Microsoft's Surface 2 challenges iPad with support for LTE broadband

New model allows network connections beyond Wi-Fi reach

Users of Microsoft's Surface 2 tablet no longer need to be tethered to Wi-Fi networks for connectivity with the availability today of a new model that supports LTE broadband.

Users of Microsoft's Surface 2 tablet no longer need to be tethered to Wi-Fi networks for connectivity with the availability tomorrow of a new model that supports LTE broadband.

Surface

Surface 2

Called Surface 2 (AT&T 4G LTE) the new model sells for $679 and is available in Microsoft retail stores and Best Buy, and is supported by AT&T’s LTE network, Microsoft says.

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While the 64GB device is unlocked and can be configured for other providers’ networks, Microsoft makes performance guarantees only for AT&T’s.

Pricing for the device seems set to take on Apple’s iPad Air, whose 64GB version costs $829. The Surface 2 comes with Microsoft’s home and student version of Office. There is no Office for iPad, although users can buy an Office 365 subscription for the device.

Surface 2 also comes with free Skype calls to traditional phones for a year, free access for a year to a worldwide network of Wi-Fi hotspots and two years’ of 200GB storage in Microsoft’s OneDrive cloud storage service.

Surface 2 specs

Click to see: Chart of Surface 2 specs

Tim Greene covers Microsoft and unified communications for Network World and writes the Mostly Microsoft blog. Reach him at tgreene@nww.com and follow him on Twitter @Tim_Greene.

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