Google has introduced a new product called Jamboard.
You probably won't need this thing unless you're a teacher or a company executive, because it's a powerful collaboration tool used to enhance meetings or presentations. It provides a whiteboard experience, but it's all about "moving the whiteboard to the cloud", according to Google.
Here's everything you need to know about Google Jamboard.
What is Google Jamboard?
Google Jamboard is a whiteboard-like 4K touch display you can use for meetings and presentation purposes. Turn it on, draw on it, flip through slides on it, whatever. Google plans to make Jamboard part of its G Suite, so users will be able to directly access and edit Docs, Sheets, Slides, and photos stored in Drive. There are no plans to make these apps run natively right now, as they'll use companion apps that let you and your teammates "jam".
When you “jam” with your teammates, whether that includes sketching, adding images, writing notes, pulling from the web, etc, your work lives in the cloud in Google Drive, where you can easily share what you’ve created or edit it at anytime. You can work with teammates from across the world using Google Hangouts and Google Cast for setting up broadcasts and collaborations, or you can work remotely using the companion app.
What does Google Jamboard feature?
The Jamboard has a "plug-and-play" design with no batteries or charging. It features a 55-inch 60Hz Ultra HD 4K touch display (supports passive stylus and finger recognition, with 16-touch points), a built-in wide-angle HD camera, mic, speakers, USB 2.0, USB 3.0, USB Type C, HDMI 2.0, Bluetooth, NFC, and Wi-Fi. It also runs a variant of Android Marshmallow. Google has not yet disclosed which processor is inside.
Google Jamboard appears to come with a thick white stylus for drawing and another white, mouse-like device that acts like an eraser.
How is Jamboard different from Surface Hub?
Microsoft unveiled a similar product, called Surface Hub, in 2015 and began shipping it in 2016. The 55-inch Surface Hub model starts at $9,000. In October, Microsoft said it shipped Surface Hubs to 600 customers worldwide. The device runs a custom version of Windows 10, offers custom versions of OneNote, Skype for Business, and Microsoft's Office apps, and can download custom apps from the Windows Store for Business.
The Surface Hub also comes in an 84-inch model. While the 55-inch model features an Intel Core i5 processor, the larger model has an i7 processor. Both models offer a display with 100 multi-touch points. Other Surface Hub specs include two wide-angle cameras, mics, speakers, Wi-Fi, USB 2.0, USB 3.0, Ethernet 1000 Base T, 128GB of storage with 8GB RAM, and two powered pens.
Unlike Surface Hub, you can’t install any third-party apps on the Google Jamboard. But it does come with a companion app, which will be available for Android and iOS, allowing users to work on the whiteboard in real-time. The Surface Hub doesn't have companion apps, but you can collaborate on via Skype for Business. Surface Hub is positioned as a standalone touch-computing device, while Jamboard is a touch display.
When will Google Jamboard be available?
Google opened applications for Early Adopter versions of Jamboard on 25 October, allowing select applicants to receive Jamboards by late October/early November. Google's estimated ship target for Jamboard is the first half of 2017.
How much does Google Jamboard cost?
Google said Jamboard will be "competitively priced" at under $6,000 USD. Surface Hub starts at $9,000 and goes up to $21,999.