Microsoft has announced that the 4G LTE-ready version of the Surface 3 will be available for purchase in the UK and Germany from Friday, 3rd July. The first such devices went on sale in Japan two weeks ago. This initial rollout will be aimed at business customers and purchasable via O2 (UK) and Deutsche Telekom (Germany). Business customers in France (Orange Business Services) and Spain (Movistar) will get their hands on the Surface 3 with 4G LTE a little later.
If you are not a business customer then you will have to wait for retail availability "in the coming weeks". Microsoft says such availability will come to France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Microsoft decided to make its new Surface 3 with 4G LTE available to business customers first as the ability to stay connected wherever you are is of particular utility to businesses and their sales forces. It says that two configurations will be made available to business customers, based upon prior feedback for the machine:
- Microsoft Surface 3 with 4G LTE, 4GB RAM, 64GB fixed storage
- Microsoft Surface 3 with 4G LTE, 4GB RAM, 128GB fixed storage
Both the above will come with Windows 8.1 Professional installed and be upgradeable to Windows 10 at the end of the month.
As a reminder of the standard specs of a Surface 3 please check out the list below:
- Display: 10.8-inch ClearType Full HD Plus Display • Resolution: 1,920 x 1,280 • Aspect ratio: 3:2 • Touch: 10 point multi-touch • Surface Pen support
- Processor: Quad-core Intel Atom x7-Z8700 processor (2MB Cache, 1.6GHz with Intel Burst technology up to 2.4GHz)
- Physical: 267 x 187 x 8.7 mm, 622g
- Battery: 10 hours
- Network: Wi-Fi (802.11 a/b/g/n/ac) • Bluetooth 4.0
- Ports: Full-size USB 3.0 • Mini DisplayPort • microSD card reader • Micro USB charging port • Headset jack • Cover port
- Cameras & sensors: 3.5 megapixel front-facing camera • 8.0 megapixel rear-facing camera with autofocus • Microphone • Stereo speakers with Dolby audio • Ambient light sensor • Proximity sensor • Accelerometer • Gyroscope • Magnetometer
Of course 4G LTE will be added to the list above. The Type cover and Surface pen are sold separately. In the UK the non-LTE versions cost £419 for a 2GB RAM/64GB storage version and £499 for a 4GB RAM/128GB storage version. As for the new LTE versions, in an email we were told that O2 UK would be pricing the tablet "from just £50 up front, then £27.67 a month". That's cheaper than a lot of mobile phone contracts and would include a decent data allowance, one would hope.