Microsoft readies Surface Pro with LTE Advanced for road warriors

Microsoft's Surface Pro convertible tablets are a great way to get work done when away from a conventional desk, but so far the machines have been unable to connect to the internet in the absence of Wi-Fi. That will change in December when the company ships Surface Pro devices with built-in LTE Advanced modems capable of pushing data at up to 450 Mbps.

According to Ars Technica, two existing Surface Pro models packing Core i5 CPUs will get an LTE Advanced modem. One is a version with 4 GB of RAM and a 128 GB SSD, and the second has 8 GB of memory and 256 GB of storage. The company says the new modems will work on 20 different cellular bands, and that the upcoming Surface Pros will be the fastest LTE-enabled machines in their class.

For those that don't follow Microsoft's every move as a hardware manufacturer, the current revision of the Surface Pro has a 12.3" display with a 3:2 aspect ratio and a resolution of 2736×1824. That screen has ten-point multi-touch input, and an optional Pen input device can register 4096 levels of pressure. Grunt comes from Intel Kaby Lake Core m3, Core i5, and Core i7 processors. Base configurations ship with 4 GB of memory and a 128 GB SSD and top-end machines sport 1 TB SSDs and 16 GB of RAM.

Ars says that Surface Pro machines with LTE Advanced will ship on December 1. The LTE-enabled Core i5 models will carry a $150 premium over the regular versions. That works out to $1149 for the machine with 4 GB of RAM and a 128 GB SSD, and $1449 for the higher-specced model with 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB of storage.

Comments closed
    • dpaus
    • 2 years ago

    “so far the machines have been unable to connect to the internet in the absence of Wi-Fi”

    Hunh?? We sold dozens of Surface 3s with built-in GSM modems.

    • dragontamer5788
    • 2 years ago

    Are there any good competitors to the Microsoft Surface?

    I want a tablet-style experience with the active digitizer while still running the Windows OS, with the ability to use a keyboard / mouse for some tasks (ie: programming, VMs, etc. etc).

    I tried the low-end (Dell Venue 8 Pro), but the slow CPU and laggy digitizer was a turnoff. I commend Dell for trying to make something at the $300ish price-point that even attempted to compete vs the Surface though. The higher end devices (ie: Dell Venue 11) are the same cost as the Surface but don’t look as good.

    The higher-end stuff starts getting into the price-point of the “Surface Book” ($2000+), except the Surface Book looks like its the better device.

    ———

    Honestly, I’m finding that a lot of my day-to-day note-taking has evolved into me just carrying around a 70-sheet $1 notebook from Staples + [url=https://www.amazon.com/Pentel-Automatic-Drafting-Brushed-PG1015A/dp/B000GAU2RU<]a fancy $10 pencil[/url<]. I recognize the importance of hand-written notes and want something to replace the tons of paper I'm using. But Pencil / Paper is a cheap and practical solution to a lot of my day-to-day tasks. Once you learn a few basics in paper-organization skills (ie: numbering the pages, keeping the first 2 pages of the notebook as a "Table of Contents". Learning to make your notes span non-contiguous pages... like "D&D Notes are continued on page 15" then "Continued on page 20"...), its really, really hard to beat the flexibility of a $1 notebook. And if I'm going somewhere where my 70-sheet notebook is too big, I bring a smaller (but ironically more expensive) [url=https://fieldnotesbrand.com/<]Field Notes journal[/url<]. I think the paper they use is cotton-based or something, because Field Notes journals are way stronger and lighter than typical paper. Enough so that I can keep "Field Notes" in my back pocket, sit on it all day, and the notebook holds up without tearing. At least for a few months. And yes, I do realize that Microsoft One-Note is awesome for stylus-based note-taking. But its not quite good enough to beat pencil + paper in my experience... not quite yet. ------------- Anyway, built-in LTE seems intriguing, but this is a laptop we're talking about! All decent cell phones today support Ad-hoc Wireless over their own LTE. I change cell phones and cell-phone plans more often than I change my laptop (ie: Cell Phones change every 2ish years, while my laptops have a lifespan of roughly 5-years). So I think it makes more sense to just learn to tether your cell-phone than to get a Laptop tied to a particular cell-technology. Rumor is that 5th-gen wireless is just around the corner for example, and 5-years from now, do you really want to be stuck with "only" LTE access?

      • dragmor
      • 2 years ago

      Try the Yoga book, refurbs come up on ebay for $300 AUD fairly often.
      [url<]https://www3.lenovo.com/au/en/tablets-and-2-in-1s/windows-tablets/Yoga-Book-with-Windows/p/ZZITZTWYB2F[/url<]

        • dragontamer5788
        • 2 years ago

        That looks pretty cool, but I’m split on the stylus.

        The Dell Venue 8 Pro (and Surface-line) have an active digitizer, which means that when you “hover” the pen, the system still knows where your pen is. This is useful when looking at tooltips for example.

        Active digitizers require a power-source in the stylus: either wireless induction charge (expensive) or a battery that needs replacement over time (cheaper, practical, but annoying. You can also feel the weight of batteries).

        It looks like the Yoga Book is a capacitive stylus, which means it won’t have the “hover” feature. The stylus of the Yoga Book won’t need a power-source, but I really do think the “hover” feature is necessary for good general use of the tablet.

        I personally prefer the batteries + “hover” in my exposure to stylus styles.

      • caconym
      • 2 years ago

      Been quite happy with my Thinkpad Yoga. They’re on the 3rd or 4th generation now (mine’s a 1st-gen), and it’s a nice compromise between tablet and laptop.

      HP has a few models with AES or EMR stylii as well. The forums at tabletpcreview.com have always been a good resource for pen-focused machines, and I believe they’ve compiled a big spreadsheet of every convertible and tablet with an active digitizer that gets updated frequently.

      edit: I’m not sure whether the current-gen Thinkpad Yoga retains the Wacom EMR or if they’ve switched to Wacom’s AES system. As an artist I prefer EMR as it’s less jittery, even if AES has less tip parallax.

      • Anonymous Coward
      • 2 years ago

      Some paper company must be paying for astroturfing!

      • llisandro
      • 2 years ago

      Sure, nothing beats pen on paper, but your old notebooks are sitting on a shelf somewhere. I have every note I’ve ever taken since 2013, with me at all times, and my handwriting is searchable, synced on all my devices via OneNote. I’m convinced it’s the Commonplace Book as it was meant to be, as it integrates my note-taking with my “digital” life. I’ve got notes from talks I’ve attended, but also pages with pasted in paint swatch colors for painting my house. I have a bookshelf full of notebooks from 2003-2013, that I rarely go back to. But I frequently hit control-F in OneNote and pull up notes I took years ago- it’s awesome. As a person who takes a lot of notes that I do go back to often, that trade-off is worth considering. Take the plunge- note-taking on a computer is finally good enough, and getting rid of all that paper is a liberating feeling! Heck, if you’re buying Field Notes, it won’t even take you that long to break even on the cost of the device! 🙂

      And as for LTE- I’ve got my eSIM hooked up to TMobile, which has a plan where they give you 200 MB for free every month, on the hope that you blow over your cap and have to pay them money. This is perfect for me, as I’m usually near WiFi, but if I’m not I don’t have to think about it and it just seamlessly switches over so I can quickly send some emails or something that can’t wait.

      Not what you asked for:
      I’ve owned 2 older windows devices with active styli, and am now on a 12.9″ iPad pro. That’s the best pure digital note-taking experience, IMO. Mostly because Windows really isn’t built around touch and just feels like an add-on. It’s the size of an entire sheet of paper, and the pencil is the size of an actual pen/pencil. Surface pen is finally up to snuff in the latest generation, and having hardware buttons (esp. eraser) is a huge plus. If the iPad was stolen, I’d probably get a Surface Book- a nice laptop when you want it, but also a light notebook when you want that.

    • chuckula
    • 2 years ago

    Sorry [url=https://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2002/07/22<]M$[/url<] but these Surfaces are too little too LTE.

      • morphine
      • 2 years ago

      [i<]grooooaaaannn[/i<]

        • Neutronbeam
        • 2 years ago

        You can’t handle it…because you’re a LTEweight!

          • Redocbew
          • 2 years ago

          You want an LTE Surface? YOU CAN’T HANDLE AN LTE SURFACE!

            • EzioAs
            • 2 years ago

            THE WHOLE SURFACE LINE IS OUT OF ORDER!! THEY’RE OUT OF ORDER!!

            oops, wrong movie…

            • Growler
            • 2 years ago

            You want a Surface to have LTE! You need a Surface to have LTE!

      • drfish
      • 2 years ago

      [i<]Nooice![/i<]

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