Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Microsoft Surface Pro with LTE Advanced is here! But is it worth it?

The long-awaited Microsoft Surface Pro with LTE Advanced is finally available to consumers. Those in the Enterprise sector have had access to the device since Winter 2017, but getting one still required waiting as none were carried at actual Microsoft Retail stores.

That was then. This is now. And it's available for $1,449. 

Here's a rundown of the specs for the device:

SoftwareWindows 10 ProOffice 365 30-day trial
Dimensions11.50 x 7.93 x 0.33 in (292.10 x 201.42 x 8.5 mm)
m3: 1.69 lbs (768 g)

i5: 1.70 lbs (770 g)
i7: 1.73 lbs (784 g)
Hard drive sizeSolid state drive (SSD) options: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB4
DisplayScreen: 12.3" PixelSense DisplayResolution: 2736 x 1824 (267 PPI)Aspect Ratio: 3:2Touch: 10 point multi-touch
BatteryUp to 13.5 hours video playback2
ProcessorIntel 7th Gen Core m3, i5, or i7
GraphicsIntel HD Graphics 615 (m3)Intel HD Graphics 620 (i5)Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640 (i7)
SecurityTPM chip for enterprise securityEnterprise-grade protection with Windows Hello face sign-in
Memory4GB, 8GB, or 16GB RAM
WirelessWi-Fi: 802.11ac Wi-Fi wireless networking, IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n compatible, Bluetooth Wireless 4.1 technology
LTE Advanced (optional)
Full-size USB 3.0

microSDXC card reader
Surface Connect
3.5mm Headset jack
Mini DisplayPort
Cover port
Windows Hello face authentication camera (front-facing)

5.0MP front-facing camera with 1080p Skype HD video
8.0MP rear-facing autofocus camera with 1080p Full HD video
5.0MP front-facing camera with 1080p Skype HD video

8.0MP rear-facing autofocus camera with 1080p Full HD video
Dual microphones

1.6W Stereo speakers with Dolby Audio Premium
ExteriorVolume key and power keySurface Pen (sold separately)Surface Keyboard (sold separately)Surface Mouse (sold separately)
SensorsAmbient light sensorAccelerometerGyroscope
Warranty1-year limited hardware warranty
Model number1796
Screen size
Screen: 12.3" PixelSense Display

Resolution: 2736 x 1824 (267 PPI)
Aspect Ratio: 3:2
Touch: 10 point multi-touch

Is LTE worth the price of admission? Well, it depends. Do you have unlimited data on your smartphone? If so, does your carrier allow for Hotspot access? Then there's the case to opt of the Surface Pro WITHOUT LTE. Matching spec for spec, you can save $350 buying the wifi-only Surface Pro vs the LTE model. 

However, the LTE model has its advantages. for starters, its the same dimensions as the wifi-only model (which is really impressive engineering considering how many LTE bands Microsoft stuffed in it!), and it has LTE. Having built-in LTE means not having the deplete the limited battery life of your smartphone via Hotspot. Also, most carriers cap or throttle hotspot data speeds. With its own dedicated service line, you can use as much data as you'll pay for on it!

Just remember a few things: 
1) You'll still need a service line from your carrier.
2) The Surface Pen, Type Cover, and case are sold seperately
3) The LTE model is only available in the US, Canada, and Australia for now. 

In my case, I bought two last year but returned one. The LTE has served well for its owner. The battery life is surprisingly good, but mileage always varies on the type of usage. As for me, I been chained my desk a lot more so I'm glad I used the money saved towards other tech things.

Want to learn more or ready to order your own Surface Pro with LTE Advance? Hit the link below to be directed to the Microsoft Store!

Microsoft Surface Pro @ The Microsoft Store

-Andres Segovia
Twitter: @TheNewsReel
YouTube: The NewsReel

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