Facebook has announced a couple of new Portal models today, building on their video calling hardware line with a new portable, Portal Go model and redesigned Portal+.
Announced last year, the Portal series are Facebook hardware designed to make video conferencing easy.
You can use Facebook apps like Messenger and WhatsApp or third-party apps including Zoom, GoToMeeting and more to make calls to your contacts – they’re even adding in Microsoft Teams support in December.
There’s also now support to sync your Outlook or Google work calendar with the new Portal Calendar App which also integrates with the video calling services available on Portal, so you can quickly join your next meeting.
As it’s a Facebook product, your privacy is a concern but there’s a privacy shutter for the camera, as well as a mic and camera disable button on both the Portal Go and Portal+.
There’s limited smart display functions with apps like Spotify, iHeartRadio, or you can even hold a watch party with Amazon Prime Video if you want. The Portal will also show your photos as a digital photo frame when not in use.
The announcement today includes the new Facebook Portal Go, a mobile version of the Portal with a built in carry handle on the rear with a lovely fabric covering and 10-inch HD resolution display. There’s also a built-in 12MP camera with ultra-wide lens offering a 125° FOV that can keep you in frame, just like the other Portal models.
The unit also includes a 4-mic array with AI capabilities to suppress ambient sound and 5W speakers, and a 20W woofer for playing those tunes.
The Portal Go is designed to be portable, letting you move from room-to-room without ending the conversation. Facebook has included an integrated handle on the rear, as well as a charging dock to keep the ‘long lasting’ battery inside topped up.
It’s a good looking unit with that fabric cover reminiscent of devices from Google and Amazon, the new design is also a little softer with more curves than the Portal.
If you’re not after something portable, the redesigned Portal+ offers the benefits of a larger display with a massive 14” 1440p resolution display which also uses a 12MP camera, though with a slightly wider 131° FOV.
Facebook has used the same audio setup for the Portal+ with the same AI enabled 4-mic array which can filter those ambient sound and 5W speakers and 20W woofer for audio.
The massive display is ideal for viewing video from both video calls, as well as streaming making that Amazon Prime Video support even more important.
Facebook Portal for Business
As well as for consumers, Facebook is rolling out tools for SMBs to deploy and manage Portal devices across their locations, as well as create and manage Facebook Work Accounts for their teams.
This is currently only available in the US as a trial, though it should roll out further once the trial completes – but we’ll have to wait for more from Facebook on that front.
Both the Facebook Portal Go and Portal+ are now available to pre-order from portal.facebook.com with the Portal Go priced at $279, while the Portal+ is priced at $519. Both devices will begin shipping out from October 19th.