Surface 2 with LTE Support for Additional $130 Now Available
Microsoft today released a version of its Surface 2 tablet with mobile LTE support on AT&T's 4G network for $130 more than its Wi-Fi-only Surface 2 model.
The 64-GB Surface 2 LTE will retail for $679 without the optional keyboard cover, which can cost an additional $80 to $200 depending on the type. The price represents a 24 percent markup from the original 64 GB Surface 2, which retails for $549.
The Surface 2 LTE will be available to purchase in the United States from Microsoft's online store and brick-and-mortar locations, as well as from Best Buy. The device will ship unlocked, and users must activate the LTE capability by signing up for an AT&T data plan or associating it with an existing AT&T plan.
Besides the addition of a SIM card and SIM card slot -- and the higher price tag -- the Surface 2 LTE is identical to the Surface 2. It runs Windows RT 8.1, has a quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 4 processor, includes a USB 3.0 port, promises up to 10 hours of battery life, has front- and rear-facing cameras, and comes with Outlook 2013 RT and Office Home & Student 2013 RT preinstalled.
As with the Surface 2, those who purchase the Surface 2 LTE will get 200 GB of free OneDrive storage and one year of unlimited free Skype calls.
Microsoft confirmed that it was developing an LTE-capable Surface in late 2013. In an October interview with GeekWire, Panos Panay, corporate vice president of Surface at Microsoft, said that the company was planning to launch an LTE-capable Surface in early 2014 via AT&T for the United States and Vodafone for Europe. However, Microsoft has not yet announced when Surface 2 LTE will launch on Vodafone.
The company has also not said whether it will bring the LTE capability to the 32 GB version of the Surface 2. At any rate, Microsoft will likely not bring LTE to the enterprise-focused Surface Pro 2; according to GeekWire, Panay "was clear that there won't be a version of the Surface Pro 2 with LTE."
However, Microsoft's announcement does hint at new models or features that will be unveiled this year: "It promises to be an exciting year for Surface. More on that later!" Microsoft is reportedly developing an ARM-based "Surface Mini" that is said to have a spring 2014 launch date, but the company has not officially confirmed those reports.
Gladys Rama (@GladysRama3) is the editor of Redmondmag.com, RCPmag.com and AWSInsider.net, and the editorial director of Converge360.