So I am little late reporting this but my favorite PC Microsoft’s Surface Pro has now finally got LTE support and is available through retail channels.
Surface Pro LTE was first available for businesses late last year. But Microsoft expanded the reach and is now available through Microsoft website, retail stores in US, Canada and Australia. Yes, Surface Pro or even the LTE versions have not been available officially in Kenya since Surface Pro 1. However it is still sold (mostly without local warranty & support) through various local electronic shops and online shopping sites.
As I have hinted before, Surface Pro is my go to device and one of my favorites when it comes to 2-in-1 PCs. It is highly build, looks and feels premium, works exceptionally well, the detachable keyboard works great and converting it into working PC (by docking it with monitor + keyboard + mouse) or a tablet is simply a delight.
Adding 4G LTE support is a small but important addition into the device which makes it true mobile/tablet device specially for those who love being connected all the time.
Unlike the West, here in Kenya not everywhere we go we find Wi-Fi or hot-spots granted now days most of the major cafeterias give free Wi-Fi but still it is not available throughout. And we if you are on the road then the only option you are left with is tethering your mobile phone to Surface Pro, something I do often but honestly, I am not a fan of this. For one, it drains your mobile device’s battery way fast, it heats up your phone, the throughput is low and the hassle of removing your phone and switching on tethering isn’t the most ideal experience.
Surface Pro LTE Advanced comes carrier free or unlocked device which means, in Kenya you can insert Safaricom or Airtel nano SIM cards and it will just work.
The SIM slot sits right next to the already existing micro SD Card slot at the back of the device underneath the kickstand.
With the addition of LTE, the network availability in today’s Surface Pro devices include wireless networks – WiFi: IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac compatible, BT wireless 4.1 & now LTE Advanced.
Point to note is, not all Surface Pro versions comes with LTE support. These are two different variants of the device, so Microsoft sells non LTE Surface Pro and with LTE support. Do check for the options before purchasing.
So price for the Surface Pro (2017) with LTE with similar specifications that I have (SP4) goes for $1,449 or approx Ksh 146,700 for a Core i5, 256GB storage and 8GB RAM.
Surface Pro LTE may not be for everyone but it is surely an important addition to the Surface Pro family of products and a feature that was long awaited for. While tablets like iPads have supported LTE for the longest time, Surface Pro has taken many years to bring a simple functionality as LTE. I understand, Microsoft recently started marketing Surface Pro as a PC and not a tablet first. But whether they market it nor not, it is a 2-in-1 device that works as a PC and a tablet.