Microsoft quietly announced two products today that business users will love

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Microsoft Surface Hub 3 rotating

June Wan/ZDNET

While a large portion of what Microsoft announced at its Surface and AI event today was expected, the company quietly revealed details on two new devices that business users will want to take note of. Neither of these products made the live keynote, but both bring a bit of innovation to the workplace.

Also: Every product Microsoft unveiled at its Surface and AI event today

First up is the Surface Hub 3, the newest version of Microsoft’s workplace collaboration device that’s part interactive whiteboard and part virtual meeting platform. The Hub 3, available in a 50-inch size and a 85-inch size, runs Microsoft Teams and is designed to be a part of a conference room where it replaces traditional television and monitors.

Surface Hub 3 brings a number of new capabilities, Microsoft says, like improved CPU and GPU performance, a variety of stands and wall-mounting options, active linking with two Surface Hub Pens, two microphone arrays and speaker pairings for intelligent audio, and a 4K PixelSense display with anti-glare coating. Perhaps the biggest innovation is the 50-inch version’s smart rotation and portrait mode option that adapts the screen to either be a whiteboard of sorts or a video call depending on the orientation.  

Also new to the latest edition of the Hub is Cloud IntelliFrame, which lets remote meeting attendees see in-person users more clearly with a smart video feed that separates people into Zoom-like boxes. Backgrounds are removed and video sizes are adjusted, meaning remote attendees blend seamlessly with those in person.

Surface 4

Microsoft

In addition to the Hub 3, Microsoft also announced the Surface 4 for Business, the company’s smallest detachable two-in-one tablet and laptop. While the Surface 4 looks largely identical to its previous generation on the outside, it comes with pretty significant internal upgrades. 

Review: Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio 2 hands-on: Making my MacBook jealous

While the Surface 3 had a dual-core Core i3-10100Y chip, the 4 comes with a  quad-core Intel N200 processor. The 4GB RAM of the 3 is doubled to 8 in the 4, and the storage can be expanded to 256GB, double the previous generation.

The company also touted the Surface 4’s improved battery life, microphones, security, and repairability — the last change being something that especially appeals to workplaces trying to make devices last as long as possible.

Microsoft didn’t reveal pricing on either device, only saying that both would be available through corporate channels starting Oct. 3.

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