Asus announces new Google Meet hardware kits


One thing that the Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent global lockdown has shown us is: Videoconferencing is here to stay. And, understandably, there is quite a bit of activity both on the software and hardware sides of this emerging market.

To make the most out of the rising demand, Asus has announced new videoconferencing hardware designed to run Google Meet meetings 

According to 9to5Google, the new gear includes a small computer that runs the calls, an external speaker, and, depending on the configuration one buys, one can also get a camera and a touch screen. 

The hardware is aimed for conference rooms in offices that rely on Google Meet as their videoconferencing tool.

Interestingly, the original ASUS-Google Meet hardware kit first launched in 2014. Now considering the new buoyancy in the videoconferencing market, the kit has been tweaked and re-branded as a fresh offering.

At the core is new Google Meet Compute System, which ASUS used to call a Chromebox. It is basically a mini PC that runs Chrome OS and is specifically customized to run Google Meet. Of course, it runs on an Intel Core i7 processor, a 128GB SSD, and a magnetic chassis so you can attach it to the included stand or easily mount it out of sight. 

The bundles come under three different categories:

  • Google Meet Starter Kit: It includes the Google Meet Compute System, Google Meet Speakermic, Huddly IQ camera and a remote control
  • Google Meet Small/Medium Room Kit: It includes the Google Meet Compute System, Google Meet Speakermic, Huddly IQ camera and MIMO touchscreen controller.
  • Google Meet Large Room Kit: It includes the Google Meet Compute System, Google Meet Speakermic, Logitech PTZ Pro 2 camera and MIMO touchscreen controller.

The Starter Kit and Small/Medium Room Kit are reportedly designed for conference rooms with up to eight people. As per Asus, it comes with a camera with a 120-degree field of view and the ability to zoom in up to 4X without losing 720p image quality. The Small/Medium Room Kit and the Large Room Kit come with a separate touch screen panel you can use to manage the call.

The Large Room Kit is made for conference rooms with up to 20 people and to be used with Logitech’s PTZ Pro 2 Camera.  Asus says the PTZ Pro 2 captures 1080p video and offers 10X zoom. 

According to Asus, the kits will be available from June in 28 countries.

Google and ASUS are hardselling these kits and hardware to businesses that, thanks to social distancing protocols, are increasingly falling back on videoconferencing tools.