Since every laptop with a cellular connection has been for the business crowd, laptops with LTE are braced to be a serious thing this year, as devices running Qualcomm’s Always Connected PC platform are expected to be in the market any moment from now. Before they do, there’s a new Surface Pro LTE from Microsoft, which is the same Surface Pro as released last year, but with an added dose of LTE. It’s available for preorder from Microsoft and Best Buy starting today.
The Surface Pro LTE is an innovative, 2-in-1 computer capable of connecting to the internet without the need for a Wi-Fi network or a hot spot device. It is the first Surface computer which can be described as a true mobile computer which can go anywhere without losing its functionality. This is the first Surface Pro with integrated cellular connectivity.
The LTE version of the Surface Pro shares all the features and design of the Wi-Fi-only model which was released last summer. It has a touchscreen display of 12.3-inch with a 3:2 aspect ratio, a seventh-generation Intel Core processor, and its weight is less than two pounds (without a keyboard attached). The only visible differences between the Surface Pro LTE and the Wi-Fi model are a polycarbonate strip at the top that’s a slightly different silver color than the rest of the metal chassis and the SIM tray, which is next to the microSD card slot under the kickstand.
The Surface Pro LTE is available in two fanless configurations: Core i5 7300U with 4GB of RAM and 128GB of storage which goes for the price of $1,149 and Core i5 7300U with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage at the price of $1,449.
Unlike the Wi-Fi-only model, there is no option for a Core i7 processor. Microsoft’s Surface Keyboard (a necessity for basically anyone) costs an additional $129.99 (or $159.99 for one of the Alcantara fabric models). The Surface Pen (an option for most people) runs an additional $99.99. That means a fully equipped LTE Surface Pro with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage totals up to $1,679. For $150 more than the standard Surface Pro, you get an integrated modem that supports 20 bands of LTE service.
According to Microsoft, the LTE Pro lasts 12.5 hours between charges compared to 13.5 for the Wi-Fi model.