Microsoft has today announced that its "next generation of Surface 2", the Surface 2 (4G), is now available for pre-order via the Microsoft Store online in the UK. The tablet hybrid is also said to be available from 8th May at a number of high street retailers and associated online outlets. US residents got a Surface 2 4G, tied to AT&T, just over three weeks ago.
The Surface 2 (4G) is touted as "allowing more people to stay connected and be even more productive on the go," thanks to its cellular connectivity in addition to the regular Wi-Fi connection. Of course it can connect with a variety of mobile data networks at up to 4G LTE speeds.
A micro-SIM card slot allows users to choose a mobile network provider and get connected on the go. Otherwise the Microsoft Surface 2 (4G) is very much the same machine as the Surface 2. Under the VaporMg hood processing is taken care of by an Nvidia Tegra 4 processor with 2GB of RAM. There's 64GB of storage built-in and a microSDXC card reader (plus full sized USB 3.0 port). You get a ClearType 1920 x 1080 pixel 5-point multi-touch screen. A 3.5 megapixel front-facing and a 5.0 megapixel rear-facing camera are built-in. You should get a battery life of up to 10 hours (video playback). The OS is Windows RT 8.1 and Office Home & Student RT and Outlook RT are pre-loaded. We are informed that the Surface 2 (4G) weighs 10g more than the Surface 2 – if that's important to anyone.
Microsoft's press release suggests that only a 64GB version of the Surface 2 (4G) will be available at launch with an estimated retail price of £539. However it does a little to sweeten the deal; new customers will receive free Skype calling to landlines in more than 60 countries and unlimited Skype Wi-Fi at more than 2 million hot spots worldwide for one year, also 200 GB of free OneDrive storage will be provided for two years.
At the time of writing Microsoft hasn't yet updated its UK Store website with the Surface 2 (4G) and its associated product information and pre-order page.
UPDATE: here is the pre-order page.