Microsoft formally announces the LTE Surface Pro is coming December 1 [Update]

Today, at its Future Decoded event, Microsoft formally announced the Surface Pro with LTE. As reported exclusively by Neowin last month, it will be made available on December 1. Indeed, the details of the device are the same as we reported from the firm's Ignite 2017 conference.

The Surface Pro with LTE will only come in the device's Core i5 configurations, which is 4GB RAM with 128GB storage and 8GB RAM with 256GB storage. The reason for this is because the Core i5 model is fanless, while the i7 configuration is not, and the cellular modem is placed where the fan is.

That modem is a Qualcomm Snapdragon X16, which is capable of Category 16 LTE, or 1Gbps download speeds. The device itself is throttled though, down to Category 9, or 450Mbps. That's not going to be an issue for most, though, at least in the current cellular landscape where most networks only provide about 45Mbps.

The Surface Pro with LTE supports the following bands:

  • Band 2 (1900MHz)

  • Band 3 (1800MHz)

  • Band 4 (AWS)

  • Band 5 (850MHz)

  • Band 7 (2600MHz)

  • Band 8 (900MHz)

  • Band 12 (700MHz)

  • Band 13 (700MHz)

  • Band 17 (700MHz)

  • Band 19 (800MHz)

  • Band 20 (800MHz)

  • Band 26 (850MHz)

  • Band 28 (700MHz)

  • Band 29 (700MHz)

  • Band 30 (2300MHz)

  • Band 38 (2600)

  • Band 39 (1900)

  • Band 40 (2300MHz)

  • Band 41 (2500)

The big news there is that it supports band 13, an LTE band that was notable missing from previous Microsoft devices. Band 13 is owned by Verizon, and by the terms of purchasing the band, if a device supports it, Verizon must allow it on its network. So yes, in case you were understandably worried about Verizon compatibility, you can rest assured that it will work with the carrier's network.

There's both an e-SIM, as well as a slot for a physical nano-SIM. This will allow you to just pop in a SIM card, or sign up for a plan through software. And the additional connectivity should have minimal effect on battery life, as if you run it on cellular constantly, it should still get 90% of the battery life that it does on Wi-Fi.

Another thing that Microsoft boasted about the Surface Pro with LTE is seamless connectivity. With earlier cellular Surfaces (Surface 2 and 3), users had to toggle between Wi-Fi and cellular. Now, it should switch between networks like any modern cellular device.

Microsoft hasn't yet confirmed pricing for the new device, or when customers will be able to pre-order.

Update: Microsoft has confirmed that pricing will be $1,149 USD / £1,129 GBP for the configuration with 4GB RAM and 128GB of storage, and $1,449 USD / £1,399 GBP for the one with 8GB RAM and 256GB storage.

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