Google first announced the Jamboard in October last year as a rethink of what a whiteboard should actually be. Rather than a surface you write on with erasable marker pens, Google created a cloud-based, collaborative surface that’s a touchscreen display. And now it’s available to buy.
The Jamboard is squarely aimed at the business market and costs $4,999 including two styluses, an eraser and wall mount. But the costs don’t end there. Management and support fees total $300 per year if you buy before Sept. 30, and then increase to $600 per year. If you would like the Jamboard on a rolling stand, that’s an extra $1,119 before Sept. 30, or $1,349 after that. A G Suite plan is also required (Business plans cost $10 per user per month).
While not cheap, the Jamboard certainly counts as an evolution in whiteboard design. As it’s a touchscreen display, you are no longer limited to a single canvas and messy pens. View different types of documents, your scribbles are saved automatically in the cloud for later viewing, you can collaborate with other people remotely by using the Jamboard companion apps and have the Jamboard intelligently tweak your drawings by making that circle you drew perfect, for example.
As for the hardware, the Jamboard uses a 55-inch 4K UHD touchscreen display, which Google claims has no visible lag thanks to a 120Hz touch refresh rate and use of a Nvidia Jetson TX1 embedded computer. Accuracy is also very high at 1mm. As well as the display, Google built in a wide-angle camera, microphones and “down-firing speakers” to aid collaboration. The Jamboard also supports Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and NFC, and includes HDMI, USB 3.0 and USB 3.0 Type C connectivity. And of course, Google Cast support is included, as is full access to the G Suite.
For now, Jamboard is only being offered in the U.S., but the U.K. and Canada will have the option to buy it before the summer is over. More countries will then follow “over time.”
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