InFocus' MondoPad Ultra exposes weaknesses in Microsoft's Surface Hub

The 70-inch MondoPad Ultra has a faster processor and more storage than Surface Hub

Competition is good, and InFocus' huge MondoPad Ultra all-in-one PC highlights some shortcomings in Microsoft's Surface Hub touchscreen computers.

MondoPad and Surface Hub lead a unique class of all-in-one computers with large screens that are being used in classrooms and conference rooms for video conferencing, collaboration, and whiteboarding. 

The MondoPad Ultra is a computer built into a 70-inch screen. At US$13,999, its price sits between Microsoft's two Surface Hubs, the $8,999 55-inch model and the $21,999 84-inch model.

InFocus believes the 70-inch MondoPad Ultra provides more bang-for-the-buck than Surface Hub. The MondoPad has a 4K screen, which is also featured in the 84-inch Surface Hub. The 55-inch Surface Hub has a full HD screen.

But some features give the MondoPad Ultra a performance advantage. It has a 6th Generation Intel Core i7-6700T processor code-named Skylake, which is much faster than the Surface Hubs' aging 4th Generation Intel processors code-named Haswell, introduced in 2013.

With new processors come faster processing power and better graphics. InFocus didn't immediately reveal if MondoPad Ultra had a discrete GPU. The 55-inch Surface Hub has integrated Intel Haswell graphics, and the 84-inch model has Nvidia's Quadro K2200 discrete GPU, which is about two years old.

InFocus' MondoPad has 256GB of storage, double that of Surface Hub. Both the computers have 8GB of memory.

There's no significant difference between the MondoPad and Surface Hub on display ports, USB, and connectivity features.

Microsoft didn't immediately respond to a request for comment on whether it plans to upgrade the Surface Hub, which started shipping earlier this year.

But the Surface Hub has some inherent advantages over competing devices like MondoPad. In computers like these, multi-touch capabilities matter because they define the number of users who can draw or write on the screen at the same time. The MondoPad has a 16-point touch capability, which doesn't match Surface Hubs' 100-point touch capability.

MondoPad comes with Windows 10 Pro, while Microsoft's Surface Hub has a custom version of Windows 10 with unique apps, editing, annotation, and collaboration features. Surface Hub ships with Surface Pen styluses, and it is not clear if pens will ship with MondoPad Ultra.

InFocus says Apple devices and Chromebooks can project content to the MondoPad Ultra.

The MondoPad Ultra 70-inch computer will ship in October. InFocus already offers 80-inch and 85-inch MondoPad Ultra products.

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