Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President, Panos Panay, announced at the company’s annual Future Decoded event in London that a new Surface Pro with LTE is set to be released in December. The announcement came as Microsoft seeks to counter the popularity of the MacBook Pro with an alternative of their own targeting the enterprise market and mobile professionals. Speculations have it that the release is likely to be on the 1st of December, a date initially stated by Tim Golik, Microsoft’s Surface Pro program manager.
Features of the Surface Pro LTE
The fourth-generation long-term evolution (4G LTE) allows faster connectivity than 3G. It’s the fastest network service to date for high-speed data, up to four to five times faster than 3G. This means faster downloads. What’s significant with 4G is that it provides the same speed as home broadband, however, it can be accessed on the go. Consumers can stay connected anywhere from any hotspot where 4G connectivity is allowed.
The Surface Pro LTE is supported by a Qualcomm Snapdragon X16 modem and incorporates an Intel Core i5 CPU. The use of Cat 9 modem that supports 20 cellular bands and can work on different 4G networks allows the device to be used almost anywhere around the world. Two different configurations are expected to be launched.
- Intel core i5, 4GB RAM, 128 GB SSD including LTE, and intel HD Graphics 620
- Intel core i5, 8GB RAM, 256 GB SSD including LTE, and intel HD Graphics 620
A remark is that Microsoft preferred to include LTE to its i5 processor instead of its i7 processor. The core i7 Surface Pro requires a fan and has more battery power while the i5 version is fanless allowing to place the LTE circuitry in place of the fan. Consumers, therefore, have a choice between more power and LTE connectivity.
Initially, the Wi-Fi version of the Surface Pro provided 13.5 hours of battery power, which could be reduced in the LTE version. It is still uncertain by how much. According to Microsoft, the battery life for using LTE will have the same strength as that of a Wi-Fi, but the company has not yet completed the benchmark.
Microsoft is using the new Surface Pro LTE to continue and push into the market Windows 10 by incorporating practical additions such as pen-based computing, touchscreen, and on-demand end-to-end enterprise solution for consumers when required. On the market, the Surface Pro LTE price is expected to be around $1149. Throughout the course of the year, 2017, Microsoft registered a 26% decrease in sales of Surface tablets and laptops for the quarter ending March 31st, but they were up year-on-year by 12% in most recent quarters.
Comparing LTE with Wi-FI
Between the two, the big difference comes down to speed. Wi-Fi is a wireless broadcast that depends on a wired broadband service hence, it will have the same speed on average with the broadband speed it’s obtaining connectivity from. The difference can clearly be noticed in public places where shared-Wi-Fi is slower while LTE a lot faster providing faster download, the capacity to load a lot more images, and overall a better consumer experience for watching movies and videos.