The Microsoft Surface Pro is getting LTE cellular
wireless connectivity, starting in December, starting at
Surface Pro with LTE will be available first to
business customers, with consumer availability in the first
half of 2018.
The Apple iPad Pro has had an LTE option since 2015;
none of Apple’s Macs offer LTE.
Starting in December, businesses will be able to buy a Microsoft
Surface Pro laptop/tablet hybrid with a built-in LTE cellular
modem, starting at $1,149.
When Microsoft first
revealed the current-model Surface Pro earlier this year, it
announced the LTE option. However, it’s taken this long to come
to market. And while it’ll be available to business customers
first, Microsoft says it’ll get to consumers some time in the
first half of 2018, with more details to come.
Microsoft makes the bold claim that the LTE Advanced modem used
in the Surface Pro makes it “the fastest LTE-enabled laptop
in its class.” It should make the Surface Pro more competitive
with the likes of the Apple iPad Pro, which has offered an LTE
option since its introduction in 2015. And none of Apple’s
MacBooks offer LTE at all.
And, naturally, the regular Surface Pro won’t be going
anywhere. It’s still available starting at $799, and still a
great alternative to Apple’s MacBook Air or iPad Pro. Microsoft
boasted that the Surface Pro gets 13.5 hours of battery life,
though in my own tests, I found it to be much lower. It’s not
clear how LTE will affect battery life.
In a broader sense, the push towards LTE is an attempt from
Microsoft to get Surface PCs into more businesses, and
eventually, more homes. Microsoft has said it wants to be able to
offer a Surface suited for every customer — in November,
Microsoft will be releasing the
Surface Book 2, its high-end MacBook Pro competitor, as
Get the latest Microsoft stock price here.