Mark Zuckerberg took to the social network today to introduce two new Portal devices. The new Portal Go and Portal+. These add to the existing Portal smart screen and Portal TV devices. The new Portal+ is a direct replacement for the current 15.6-inch vertical format version.
Portal was first introduced in 2018 and has taken some time to take off, though these new additions show that Facebook is serious about making them stick. The devices gained a following over the pandemic as displaced families looked for simple ways to connect to loved ones without gathering round a computer.
Placing a camera in a smart display was once seen as invasive, but now as many of the best smart speaker devices from Amazon and Google also offer this, it’s become the standard. Portal is also now pushing its abilities as a remote working device, with support for Zoom and a planned expansion to allow for Teams calls due later in the year.
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The Portal Go features a 10-inch HD (800x1280) display and is battery powered to allow you to use the display anywhere in the house. It has an integrated handle, so you can carry it and attaches wirelessly to its charging pad. The exact battery life isn’t quoted in the device’s specs but Zuckerberg claims it’s a big battery, so I would hope it would last for at least eight hours.
The new Portal+ features a landscape-mounted 14-inch screen. The HD (2160x1440) display tilts to allow for better positioning and has a small footprint, making it easy to fit on a desk or countertop. The display is smaller than the previous Portal+ but the landscape format makes it more suited to group calls.
A new household mode allows you to share the Portal with anyone in your home, allowing multiple people to have access to the app. Watch together has been expanded to work when only one of the users is on a Portal device. It will also support Whatsapp’s upcoming multi-device ability. Meanwhile, Portal for Business is designed to make Microsoft Teams connectivity easier and will also allow company email addresses to be used to set up Portal devices.
Portal Go starts at $199/£199 while Portal+ is from $349/£349, both now available for pre-order from the Portal website.