Unfortunately, “Zoom in” is now one of the defining phrases of our time, synonymous with other office jargon like “checking in” and “circling back” and “hope you’re doing well during these crazy times!” At the beginning of the pandemic, the lesser-known company rose above other video conferencing software such as Skype, and like David beating Goliath, became the app of choice for countless families, schools, and corporations. Now the company is trying to secure its post-pandemic future by releasing an (overpriced?) tablet.
Called Zoom for Home—DTEN ME, the name of the manufacturer, these 27-inch tablets come with three built-in-cameras, a touch interface, eight microphones, and, of course, with Zoom already installed. The device also lets users automatically link meetings to their calendars and it pairs to a phone or laptop. They retail for a whopping $599. For comparison, Facebook’s 10” Portal goes for $179 and Amazon’s Echo Show 8 can retail for $89.99, but, to be fair, the Zoom for Home is quite a big bigger and appears to have the bulk of a desktop computer.
Still, some might think that the nearly $600 price tag is a little steep for a glorified chat machine, but apparently that’s the price you pay for convenience? In a report from TechCrunch, Jeff Smith, the head of Zoom Rooms, said, “Zoom for Home is an initiative from Zoom that allows any Zoom user to deploy a personal collaboration device for their video meetings, phone calls, interactive whiteboard annotation—all the good stuff that you want to do on Zoom, you can do with a dedicated purpose-built device.”
Zoom for Home is available for pre-order now, and the company is expected to ship the devices at some point in August. The price is definitely hefty, but at least with the device, I guess you might not have to pay to extend the time of your calls anymore?