Surface 2 with LTE coming early next year

During an AMA session on Reddit, Microsoft said that they will be releasing a Surface with LTE built in early next year which should appease many who want WWAN connectivity in the tablet. 

The Surface team is currently doing an AMA on Reddit as we type and the news of the LTE SKU for the Surface 2 will be a great addition to the Surface family. While tethering and USB modems are a decent work-around for a lack of an LTE option, for those who want an AIO tablet with WWAN, an LTE Surface is the perfect solution.

It's clear that Microsoft is working to make the Surface line of tablets the most complete solution on the market. By keeping the Surface RT on the market at $349, and expanding with the Surface 2, Pro 2 and soon an LTE model, there will be a Surface at every price point and feature set for all consumers.

While Microsoft’s first go-around with the Surface resulted in less than ideal results, the company is forging on with the Surface 2 in hopes that they can secure the second spot in the tablet market. Unlike the smartphone market where Android has a firm grip, Apple still dominates tablets and it’s clear Microsoft wants to take a bite out of that marketshare.

Source: Reddit

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Customers: "It is the second generation of of the Surface and it is the year 2013. LTE should be an option on the Surface!"

Microsoft Surface engineers to customers: "What is this so-called 'LTE' that we keep hearing about?!?"

It's bad news 128GB at top on a TabletPhonePC.

Tablet because it is multitouch and can carry with your hands and work with it.
Phone because you can make calls using skype
PC because the powerful OS.

what I do not like it is 128GB of storage.

I feel it a lower, I will wait for Surface 3 when 256GB at least be here.

yaksplat said,
You get either 64, 128, 256 or 512GB of storage. I think you missed it.

Only the Pro has those capacities, but the Pro don't seem to have an LTE version.

The non Pro is not meant to be used a full pc, its a media consumption device, so it make sense that you wouldn't need as much space. Of course they both offer sd slots as well.

NoClipMode said,

Only the Pro has those capacities, but the Pro don't seem to have an LTE version.

Even if they don't release an LTE version, just plug in an LTE USB stub. The only reason 'built-in' 3G/LTE was important/necessary on the iPad and Android tablets is that they couldn't use an off the shelf USB cellular modem.

acido00 said,
It's bad news 128GB at top on a TabletPhonePC.

Tablet because it is multitouch and can carry with your hands and work with it.
Phone because you can make calls using skype
PC because the powerful OS.

what I do not like it is 128GB of storage.

I feel it a lower, I will wait for Surface 3 when 256GB at least be here.

Flash drives in the higher capacities are still expensive. However, since the Surface 2 and Surface Pro have standard USB ports that can work just fine as additional storage, here:

Kingston 1TB USB 3.0 Stick...
http://www.amazon.com/Kingston...r-1TB-DTHXP30/dp/B00E65QM8O

It's disappointing that the Surface 2 will only have a 1080p display, which puts it behind the iPad and Nexus 10 (both of which have been on the market a while now). Microsoft really isn't pushing any boundaries.

only 1080p? What more do you need? It also has true full hd. From what I see it's far superior than that of iPad or Nexus.

j2006 said,
only 1080p? What more do you need? It also has true full hd. From what I see it's far superior than that of iPad or Nexus.

As I stated, competing tablets from Google and Apple already have much higher resolutions and they've been on the market for quite a while now. Further, there is no such thing as "true full HD" - 1080p is HD and the displays on the Nexus and iPad exceed that, so the Surface 2 is in no way "far superior".

Higher resolutions are nice, but I'm not sure why its such a big deal.

I know we are all nerds and will put down anything doesn't meet or exceed every bleed edge spec, but some of these specs are more about bragging rights in my opinion.

The only reason I think 1080p is fine is because its good enough. For a device of that size, having say a 4K resolution is cool, but doesn't do a lot in real world usage. At least it supports a higher resolution when used with a monitor, where such resolution is much more meaningful.

So yeah, the res doesn't match up with the Nexus, but it seems to be a nice looking screen, plus it integrates the digitizer portion, which neither the iPad or Nexus make use of, so there is something a little different.

theyarecomingforyou said,

As I stated, competing tablets from Google and Apple already have much higher resolutions and they've been on the market for quite a while now. Further, there is no such thing as "true full HD" - 1080p is HD and the displays on the Nexus and iPad exceed that, so the Surface 2 is in no way "far superior".

Depends what you 'value' as superior.

Full versions of Office? Ability to use most USB devices and printers? The solid Windows 8 OS with multi-user features?

Also if you consider the price point of the Surface Pro is closer to the iPad, there really is no comparison, in terms of technology, as one is just a big phone and the other is a full computer.

As for screen resolution, this stuff is really annoying, and here is why...

If you just want a Tablet to watch movies or browse the web, 1080p is more than enough, as that is all the resolution you are going to get out of movies, and even browsing the web.

With good font and asset scaling technologies built into the WinRT framework, the extra pixels to make things a bit more 'crisp' is already an advantage the Windows 8 tablets give users.

When dealing with higher resolutions on tablets that don't even have the ability to display multiple applications on the screen, the extra pixels are for 'rendering' and nothing more than marketing. This is especially true of most iPad/Apps that don't have the higher resolution or vector based assets to draw more 'crisply' on the higher resolution displays anyway.


Up until the 'retina' marketing, people were happy with 1080p on screens in their living rooms that consume an entire wall, but on their 10" tablet, they now NEED a higher resolution. Really? Heck they even think they need it on their 5" phone, which 99.99% of humans can't even discern a single pixel at this resolution.

With today's anti-aliasing technologies, the same 99.99% of users can't see the difference between a 720p phone and 1080p phone.


Here is where the hypocritical aspect of the faux consumer demand can be unmasked...

When Microsoft offered support for 4K displays in Windows Vista and added 32,40,48bit color in Windows 7, nobody noticed or gave a crap.

Most people don't even realize this technology exists in Windows 7/8, and there is virtually no consumer demand for more than 24bit color on devices or computers.

Sadly, even the few higher bit color displays you can buy, you find graphic designers and movie editors hooking them up to Macs that are incapable of outputting more than 24bit color. (24bit color, 8bit mask = 32bit color setting in control panel)

trooper11 said,
Higher resolutions are nice, but I'm not sure why its such a big deal.

It's a big deal because Microsoft is charging more and giving you less. The Windows Store isn't comparable to the Play Store or Apple Store; the specs aren't as good. The only real advantage that Microsoft has is Office and that's a hastily ported version of the desktop suite (i.e. it's not properly optimised for tablets). Selling the keyboard separately is also a mistake.

At a time when most phone manufacturers are moving to 1080p for devices half the size, and competing tablets have higher resolution displays, the Surface 2 looks a bit dated. If I was looking to buy a tablet it would either be the Nexus or iPad, both of which are due to receive updates soon as well. The Surface 2 is well-designed but the software platform and specs leave a lot to be desired.

Mobius Enigma said,
Up until the 'retina' marketing, people were happy with 1080p on screens in their living rooms that consume an entire wall, but on their 10" tablet, they now NEED a higher resolution. Really? Heck they even think they need it on their 5" phone, which 99.99% of humans can't even discern a single pixel at this resolution.

Having used the iPad Retina I can say with complete confidence that it isn't just for marketing. The screen really is impressive. The pixel density on the Surface 2 is below that of my current mobile and I can make out the individual pixels on it, so the difference isn't theoretical.

Wait, MS is charging more than what?

They are charging less than a comparable iPad, while charging more than a comparable Android tablet.

Look, I didn't say a higher resolution was bad or that MS shouldn't do that, I'm just saying I have a hard time believing that 1080p is the reason someone would NOT buy the tablet. Its like saying the screen looks like crap. It does not look like crap. That would be like saying a 1080p 60" tv looks like crap.

Its more likely that they don't buy it due to the lack of apps that they want or they don't like the look of the OS. If MS can fix the app situation, then you have a level playing field and then pricing the Surface 2 @ $449 isn't so bad. 100,000 apps in the Win Store means that it has grown, but still needs work. Obviously it still needs to grow in quality, but then 8.1 also helps that by improving the store itself.

I don't know, even if they had priced this @ $399, I can see complaints like the one you are making still coming. Even @ $299, the complaints would still be there. MS could not price this thing cheap enough to convince people that 1080p is enough. The only way they avoid being criticized for this is if they simply support the highest resolution possible.

theyarecomingforyou said,
It's disappointing that the Surface 2 will only have a 1080p display, which puts it behind the iPad and Nexus 10 (both of which have been on the market a while now). Microsoft really isn't pushing any boundaries.

as neither device can run photoshop, so much for pushing the boundaries.

theyarecomingforyou said,

It's a big deal because Microsoft is charging more and giving you less. The Windows Store isn't comparable to the Play Store or Apple Store; the specs aren't as good. The only real advantage that Microsoft has is Office and that's a hastily ported version of the desktop suite (i.e. it's not properly optimised for tablets). Selling the keyboard separately is also a mistake.

At a time when most phone manufacturers are moving to 1080p for devices half the size, and competing tablets have higher resolution displays, the Surface 2 looks a bit dated. If I was looking to buy a tablet it would either be the Nexus or iPad, both of which are due to receive updates soon as well. The Surface 2 is well-designed but the software platform and specs leave a lot to be desired.

giving you less? can you run the entire ecosystem of x86 software on a nexus? heck even basic lightroom. can you edit 6K video on an ipad? think again bud.

theyarecomingforyou said,

Having used the iPad Retina I can say with complete confidence that it isn't just for marketing. The screen really is impressive. The pixel density on the Surface 2 is below that of my current mobile and I can make out the individual pixels on it, so the difference isn't theoretical.

what's the use of all those pixels on an ipad just for web browsing? surface is for productivity, that is what you pay for. not pixels

I think you missed what he was talking about.

He was talking specifically about the Surface 2, not the Pro. So yeah, your points are valid when talking about the Pro, but the Surface 2 is the Arm tablet meant for media consumption and is the direct competitor to the iPad, etc.

That platform does not have the x86 library to lean on, or an intel cpu to give it a huge boost to performance. So in order for it to do well against an iPad, it needs a strong app library, competitive pricing, and a slick piece of hardware.

neufuse said,
well that answers my WWAN question earier

Now I can say that Corporate Execs would like to carry this since Office and Outlook RT is there, and the Pro without LTE can go to the employees.

Drewidian said,
It will be interesting to see if they partner with carriers to offer subsidized Surface devices with a 2 year contract.

Most carriers have gotten away from doing this with tablets. Instead they are offering lower access costs for tablets. Verizon for example lets customers add tablets for like $10 when using the shared data pool.

Mobius Enigma said,

Most carriers have gotten away from doing this with tablets. Instead they are offering lower access costs for tablets. Verizon for example lets customers add tablets for like $10 when using the shared data pool.

Tablets are only cheap if you're dumb enough to use one of the data pooled plans. Verizon and AT&T's data share plans cost a lot more than the traditional family plans unless you're planning on using multiple tablets.

Not subsidized but AT&T new plan where you can switch new phone every year by dividing the total cost per month. That way I can upgrade to a new surface every year. I realized that Surface 2 is actually cheaper than Galaxy or Lumia phones.

Drewidian said,
It will be interesting to see if they partner with carriers to offer subsidized Surface devices with a 2 year contract.