Video: The changing face of Microsoft's Surface Pro tablet
Microsoft has revealed a new version of the Surface Pro with always-on internet capable of superfast downloads.
The Surface Pro with LTE Advanced brings cellular wireless connectivity to the convertible tablet/laptop, offering speeds of up to 450Mbps.
"When you want the ultimate in versatility and still want performance to move you forward, we bring the new Surface Pro," said Microsoft's hardware chief Panos Panay, speaking at Microsoft's Future Decoded conference in London.
The LTE version of the Pro uses a Cat 9 modem with support for 20 cellular bands, and is expected to work with a wide variety of 4G networks worldwide, rather than being limited to networks within a specific region.
The new machine has a seven-antenna Qualcomm X16 Gigabit Class LTE modem, which is integrated directly onto the motherboard to optimize its responsiveness when recovering from sleep and hibernation modes.
The Surface Pro LTE is powered by an Intel Core i5 CPU and is available in two versions, with 4GB RAM and a 128GB SSD, for $1,149, and with 8GB of memory and a 256GB SSD, for $1,449.
Microsoft is saying the battery life when using LTE will be the same as when using Wi-Fi, but hasn't yet completed the benchmarks.
Sales of Microsoft hardware have been up and down in 2017. While sales of Surface tablets and laptops slumped during the quarter ending March 31 this year, with revenue falling 26 percent year over year to $831m, they were up 12 percent year over year for the most recent quarter, a rise that Microsoft attributes to the release of the Surface Laptop.
Today devices like the Surface Pro don't stand out from competing laptops as much as they once did, due in part to the success of Microsoft in pushing computer manufacturers to follow its design lead and release 2-in-1 laptop/tablet convertibles.
The enterprise-focused device will begin shipping to businesses from December 1.
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