Months after promising a Surface 2 tablet with mobile broadband inside, Microsoft delivered on Monday. Starting tomorrow for $679, consumers can purchase a 64 GB edition of the Windows RT tablet that includes an LTE radio. The 4G service will work on AT&T’s network, although the carrier isn’t selling the device. Instead, you can buy the Surface 2 LTE from Microsoft directly or in Best Buy stores.
Without LTE service, Microsoft’s Surface 2 costs $449 or $549 for either a 32 or 64 GB model. Since the former edition isn’t available with LTE, the $679 cost of the new version is a $130 premium over the 64 GB Wi-Fi model, which is in line with Apple’s iPads that come with LTE service. Adding a Surface keyboard is still optional with the new Surface Type Cover 2 costing $120.
The addition of LTE is a great option for the Surface 2 although it may be too little too late. The tablet, which doesn’t run any old Windows apps, is competing with similar priced — or even less expensive — full Windows 8.1 tablets that run both old and new Windows software titles. Windows RT does have a benefit that these don’t provide however: They’re less susceptible to viruses or malware as Microsoft controls which apps can and can’t be installed on them.