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By 11 September 2018 | Categories: news

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It’s true that remote meetings through the web can be a pain. Lenovo believes they have it licked with the ThinkSmart Hub 500, a Skype Room Systems device that manages collaboration within meeting rooms.

On the face of it the Hub 500 looks like an easy enough solution, since it simply connects remote and local participants to Skype for Business. This eliminates the hassle of sharing personal notebook screens and messing about with cables.

So what’s behind the device? Developed in cooperation with Microsoft, the ThinkSmart Hub 500 is an all-in-one unit with a 360-degree rotatable 11.6” display, that runs Microsoft Windows 10 IoT Enterprise and uses Logitech cameras. It also features Dolby Audio Premium sound, 360-degree array microphones, and a touch display to control the meeting and large external displays.

In regards to power behind the Hub 500, you’re looking at an Intel Kabylake Core i5-7500T (2.7 GHz) Intel chipset, 8 GB of DDR4 RAM and a 128 GB SSD for storage. Not bad for a machine essentially there to manage meetings.

Lenovo notes that the average delay to the start of a remote meeting can be as long as ten minutes. Since the audio and video on the Hub 500 is already connected, users can press one button to start to collaborate.

It’s designed  with small to medium-sized conference rooms in mind (Lenovo mentioned huddle rooms collaborations, typically the size of 3-5 people), which should be well served by the Dual 4W Dolby Audio premium tuned speakers and the two far-field microphone arrays. If video is required, Logitech provides the peripherals needed, including the MeetUp conference camera for smaller rooms, the Connect for medium sized rooms, or the Group for large ones. As can be expected, the camera affects the retail price of the unit.

Speaking of which, the Lenovo Smart Hub 500 is priced from R30 000 to R35 000, depending on the type of Logitech camera selected. It is available through all of Lenovo’s PCG distributors, including Axis. It can also be ordered online through Takealot or purchased directly from Lenovo.

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