Surface Pro with LTE Will Begin Shipping in December (Updated)

Posted on October 31, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Microsoft Surface with 7 Comments

UPDATE: A Microsoft video, Surface Pro with LTE Advanced – An engineer’s tour, provides more info about this device. I have a few notes below. –Paul

Microsoft confirmed today that it will begin shipping Surface Pro with LTE to business customers in December.

“We’re excited to share that we are bringing even greater mobility to our Surface Pro line by making Surface Pro with LTE Advanced available to business customers beginning December 2017,” Microsoft’s Panos Panay writes.

It’s not yet clear if LTE is an option on one more current Surface Pro models, or if Microsoft will simply make one more LTE-specific Surface Pro models. But that name—Surface Pro with LTE Advanced—suggests the latter.

And Microsoft is making some bold claims for the device as well.

“With a Cat 9 modem, Surface Pro with LTE Advanced is the fastest LTE-enabled laptop in its class,” Mr. Panay says. “It delivers global connectivity with support of 20 cellular bands so you can work, study, create or relax uninterrupted.”

The phrase “in its class” refers to devices with a modem capability of up to 450 Mbps download speed, Microsoft adds. By comparison, Cat 6 modems provide a maximum download speed of up to 300 Mbps.

There’s no mention of Surface Pro with LTE Advanced on the Surface website as I write this, but I’ll be following up with Microsoft today to get a few answers. For example, that “for business customers” bit, where the device(s) will be sold, and so on.

UPDATE: Additional notes

  • It does appear that this is a new model or set of models, called Surface Pro with LTE Advanced.
  • 450 Mbps download speeds are pretty good. But modern smartphones support gigabit LTE now.
  • He uses the phrase “always-on connectivity” in the video and the LTE capabilities do come from an eSIM (or a nano SIM; you can choose). So is this an Always-Connected PC? I would say yes.
  • A lot of this video is just marketing. It’s kind of odd that it’s labeled “an engineer’s tour.”

Tagged with ,

Join the discussion!

BECOME A THURROTT MEMBER:

Don't have a login but want to join the conversation? Become a Thurrott Premium or Basic User to participate

Register
Comments (7)

7 responses to “Surface Pro with LTE Will Begin Shipping in December (Updated)”

  1. Avatar

    euskalzabe

    So, now that this cat is out of the bag, does that mean that the fall hardware event will be about ARM devices? Here's hoping!

  2. Avatar

    alexoughton

    "450 Mbps download speeds are pretty good. But modern smartphones support gigabit LTE now."


    But will real-world networks give you even 450?

  3. Avatar

    ecumenical

    The 450 Mbps vs 1Gbps thing really is just marketing. Both speeds are so far beyond what the networks can provide that it's utterly immaterial.


    This is from OpenSignal: "Six months after reintroducing unlimited plans, Verizon and AT&T experienced a marked decline in 4G speeds in our tests. The impact appears to have hit Verizon the most. Its average LTE download test fell 2 Mbps to 14.9 Mbps in the six months between reports. As both T-Mobile and Sprint have offered unlimited data plans for some time, OpenSignal didn't see any adverse effect on their speeds. In fact, both operators' LTE speeds climbed upwards in the last six months. T-Mobile was the fastest operator in our test results with average LTE download speeds of 17.5 Mbps and overall speeds of 16.1 Mbps."


    https://opensignal.com/reports/2017/08/usa/state-of-the-mobile-network

  4. Avatar

    jholbrook385

    Will this be coming only to business customers, or is a consumer option in the works?

  5. Avatar

    SvenJ

    "But modern smartphones support gigabit LTE now". Right, show me the speedtest.

  6. Avatar

    edboyhan

    There was a session at Ignite that covered all this -- the only thing they didn't mention was price and release date. Everything else as to models, configurations, modem specs, sim & esim, battery life, cellular availability worldwide, download speeds -- all of this was covered in detail with photos of the motherboard layout, new cooling paths, etc. There may be a copy of this session on channel 9 -- this may in fact be the video you are referring to.


    They were careful to point out that the modem they are using is exactly the one that is in smartphones with 1 GB downloads. They pointed out that they were being conservative, and specifying what actually can be achieved with the carriers no matter what the hype.

  7. Avatar

    Chris Blair

    Will the pen tilt / parallax compensation problem of the current 2017 Surface Pro and Pen be fixed?

Leave a Reply