Exclusive: Microsoft to ship upgraded Surface Hub 2 compute cartridge next year

Surface Hub 2 Cartridge
(Image credit: Microsoft)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft is working on a new compute module for Surface Hub 2.
  • The module is codenamed Upward and features an 11th-gen Intel processor.
  • It will be the first commercially available upgrade module for the Hub 2 since launch.

Microsoft is gearing up to ship a new compute cartridge for the Surface Hub 2 sometime in 2023, according to my sources who are familiar with the company’s plans. I’m told the new cartridge is codenamed "Upward," and will feature an upgraded Intel 11th-generation CPU and Iris Xe Graphics. To compare, the current Surface Hub 2S compute cartridge features an Intel 8th-generation CPU.

Not much else is known about the new cartridge, including whether Upward will finally enable device rotation; a feature that has been promised since the Surface Hub 2 was first announced back in 2018. The codename certainly suggests it might support the “upward” orientation, but only time will tell.

Upward will be the first commercially available compute cartridge upgrade for the Surface Hub 2 since it was announced as a modular device. The company made a big deal about how customers would be able to swap out the PC portion of the Surface Hub 2 for repairs and upgrades but is yet to actually ship a newer compute cartridge to upgrade to.

Microsoft has made the upgrade process on Surface Hub 2 relatively painless. It requires the removal of a single screw on the back of the Surface Hub, which will release the cartridge and allow the user to simply slide it out. From there, you can insert the new compute cartridge, screw it in place, and get back to work. You should also be able to swap over your SSD painlessly too.

My sources are unsure if the company is planning to market this upgraded compute module as the “Surface Hub 2X” that the company had originally announced alongside the Surface Hub 2S as “coming later.” Originally, the Surface Hub 2X was supposed to run a special version of Windows called Windows Core OS, but that effort has since been scrapped.

I’m told the Upward compute module is expected to be announced sometime next year. Pricing for the module is currently unknown, but considering this is an enterprise product, we're not expecting it to be cheap. 

A Microsoft spokesperson had nothing to share when asked for comment.

Zac Bowden
Senior Editor

Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter: @zacbowden.