At Microsoft’s big Future Decoded event in London this morning the company officially revealed its new spin on the Surface Pro, which comes with cellular connectivity.
The official name for this fresh variant of the hybrid is the Surface Pro with LTE Advanced, and it comes with an LTE-A modem, as you might guess. It’s a Cat 9 modem offering theoretical download speeds of up to 450Mbps and it supports no less than 20 cellular bands, so there’s wide-ranging support for LTE networks wherever you happen to be travelling.
As Microsoft previously said, the LTE-toting Surface Pro will go on sale in December, but there’s a catch for consumers: only business customers will be able to purchase the device initially. Presumably the convertible will become available on a wider basis further down the line.
While cellular connectivity is clearly a boon for working on the move, it’s not certain how much the new LTE-A modem will affect battery life, because Microsoft didn’t announce any claimed figures on this front. We’ll just have to wait and see, but hopefully it won’t alter things too much, as we were impressed with the Surface Pro's marked improvement in battery longevity compared to its predecessor, the Surface Pro 4.
According to TechCrunch, pricing for the entry-level Surface Pro with LTE Advanced – which runs with a Core i5 processor, 4GB of system RAM, and a 128GB SSD – will be pitched at $1,149 (around £870, AU$1,500), with a model that doubles up the memory and storage to 8GB/256GB costing $1,449 (around £1,100, AU$1,890).
Core i5 is the only processor on offer; there isn’t a Core i7-powered variant of the LTE spin, and it’s not clear if there ever will be, given speculation that there were apparently issues fitting the LTE modem in with the Core i7 CPU’s fan.
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