Microsoft announced the Surface Go tablet in July to appeal to people looking for something a little smaller--and cheaper--than its existing Surface and Surface Pro offerings. Now the company has announced a new Surface Go model with LTE compatibility for those who need constant connectivity.
We reviewed the Surface Go back in August. Our takeaway was mostly positive--it's a svelte tablet with a compelling display hindered mostly by the lack of a bundled keyboard and its short battery life. It makes sense, then, for Microsoft to continue to invest in the new product. That's especially true when it comes to internet connectivity; a 10-inch tablet is more likely to be used outside of a Wi-Fi network's range than its larger brethren.
Microsoft is positioning the Surface Go with LTE Advanced (the model name it used in its announcement, but not on the Surface Go's page on the Microsoft Store) as an enterprise product. Microsoft said having a cellular connection allows business users to take the Surface Go anywhere without having to worry about Wi-Fi, and that this bolsters security by letting companies avoid unfamiliar Wi-Fi networks, while otherwise enabling people in the field.
The company didn't offer specific information about the Surface Go with LTE Advanced's cellular access--it merely stated "service availability and performance subject to service provider’s network," and that potential buyers should contact their service provider for "details, compatibility, pricing, SIM card, and activation." That's much less informative than Apple's page (opens in new tab) about iPad connectivity, for example, and likely to frustrate some shoppers.
Microsoft said the Surface Go with LTE Advanced is available for pre-order now in the U.S. and "select markets," with availability expanding to a total of 23 markets by November 22. It costs $679 (opens in new tab) for consumers (£619.00 including VAT (opens in new tab)) and $729 for commercial buyers. The company didn't say when pre-orders would ship; the model is merely listed as "out of stock" on Microsoft's store and the company didn't elaborate in its announcement.