Cisco Webex Board 85 Review: Larger Than Life
An immersive display meets ergonomic design
With the acquisition of Webex in 2007, Cisco laid the foundation of what now stands as the world’s leading collaboration solutions suite. From telephones and network connectivity to data centre management and the cloud, Cisco has everything you could possibly need as a fast-growing business. Under the Cisco Webex umbrella, there is a bevy of collaboration tools ranging from software and endpoints to solution enablers.
In this review, we look at the latest version of Cisco Webex Board – formerly called Cisco Spark Board, in a new and improved avatar. Cisco Webex Board is available in 55, 70, and now 85-inch variants to meet the collaboration needs of businesses of every size.
Inside Cisco Webex Board 85
Cisco Webex Board 85 is essentially a digital whiteboard that wirelessly connects to your other Cisco Webex solutions. You can conduct audio and video telephony, in addition to the primary function of presenting and brainstorming.
Cisco aims to solve a number of business pain points in a single sweep, bundling a wireless screen, a digital whiteboard, and an audio/video conferencing system into one product. Apart from physical spaces, you can connect to virtual meeting rooms for a continuous workflow. Let’s now review the features under the hood of Cisco Webex Board 85:
- Wireless presentation – While there is an HDMI port available, wires are strictly optional with Board 85. You can connect either locally or remotely through Cisco’s software applications
- Whiteboard – You can use either your finger or the Cisco Webex pen to take notes during a brainstorming session; this is automatically saved to a Webex Teams space. Any app running Webex Teams can be integrated to Board 85, allowing you to annotate in a collaborative format
- Conferencing – Cisco has always been known for its crystal-clear audio and high-quality video. The same applies to Board 85 as well, creating a particularly immersive experience on this larger-than-life screen. Cisco claims that audio from 8to10 people can be easily accommodated, automatically modulating the active speaker’s voice for clear and comprehensive audio
- Camera – There is a 4K camera embedded on the device, as well as built-in microphones. The camera brings an 83-degree field of view to capture the entire screen without any blind spots. Board’s intelligent software algorithms automatically frame the meeting room for maximum visibility
- Workflows – Everything you do on Cisco Webex Board 85 is stored securely and automatically in the cloud. Once you leave the meeting room, it’s easy to switch to the Teams app and pick up where you left off. Board works together with other cisco devices for end-to-end data encryption
- Intelligent Proximity – Cisco’s unique ultrasound-based pairing sets it apart from other players in this segment. Board’s Intelligent Proximity feature wakes the device up automatically whenever a registered device enters the room. You can control the basic functionalities of the endpoint through the Teams app on the smartphone
- Display – With a massive 85-inch 4K display, Cisco Webex Board 85 is definitely easy on the eyes. It has an 89-degrees viewing angle in every direction and 1.7 billion colour capacity. The touch-enabled interface comes with protective glass and there is the standard HDMI, 3.5 mm, and USB Ports for easy interoperability
- Ease-of-use – Keeping in mind Cisco’s vast global audience, Board 85 includes a sizeable language library, and this is continually growing. You can choose to place it on the floor, mount it on the wall, or use Cisco’s own wall stand. This makes it quite portable for a device of this size
Why Cisco Webex Board 85 Makes a Difference
When it comes to whiteboards, we think you can never pick a display that’s too big! Cisco Webex Board 85 gives you all the room you could need, and then some – the canvas can be extended beyond the physical limits of the board, adding digital real estate sing the pinch and zoom feature. And if a team member or customer isn’t using Webex, you can simply email the whiteboard for ecosystem-agnostic access.
Finally, Cisco has paid special attention to the packaging of the device. An 85-inch touch display can be difficult to shuffle around your office – which is why Cisco Webex Board 85 includes wheels on three sides of the aluminium frame, easily movable through any doorway or elevator.
What We Think
Cisco Webex Board 85 is truly ready to use out-of-the-box. It adds a sizeable 15-inch of real estate to the last version and introduces a new colour toolbar for smarter annotations. Features such as sticky notes and live whiteboard streaming are also on the cards. Long story short, for anyone already the Cisco ecosystem and regularly conducting brainstorming sessions (think start-ups and product companies) Cisco Webex Board 85 could be a lifesaver.