Microsoft on Monday officially announced a new version of its Surface 2 tablet with support for AT&T’s 4G LTE network. The announcement follows several reports that had suggested stores were starting to receive shipments of the newer, LTE-ready tablet. The Surface 2 will launch tomorrow, March 18, online and in U.S. Microsoft stores, in addition to at Best Buy, BestBuy.com and Best Buy Mobile locations.
The added connectivity comes at a price. Right now, the Surface 2 can be purchased for $449. The LTE model, however, will set you back $679, and that’s not including the cost of actually adding data to the device. Meanwhile, Microsoft says it will sweeten the deal with 200GB of OneDrive storage for two years. All of the other hardware specs remain the same, and you’re still going to be running Windows RT 8.1 instead of the more powerful Windows 8.1 Pro operating system. The latter is available on the Surface Pro 2, the more powerful of Microsoft’s tablets, but that device starts at $899.
As for the Surface family altogether – we’re expecting some new updates in the future. Panos Panay, Microsoft corporate vice president of Surface, said that it “promises to be an exciting year for Surface,” and that he’ll discuss additional details in the future. The Surface 2 with LTE arguably should have been made available when the first model made its debut, and we hope Microsoft makes an effort to make that a priority in the future. Hopefully an “exciting year” doesn’t just mean additional incremental updates.