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Google's answer to Microsoft Surface Hub will ship in May: is it worth the price tag?

Google's answer to Microsoft Surface Hub will ship in May: is it worth the price tag?

Google Jamboard is a 55 inch 4K digital whiteboard announced last Thursday. The collaborative screen is designed to provide functionalities similar to Microsoft Surface Hub, only without running a full desktop operating system, nor the ability to install additional apps.

The Android powered collaborative tool comes with a $5000 price tag, which may sound staggeringly low compared to Microsoft’s own device. With that said, there are some caveats to keep in mind if your organization is looking to invest in a collaborative digital whiteboard.

If your company needs custom apps, Jamboard may not be the best choice, as the version of Android that powers it, does not allow the installation of additional apps.

Jamboard does however support Google’s G-Suite, which is a productivity package designed to run across multiple devices, collaboratively, and interact directly with Jamboard via a Chromecast interface.

By this token, Google Jamboard is best suited for environments where budget may be a factor, such as public schools, and startups, as it provides powerful functionality, 16-point touchscreen, and a can be had at a reasonable price range.

If your organization has special requirements, especially in reference to software, Surface Hub comes with a full version of Windows 10, as well as access to the Windows Store for Business, from where enterprise-focused apps can be purchased, or downloaded for free.

Ever since the Jamboard was announced, little to no information has transpired in regard to its internals, particularly about the processor, memory or storage, aside from its GPU.

Microsoft Surface Hub, in its 55 inch configuration, is powered by a 4th generation Intel Core i5, and comes with 8GB or RAM, and 128GB SSD, while the 84 inch version is powered by a 4th gen i7, and comes with identical storage size and RAM as the 55 inch model.

The GPU powering the 55 inch Surface Hub is an Intel HD 4600, while the 84 inch model uses an NVIDIA Quadro K2200.

In many ways, the Jamboard is to the Surface Hub as the Chromebook is to the Surface Pro: an affordable, low-power, simple alternative for companies and organizations that run on a tighter budget, but require powerful collaboration tools for teams, often scattered across the country or worldwide.

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