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.”