Facebook Announces Second-Generation Portal Devices

Portable Smart TV Technology

Facebook Announces Second-Generation Portal Devices 1

Facebook announced three new products as part of its growing Portal family of smart home gadgets, two of which are new Portal models.

The larger of the two screens is called the Portal, being a redesign of the previous year’s model, and the smaller one is known as Portal Mini. The third device, a combined camera and microphone attachment for your television, also joins the lineup today under the name Portal TV. This news confirms reports about Facebook’s upcoming Portal reboot that began spreading earlier this summer. The Portal and Portal Mini are standalone smart displays that retail for $179 USD and $129 USD respectively, while the Portal TV is priced at $149 USD.

The 2019 Portal has a 10-inch HD display (1280 x 800), while the Portal Mini has an 8-inch HD display (also 1280 x 800). Both of them can be used in either landscape or portrait mode, the latter of which is especially handy for video chatting with someone calling in from their phone. They both also have Adaptive Display technology, which automatically adjusts the screen’s brightness according to its surroundings.

The new Portals have a different way of toggling the camera and microphone on and off. Instead of just a single button that shuts off both functions, there’s now a dual-stage sliding toggle: you can enable both of them, turn off the camera (an integrated physical cover will slide over the camera lens) but leave the microphone on, or disable both functions altogether. You’ll know the microphone is off when an LED at the top of the device glows red.

The Portal TV, on the other hand, is not really a smart display on its own. It’s a camera that you attach to your television’s HDMI port, thus transforming your TV into a giant smart display. It comes with a small remote control to navigate the Portal TV interface. Additionally, the Portal TV has an 8-field microphone array (other Portal devices have a 4-field microphone array) in order to accommodate bigger spaces and the fact that you’ll likely be further away from the device.

You can pre-order the Portal, Portal Mini, and Portal TV starting today. The Portal and Portal Mini will begin shipping on October 15th, while the Portal TV begins shipping November 5th. You can bundle any two Portal devices for $50 USD off. Let’s just hope Facebook doesn’t violate your privacy too much.