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Exclusive - Surface 2 with LTE for AT&T priced at $679 for 64 GB, new photos show stock

Earlier this afternoon, we reported that Microsoft Stores were getting stock of the new Surface 2 with LTE, destined for AT&T. At the time, we were unable to post photos due to a confidentiality request. Since that time we have ascertained more information, which we can share with you now.

The 64 GB version of the LTE based Surface 2 will have an in-store price of $679. Compared to $549 for the 64 GB non-LTE Surface 2, consumers are looking at $130 price hike for having permanent internet connectivity. We do not yet know if AT&T will be offering any tie ins or contract deals to lower that amount, though it’s certainly feasible if you toss in a 2-year contract.

In terms of radio hardware, the Surface 2 will have support for 850/900/1800/1900 2G bands, 3G UMTS (bands 1,2, 5) and LTE (bands 4, 7, 17), in addition to Wi-Fi a/b/g/n. Being an RT device, it runs Windows 8.1 RT, though we do not know if any of the internal silicon has been updated with this series refresh.

Interestingly, the codename for the Surface 2 with LTE was ‘Microsoft Donnell’. This will be the first Surface from Microsoft with LTE and it marks a significant advance in marketing reach. It's not clear yet if a Surface Pro 2 with LTE will be introduced, though we suppose everything is an option for Microsoft at this point.

No word on availability but we’re expecting them to be announced relatively soon. Stay tuned.

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Reader comments

Exclusive - Surface 2 with LTE for AT&T priced at $679 for 64 GB, new photos show stock

143 Comments

They are missing a great opportunity. If cellular data adds $130 to the price of a device, they should strip the cellular capabilities out of the 520/521s which sell for $80 and pay people $50 to take them as music players. They couldn't keep them on the shelf. I would "buy" thousands of them myself!

While amusing, they are unfortunately following Apple's lead here. The iPad varies by $130 if you compare the WiFi-only to the LTE models.

I am a bit surprised that there is not a corresponding Surface Pro 2, as I know two very high-level people that are waiting on the Pro model to get LTE.

It's coming, the question will be whether the Pro 2 gets it around the same time the Surface 2 does or not.  The Surface Pro 2 is still a bit constrained for inventory worldwide so throwing an LTE model in wouldn't do them a lot of favors since they're only making so many right now.  Hopefully that issue is resolved before summer and both Surface 2 and Pro 2 release with LTE models.  Personally, I am OK with WiFi only but I understand there are a select group of people that need or greatly want data connectivity with their tablets.

With the Surface you will have the touch or type cover, so its nearly the same thing.

But I agree that Nokia screwed up by not putting in a full USB 3 port. That wasnear the top of the reasons why not get it, and of course the no wacom stylus support was the nail in the coffin for my needs.

 

 

I don't do anything that uses or needs Wacom support. But I do use usb drives all the time with my surface RT gen1 and don't use my current keyboard.

Cool, good for you, then the 2520 is for you, its not for you, the # of times I've needed my USB port on my Surface RT gen1 ... 2-3 times a day.

Love my 2520. Such a handsome, well built device. Beautiful screen. And the Nokia power keyboard has a USB port.

Glad to see Surface 2 with LTE. Wish it was less expensive though. I'm kinda mad it took 'em so long to launch a surface with LTE.

I've always felt like the cellular data versions of tablets were ripoffs. The money I save by getting the WiFi only version funded me a mobile hotspot and half a year of connection...which is actually useful on more than one device. Ignoring the cellular data enables version to get a mobile hotspot is simply a more intelligent choice

Or you could just go to the tethering section of your phone and turn that on and not pay anything over a WiFi version. $130 for an LTE radio + $10/month to AT&T? Why would I do that? I'll just turn on the tethering on my phone.

Two main problems with the two suggestions here... 1) Tethering on a phone, especially with LTE, utterly destroys battery life, and 2) a MiFi device, apart from taking up even more space in luggage when travelling, is yet another thing one has to remember to keep charged on a regular basis. Some people just don't have the time or inclination to keep track of yet another battery.

At the risk of sounding stupid...
Is data consumption the same on a tablet as it is on the phone?
Example... I launch IE and head to ufc.com (desktop version) will I consume more data because I'm tethering and browsing on my surface or would it be relatively the same as if I was browsing on my phone? I hope this makes sense.

Assuming that a) both devices were connected directly to the mobile/wifi network and b) data sense or similar had not been compressing data, then yes the data usage would be the same.

However, when tethering, the phone would have to process the data twice - firstly to download it from the mobile network, then to encode it and send it over the wifi network - that is why in data sense, the internet sharing application on windows phone reports roughly equal usage for mobile data and wifi. This, combing with having to keep both LTE and WiFi connections active permanently (which isn't normally the case as the phone can intelligently switch off the LTE connection when it doesn't really need it), means that the battery (which is what I was pointing out) gets hit hard.

I'd have to agree with you about tethering killing battery life when it's used on a phone, but your second point completely ignores the near-insignificant mobile footprint a hotspot has, and the vast availability of charging. Carrying my hotspot around feels like no burden at all, and while I almost never think to charge my mobile hotspot; finding a charge has never been a problem because everyone keeps a charger in their car.

...and there's still no counter-argument for how much more intelligent it is to pay for something that supports 1-5 connections instead of just one.

Windows has had support for Internet Connection Sharing years and remains true for Windows RT. So your LTE-enabled tablet can be a mobile hotspot like your phone. You can find instructions online for enabling it online.

Whilst mobile hotspots aren't 'big', they are larger than most smartphones (especially if you have an LTE one), they are still additional burden to carry for those who already have to carry around far too much. There is only so much bulk and weight I can carry in a rucksack.

Your comment about charging availability is also highly presumptious. Yes, I own a car, but no, I don't use it for all of my travel - 75% of my travel is by train, where charging opportunities are rarely reliable. Similarly, locating a plug socket in a public place is remarkably difficult. I rarely have a need for a plug away from home, but the larger problem is the sheer number of plugs, chargers and cable ties I already have knocking around at home for all the stuff that needs charging every night.

If I need more connections, I can use my phone or tablet to offer up a WiFi hotspot to other devices. But the obvious counter-argument is that if you don't need five (or 8 in some cases) connections, there is no need or point in buying a device that supports them.

MiFi devices are fine for some people, but I still won't be buying one (or taking the one work keep offering me) because I frankly have no desire or need for one.

I bought my mi-fi device after I ditched my 3G iPad for a Surface 2. I must admit, I thought it would be a bit of a pain but it's not. It's a tiny wee thing, smaller than a phone (almost the size of the Pebble if that means anything to you) and sits in the front pouch of my bag which contains cables, usb sticks and chargers. It takes up next to no room and next to no weight but it means I get a better data contract than if I was paying for a device under contract (currently 5GB for £8). It also means that when I'm out and about I can connect my phone and my wife's phone, Surface, iPad whatever to the same device. When the charge runs low on the my-fi I just plug it into the USB port on the Surface to charge it.

It's like you said, each to their own and it has the drawback of remembering to bring it, but when I do forget I've still got my phone as a backup rather than relying on it as my hotspot.

 

Now I am glad I got the 2520, it does everything I want it to do and I can use it anywhere and it cost much less that the new iPad with the LTE and now all my stuff talks to one another 

The Surface's cost just seems prohibitive for me... I really like what I'm seeing with them, but I (don't we all) would have hoped 399$ tops for the Surface 2 LTE, and 749$ for the Pro 2, then maybe a next tier for a professional docking series at the 999$ price tag, with built in discrete. But too hopeful?

On the 399$ for the Surface 2 tho, I still end up looking at full experiences like the Thinkpad 8; full Windows 8.1 at a similar price. Toss in a full active digitizer OR 4GB of RAM and I'd swoon. BOTH? I'd faint.

As much as I would like the price to be lower, BUT Surface are no cheap plastic tablets, laptops. these are classy, titanium and awesome design.   Lets be serious, you do get what you paid for and im proud to be seen with something expensive and with style.

iphone, ipad, mac book pro are stylus and expensive.  Bring on the challenge Surface, Nokia phone!

 

Why don't they just retire RT branch? Its stupid in my mind, why not just have the original windows 8 on surface with a lower price? That would be a win if they introduce surface 3 with full windows 8.1 not RT

But dont you think it would be more useful if it could run the legacy apps? I wanted to buy a lumia 2520 but i walked into best buy tried to download chrome and it wouldnt, they dont even have it on the store! Disappointed

I don't get why people complain about rt......it is a mobile is, just like the iPad does not run a desktop os.
Rt is very useful, it just needs to run windows phone coded apps and the empty app store would be solved ! I love my 2520, way more productive than an iPad, and personally I don't need a tablet to run "legacy" apps

Because it's confusing for the typical consumer. You have the metro side where the RT shines, then you have this faux-desktop environment where it's nothing like how a real Windows OS works. Not to mention the Baytrail pricing are right up there with RTs anyway, so why not just stick in an Atom to get the best of both worlds?

I love MS and all, but a $700 RT tablet is a joke and I hope it fails. Seriously, what were they thinking? With the coming of WP8.1 and supposed planning of the WP + RT merging, seeing new RT devices makes me sad.

Show me an Intel powered device that's as portable as a Surface 2 with that sort of battery life. I take my Surface 2 when I'm on a client site, and no need for the charger. Light weight, I have all the office applications and it costs less than an Intel device with half the battery life

Dell Venue 11 Pro, Asus Transformer T100, HP Omni 10, Lenovo Miix 2 10 - all Atom powered, all able to run all day, all capable of running legacy programs. RT is completely unnecessary and from the poor sales, completely a failure too. Kill it already.

Nonsense. I have both the Surface 2 and the Dell Venue 11 Pro (Atom) and they are not even in the same league because of:

- Dell's connected standby time about half of Surface 2

- Dell has high latency for notifications in standby mode, sometimes it is completely dropping skype calls etc. ...not with the Surface 2

- Baytrail has a crappy GPU, games running considerably slower on Dell compared to Surface 2

- Dell is thicker and much heavier than Surface 2

- While Dell is compatible with desktop programs, which i do not use anyway, it is at the same time compatible with practically all existing viruses and trojans - Surface 2 is not compatible with such malware

Luckily i got the Dell as gift. I surely would not have bought it.

 

I don't use any legacy apps even on my full 8.1 Pro machine... Which I suspect is the same as around 90% of the population. People have accepted that you simply cant practically use legacy desktop apps on a tablet, even with my 13" Yoga 13 its just too impractical.

No, i will not be more useful for me, because i do not run dektop apps on my tablet and i do not intent to do so. I'd rather take the resistance of RT against common viruses and trojans as a big bonus.

In addition Intels GPUs are lagging behind the ARM competition by quite a bit. So if i have the choice, and thankfulle i have, i prefer the ARM SoCs.

Well then remove the desktop that just fools people! And take the damn price down u can buy a computer with that price

Malware-free, malware-free, malware-free (wow, I really sound like Ballmer). When people get a tablet that is supposed to work like a tablet, they want it to be malware free. With the RT running a different processor architecture, it makes it near impossible for malware writers to create malware for it.

Because frankly without Windows for ARM you will not be able to buy a Windows tablet without the in many cases superior ARM processors.

And since the Surface is the only choice for customers who want to buy a Windows tablet with ARM processors i do not see a reason for Microsoft to change this.

Makes no sense restrikting choice here.

I love the fact that RT devices offer great battery life and NO LEGACY application support! If Microsoft can get WP, RT, & Metro APIs at synergy, that would be AWESOME SAUCE!!!!!!!

The price point seems high to me. I understand not compared to the Surface Pro and IPad, but in general. Why not get a laptop convertible at this price point or close?

Everyone, this is a flagship premium product. The price is reasonable considering a 16gb ipad air is $629.99 before the $100 2yr. discount. Go to att and you'll see the air is $529.99 w/contract.

If this is the same for $579 w/contract, it's already a world better than ipad. 4 times the storage, and most importantly the stand. I can't stress how much the integrated stand means to me. Not needing a case for a 1 position stand on the 2520 is already better for me, plus the keyboard folded back doesn't look like a flat purse like the 2520 keyboard either. Also, being able to not have to whip out my phone and toggle on the hotspot is going to be awesome. Even at $10/mo added to my mobile share, it's worth it not having that hassle.

Also, I don't see them not selling the 32gb model. Maybe Daniel's sources just didn't get a photo of those.

 

Copying iPad pricing doesn't make it reasonable. Apple pricing is the definition of unreasonable. 

ASUS can add an LTE radio to a $270 tablet for $80. That is a lot more reasonable. 

How is selling a similar product for nearly 20% less 'copying iPad pricing'..Asus builds a plastic box where Surface will probably need a bit more engineering and a better/stronger solution due to the housing alone.

Making an alloy product vs making a plastic product is a huge difference. Software might be similar, but hardware is definitely two different worlds.

Not all hardware is created equally. Like many have said, Surface is a premium devices, with premium hardware, that cost premium dollars yet it is still cheaper than the iPad at comparable configurations. I can guarenetee Asus isn't putting a top quality radio in a budget device.

Difference is apple ipads are well supported by apps designers, something windows is slowly catching up.

And price range on both is out of reach of most, putting food on table outweighs a new toy.

If Porsche sells 40,000 cars, they will be fine.  Thats a luxury product.

A product that needs to sell many millions of units if it wants to stay on the market cant be a luxury product.  Specially if you are already far behind the competition.

The surface LTE will fail simply because people will buy an ipad instead. (Or a Lumia 2520 as some other people are pointing)

Going to the club rather than pay the rent is important to some too. People will do what they want and find a way to pay for it.

Some people will do that indeed.  But if you think that will be enough to keep windows tablets on the market you are very wrong.

Try opening a business based on your thought and see how far you go.

 If you have a Windows Phone and a Windows 8.1 device you do not need to whip out your phone to turn on the hotspot. If you connect the once via bluetooth you can toggle the hotspot on from your Windows 8.1 device any time you need it. Then, when you're done, you can either disconect or let the connection time out. I use this every day, it's nearly as good as having LTE built into the device.

$130 for an LTE radio? Did they really have to copy Apple prices again?

Why do people even pay for this crap? It's too expensive. How about $0 base  + $0/month for wifi tether on phone

Copying Apple prices, or competitive pricing?
Actually with all the things the Surface has that the iPad doesn't, it could be considered a deal I suppose.

iPad is piece of junk compared to Surface. You have so much more functionality than the iPad. Are you saying that we should devalue the product by having it less than the iPad? That makes the iPad look like they are more worth it than the Surface.

Expensive yes, but it will sell. I'll stick with my surface pro as most places have WiFi. Glad to see an LTE device.

Will sell like cupcakes just like the surface 2 and surface 2 pro and dont forget the 900mio writeoff of the surface one family

I really love their new Simple Choice plans. I don't know if you heard, but starting March 23 (if I recall correctly), the plan is supposed to (almost) double. The 500mb plans would have 1GB and other plans get some additions.

However, the purpose of the reply is this - I wonder if T-Mobile has wifi hotspots, or if their wireless band supports the Surface. Maybe if the Surface can be unlocked for T-Mobile, maybe it can run it? Tethering from phone really kills the battery.

Great, although some would argue that this model should have this from the start. Now only a 128GB Surface 2 is missing and you have a deal Microsoft (even if I think that the additional price is a bit too large for a sim slot which somehow is included in every phone).

Ehhhhnnn... I want am LTE Surface, but would prefer a Pro over an RT. Guess I'll have to wait some more. Thanks, Obama!

Wow highly priced, something MS should consider.. Didn't I read that surface tablet sales were below expected numbers. Maybe price is a fact.

Looks nice, but sadly 2 apps we use are not on windows 8 yet (or will be) and barely on android.

Does it have built-in GPS? It doesn't seem that the box indicates that it does from that picture. Its important, I wish Microsoft would annouce this already officially and address if it has GPS or not.

Nice :) if this ever makes it into Europe it'll be much more attractive with built in LTE. Of course, that means Microsoft would have to remember that places other than America exist, sadly.

And to all those complaining about the price, try converting some European prices into dollars. Surface is one of the very few products which is fairly converted across the world, most of the time Europeans have to pay up to double for no discernable reason.

64 gig iPad with LTE is $829 before tax of I'm not mistaking....how is the price of something that does more not worth $679? If you can afford it get it, if not others will

exactly!  I'm tired of people complaining how expensive.

Want something cheap, get Android . 
Want high quality- Get iPad or Surface (with Full Microsoft Office(student/home)/kickstand at no charge).

 

No more question ask.

Yikes, a $130 hike was hoping it would be cheaper than that lol. Will wait confirmation of specs and bundle options before i make up my mind up now.

Why $130 for LTE? It seems way too high. I know apple does the same but damn. Surface sales are low and pricing stuff this high seems dumb.

I might actually buy the 64 GB with LTE, as I like my Surface 2 32 GB more than I expected. I would love the Pro 2 with LTE even more tho...

It's hard to accept, but Surface is a PREMIUM product. If it had the ridiculously high app count, I guess some would accept its PREMIUM pricing - nah, they'd still complain.

Wondering if they will also introduce a Black version of the Surface 2. I don't like the white/greyish back of the current model. Reminds me of iPads too much.

They were able to increase the durability of the device by not treating the magnesium case on the S2 as they did with the Surface RT and that is what it's light grey. They will not be releasing a S2 in the dark color.

This pricing makes me happy I opted for the Lumia 2520. I have 36 GB less of memory, but I have GPS and only paid $500 off contract. Add to that the $25 cash back with my Discover card, $40 in Microsoft store credits ($20 initially and another $20 due to the powered keyboard delay), $10 Amazon gift card for taking a Nokia survey, and the free powered keyboard, for me it was a bargain. I do not have a lot of need for the LTE, and initially thought I would pay as I needed it, but with the free tethering with the ATT shared plans, I can tether it to my 920 when I need data access. I am thinking I could always plug my 920 into the USB port on my powered keyboard if I needed to charge it to offset the battery drain. The surface 2 is a great tablet, but for me it makes the 2520 seem like a bargain. Oh, and I moved the restore partition to a USB flash drive to free up more memory and addeda 64GB micro SD card that I use for my pictures and music, so memory is not an issue for me yet.

At this price they really don't want to sell them, clearly.
And no point bringing the iPad comparisons here. Microsoft lacks one very important thing that Apple has: brand loyalty and fandom. People will buy overpriced iPads just because it's Apple. Almost no one will buy an overpriced Surface because it's Microsoft's.
I thought they had learned that from the disaster that were the original Surfaces...
Oh well, good for Nokia that will certainly be selling more 2520's...if they ever put them for sale in Europe...

|At this price they really don't want to sell them, clearly.
And no point bringing the iPad comparisons here. Microsoft lacks one very important thing that Apple has: brand loyalty and fandom. People will buy overpriced iPads just because it's Apple. Almost no one will buy an overpriced Surface because it's Microsoft's.
I thought they had learned that from the disaster that were the original Surfaces...
Oh well, good for Nokia that will certainly be selling more 2520's...if they ever put them for sale in Europe...

 

Obviously they have been drinking too much kooliad.

Can Android do this?

Can ipad do this?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wG1b0yBJHLM&feature=share&list=UUqD1vWlpai9SUvfNfzVvUqA&index=7

We have the winner here.

 

I would like a Surface 2 RT, but I'm not spending the cash till Microsoft figures out what their vision for a unified tablet, phone and desktop O.S. is. There is talk of RT's demise during this unification process and I have no need to be stuck with a device that may or may not get a software update to whatever gets released.

Would love to see this become available on contract here in the UK - I would've had the Nokia Lumia 2520 4G tablet already, had John Lewis not scored exclusivity on the device

Would prefer to have a Windows 8 or Windows RT device with 4G connectivity on contract I have to admit but no UK carrier offers this yet :-(

Dear Microsoft - I love your devices, if you want to sell more of them, please lower the price.  The Surface 2 with LTE should be no more than 499$, and 399$ without.  Note - I had Surface RT, love it, bought it at launch with typepad keyboard (spent over 700$ on the thing), and beta tested the thing for free, I loved it - and just found myself wanting a bit more from it.  I had x86 envy, so sold it and bought the Dell Venue 8 Pro - love that device too, but find myself needing hdmi out.  Al that being said - I think Surface, and Surface Pro are amazing devices, but to gain more traction / market share, you need to do something, and I think that something is to lower the price 100$ - or maybe include the keyboards.