although US$4999 seems expensive for a large touch-screen all-in-one, the Surface Hub starts at US$9000 for the 55-inch model (and more than double that for the 84-inch).

The starting price is relatively reasonable when considering its competition and features:

  • 55-inch UHD (4k) display at 60Hz (with 120Hz touch scan rate)
  • 16-point multi-touch
  • Handwriting and shape recognition
  • HDMI 2.0
  • SPDIF audio out
  • Google Cast
  • Includes two fine-tipped styluses

In comparison, it should be noted that the 55-inch Surface Hub lacks a 4k display (but has 100-point multi-touch).

Like Microsoft, Google is also pushing their large-screen digital collaboration computer as a service. In addition to the significant chunk of cash for the hardware, Google plans to charge an annual US$600 "management fee". 


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Douglas Black, 2017-03-10 (Update: 2017-03-10)