Facebook debuts even more hardware you probably won’t buy

Remember Facebook’s Portal range? We’ll forgive you if you don’t. As a refresher, the social media giant launched its range of smart displays in 2019, which nobody promptly bought.

Now, almost two years later, the company has unveiled the Portal Go and Portal Plus – two new smart displays aimed at those seeking to elevate their video calling experience.

The Portal Go, which is set to retail for $199 USD, is the first Portal device to feature a battery – aiming to live up to the portability suggested by its name, the Go carries a wide-angle lens with auto tracking, panning, and zooming to capture its participants while they’re on the move. The device is also slated as a Bluetooth speaker of sorts with support for Spotify and Pandora.

The Portal Plus is a subtle reinvigoration of the larger 14″ Portal device that launched in 2019, and will retail for $349 USD – save that this new variant doesn’t include a swivel display that can rotate between landscape and portrait views as its predecessor did.

Capitalising on the remote work opportunities almost two years of a pandemic has brought us, Facebook has confirmed that Zoom, Webex, BlueJeans, and GoToMeeting are now all supported aboard Portal devices, while Microsoft Teams is expected to make landfall later this year.

The firm will even go so far as to offer up the Portal range as a standalone video conferencing tool next year that will be able to function without a Facebook account.

Whether that’ll shake all of our perceptions of Facebook remains unlikely – but, until then, we can expect to see the company’s new displays start shipping on October 19th.