Back in September, I posted on a rumor that an LTE equipped Surface Pro was going to be announced with it likely being available in December of this year. We can now put those rumors to rest. The LTE Surface Pro is real.
In London today at the Future Decoded conference, Microsoft announced two LTE versions of the Surface which will be available starting December 1st. Both models are based on the Intel Core i5 processor and both have the Qualcomm X16 LTE modem with 20 mobile bands support for global use. The Core i5 with 4GB of RAM and 128GB SSD will be $1149 while the bigger model with 8GB of RAM and 256GB SSD will be $1449.
In all, there are 7 LTE antenna built into Surface with the modem built into the motherboard of the device. Also, it will support eSIM technology for provisioning without a SIM card.
Initially, the new LTE models will only be available to business customers, meaning that you won’t be able to go to your local Microsoft Store and pick one up. Microsoft is likely hedging their bets a bit before releasing the models generally to the public. Further, Microsoft has stated that business users are the ones who have been really clamoring for LTE support so it makes sense to support those customers first.
Back in September, the question was if the new LTE models would support GSM and CDMA. The answer is no, it is GSM only and it through select carriers globally.
It is interesting that LTE support is coming to the Surface Pro when other manufactures have moved away from it. While Apple has LTE support in the Apple Watch, none of the current lineup of MacBooks offers it as an option and from Google, their brand new Pixelbook doesn’t offer it either. That said, Microsoft has a far bigger footprint in the enterprise market than Google or Apple which is likely why this makes sense for them and not for others.
What do you think? LTE a big deal to you? Leave a comment and give me your thoughts.