Review: MAXHUB 4K Digital Signage Display — AV.technology
A series of smart panels for collaboration and digital signage — look but don’t touch.
Review:/ Christopher Holder
In my day, a non-touch display was mostly called, a display. These days, the words ‘non touch’ provide an important distinction, it’s saying, don’t bother touching me to interact, but I’m packing about as much power and software as an interactive flat panel, and certainly don’t mistake me for a regular dumb display.
So it is with Maxhub’s series of 4K LCD non-touch commercial displays.
The range runs on an Android 8 operating system; they’re bright enough (mostly 450 nits) enough to compete in daylight spaces where most projectors can’t; some of the range can run in either landscape or portrait mode; use a low-glare screen; and can natively handle screen sharing without any extra hardware.
The Maxhub non-touch display presents as a solid piece of commercial kit. I’m grateful for the handles on the back of the chassis to assist in mounting it on a trolley or wall mount. I like the narrow (sub 10mm) bezel and the image quality is good, as is the sound of the onboard stereo speakers.
The Android 8 operating system is well suited to this type of application and acts in a snappy way. Screen sharing is easy thanks to the Maxhub app for Android or iOS. There’s a Mac and PC screen sharing application as well. My time with this app has been a breeze.
First thing I noticed about sharing from my laptop was the scaling, which is welcome — certainly better than dealing with the mismatch caused by plugging an HDMI lead from your laptop into a 4K monitor. Both the smartphone and computer app worked first time with minimum fuss; the latency is low enough to be largely unnoticeable (Maxhub quotes 90ms); and it’s well featured — the desktop application installs a nifty little desktop dashboard; you can turn on a touchback mode or a do not disturb mode if you want to ensure the CEO doesn’t get accidentally booted off the Maxhub display by the intern. That said, the display supports a picture-by-picture mode for two different contributors to share. One last thing, the Maxhub Share app encrypts the data it’s sending over wifi, which will be important to many.
The iOS or Android app has additional features allowing you to manage a meeting from your device. There’s a handy remote control UI (that said, the actual IR remote control is perfectly adequate). The remote control app allows you to access your device’s photos and video for sharing, and you can load documents from your device into the display’s memory to natively contribute to the meeting.
The display has a media player feature that allows you to load up content from your connected device. It’s a handy feature for natively displaying content in a presentation, or using the display as signage when required. You can set start and end times, and set up a playlist, but it doesn’t have a scheduler as such.
The cloud-based Bytello DMS (device management software) improves the screens’ digital signage credentials. It’s easy to monitor, manage and take care of application configuration of all the Maxhub displays on your network.
That said, if your digital signage comprises only one, non-networked, display, then the PNC series has you covered — simply pop your content onto a USB stick and the display will read it, loop it and you can set the start and end times all from the screen itself.
not needing touch doesn’t mean you don’t need collaboration, which is where Maxhub’s offering makes sense
YOU CAN’T TOUCH THIS
Interactive displays are clearly a winner for whiteboarding and the like but many, if not most huddle spaces and meeting rooms are primarily, if not exclusively, used for VC or ad hoc meetings that don’t require touch.
That said, not needing touch doesn’t mean you don’t need collaboration, which is where Maxhub’s offering makes sense from a technology and pricing point of view (touch tech is expensive).
There are six sizes available: from the 43-inch baby of the family we’ve had here, up to a whopping 98-inch display.
The Maxhub’s non-touch display provides a very satisfying experience — it knows what it is and avoids unnecessary ‘and another thing’ features.
For example, it doesn’t attempt to host some kind of VC soft codec, which is hardly something to mark down these displays given the prevalence of BYOD meetings.
Smart displays running Android aren’t a novelty. Hotel TVs have been at it for a while, for example, but Maxhub’s has truly made the operating system its own to provide a neat, focussed experience.