Microsoft launches Surface 2 LTE for $679

If the only thing keeping you from buying a Windows RT tablet was the lack of support for 4G LTE wireless, Microsoft’s got you covered. Starting March 18th, you’ll be able to pick up a Surface 2 with support for AT&T and Verizon LTE networks and 64GB of storage for $679.

Or you could save a bundle and buy a Nokia Lumia 2520 tablet with prices starting at $399.

surface 2 lte

The Surface 2 features an NVIDIA Tegra 4 quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, and a full HD display while Nokia’s tablet has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 quad-core CPU, 2GB  of RAM… and a full HD display.

Microsoft’s tablet does have a few things going for it including support for the company’s Touch and Type covers and when you buy the tablet it will come with 200GB of cloud storage with Microsoft OneDrive for 2 years.

But $679 is still a lot of money for a Windows tablet that only runs Windows Store apps (and Microsoft Office), but not traditional desktop Windows software.

  • ken

    Should I stop holding my breath for a Surface Mini Pro running on a Bay Trail chip?

    • Grant Russell

      I would also love a Surface Mini Pro. But I want them to wait for the next 64bit Bay Trail chips. I really want an 8″ Windows 8.1 tablet, with 64bit windows, and at least 4 gb Ram. Also, a full-size USB port is a must.

      • CyberGusa

        Bay Trail is already 64bit… The only things holding it back is the lack of more than 2GB of RAM on mobile devices, 4GB LP-DDR3 RAM isn’t yet massed produced enough to be an affordable option but should be soon, also MS was late on supporting Connected Standby for 64bit Windows 8 and that has only recently become available, and many OEMs rushed devices to market and thus saved time by still using the 32bit UEFI firmware they originally developed for Clover Trail devices…

        But, since Bay Trail is already 64bit, most devices should just need updated drivers and firmware to be able to upgrade them to full 64bit usage… Though, some companies will likely wait until they release devices with 4GB of RAM to help promote them for new purchases…

  • Rabidmob

    Windows RT what’s is good about it?

    • CyberGusa

      Depends on your usage needs… If you need something more than a typical mobile device then RT could be a solution… Main appeal is probably to companies that want something easy to integrate into their Enterprise environments, for their employees BYOD options, and fits into their usage needs…

      Mind, it comes with a free copy of MS Office Home & Student 2013 RT edition… along with also now including Outlook, something you normally need to get the pro version to get… and the 200GB of cloud storage with Microsoft OneDrive for 2 years adds to the value… So companies could view it as a better deal… especially, if that’s all their employees need…

      There are just two main problems with RT… 1) MS made a big mistake by not making it abundantly clear from the start how RT differed from W8… and 2) Like any new OS platform it’s going to take a long time before it’ll have a good App market… This last one is further compounded by how locked down RT, even though companies can create their own internal app store but that doesn’t help individual users… and without legacy desktop support it becomes an essentially different branch of Windows…

      But what RT really has to worry about is the continued success of Intel’s ATOMs… RT was created to run on low cost ARM devices and many of the limitations are because it has to run on ARM, but with low cost x86 solutions available now that can run the full W8 it becomes a far harder sell for RT that originally counted on the large price gap between ARM and x86 solutions…

      • Tsais

        Clueless writing wall of words.

        Just to correct the most important point:

        Windows RT originally had support for ‘legacy’ windows applications on ARM. But Intel didn’t feel like having to compete with hordes of ARM chip makers, and managed to convince Microsoft to pull that feature. Essentially, this rendered Windows RT dead in the water before it was released.

        As of December 2013, there are zero good reasons to purchase Windows RT, as you can easily run full Windows 8 on baytrail hardware costing no more than an obsolete RT tablet.

        Watch Microsoft pull the plug on RT shortly as they move on to new versions of Windphone OS.

      • CyberGusa

        Sorry but you’re the one who is clueless, and obviously very biased, if you ever believed RT was ever intended to have any serious x86 legacy support on ARM… Simply put x86 apps aren’t easily ported to work on ARM and at the time RT was first developed was stuck with limited options like the Tegra 3, which is what many RT devices did use, but these couldn’t even rival a dual core ATOM from the netbook days!

        Never mind that the only serious way to run legacy x86 apps being via emulation, which would never be 100% effective, the performance hit would have been too great to run anything but very basic apps and there would always be apps that either ran buggy or didn’t run at all under emulation…

        Really, even on x86 the legacy desktop is suspended on Connected Standby enabled systems because legacy x86 desktop apps were never designed to support mobile power efficiency, which combined with using more resources than mobile apps would have caused serious battery drain issues for any mobile device!

        So, like I said, many of the limitations of RT are there because of the limitations ARM forced them to work with…

        Sure, ARM can offer much better performance range now but that was hardly the case when RT was first being developed… Cortex A9 SoCs couldn’t even offer much in the way of VM support or other ways to take advantage of hardware acceleration… Even Android can run sluggishly on much more powerful PCs when run in emulation…

        So let’s not confuse rumors made by people who like to make up conspiracies where there are none with why RT is designed the way it is…

      • beomagi

        You cannot knock x86 for power, not anymore.
        It really has proven itself effective. Asus T100, Dell Venue pro 8/11 and other tablets with x86 hardware are doing VERY well for battery life while delivering decent x86 performance. We’re looking at 8-10 hours of working time, and as much as 18 hours in the case of the Venue 11 with keyboard. The only point that gives it validity is the free office tools, but these are cut down versions. you can read what is missing here:
        http://www.tabletpcreview.com/default.asp?newsID=3490&news=microsoft+windows+rt+office+2013+x86+x64+differences
        It’s advantage over free solutions is lost with these.

        “If you need something more than a typical mobile device then RT could be a solution” : It can easily be argued that Android and IOS have more penetration than RT, because IT departments have already been working with getting employee phones setup with their exchange servers. With the exception of Macros, and Visio docs my android tablet has been able to do what’s necessary for work – mostly viewing documents, webex, email, minor document editing, minor scripting. I consider this to be a “typical mobile device” – what makes an RT device “more”?

        The windows App store is appalling. There’s a handful of OK apps in there, but it’s flooded with poorly made clones. How many flappy bird clones are in there now? it’s a sorry state of affairs. Seriously how long before a good video app? Press play is one of the better ones and it still is lacking format support compared to VLC/Media Player in x86 world or MX/BS player on Android.

      • CyberGusa

        I wasn’t knocking x86 for power, I was pointing out ARM’s lack of performance and that a big part of the reason why RT is so limited is because it has to run on ARM!

        Though, the counter to finally being competitive on power efficiency is that x86 has started to lose its performance advantage… It used to be ARM had the clearly better power efficiency but x86 offered much more performance… but now that x86 has caught up with mobile power efficiency, ARM has started to catch up on performance…

        The main disparity remaining being graphical performance, as Bay Trail GMA is still only about mid range in raw performance but Intel is working on fixing that with the upcoming Cherry Trail, moving rapidly to Intel Gen8 (Broadwell based) GPU and scaling up to 16EU for significantly more graphical performance than Bay Trail and its Gen 7 (Ivy Bridge based) GPU with only 4EUs…

        Anyway, back to RT… Just to clear up the facts… The RT version of Office did start out pretty basic but it has since been improved, now including even Outlook which as I already stated you normally would only get with the Pro version of Office and the free version of Office for 10.8″ and smaller W8 tablets doesn’t include Outlook… This is important because Outlook is very important to Office workers who depend on MS Office and the inability to install the desktop version was one of the main early criticisms of RT…

        While MS is presently getting ready to release a ModernUI version of Office as well that will probably work even better with RT…

        Also, here’s a pro RT article, just to show not everyone thinks it’s doomed…

        http://betanews.com/2014/03/07/6-reasons-why-windows-rt-is-the-real-future-of-windows/

        So that answers the question of what’s RT got going for it…

        But, if you actually read my previous posts you’d know I also pointed out what RT has going against it and yes, the continued success of Intel’s ATOM series is the main threat… but not all companies want a fully flexible OS solution…

        A more locked down OS means it’s easier to ensure Enterprise security, easier to secure against possible threats, and in many cases the devices can be auto replaced every few years to help save the company money…

        So, don’t confuse a limited market niche with there being none… Companies like Delta Airlines already bought over 11,000 Surface 2′s for their pilots and WP devices for the rest of the crew…

        As to the Windows Apps store… seriously? It take years for any app ecosystem to develop… neither iOS or Android had good app ecosystem overnight! It took them years to get to where they are now… While we’re barely through the second year for the Windows App Store…

        So sure, it’s still very limited but it’s inevitable that will eventually change… MS pushing out an Modern UI version of Office is one of the major steps in that direction, showing pro apps can be made for it and eventually others will follow… It’s just a matter of time…

        Btw, VLC has a beta out for Modern UI W8 apps… it’s taking them a long time to get it to work properly on all systems but such apps are coming… Just some companies like Pandora are making it harder because they forced a pull down for any similar apps, like Metro Pandora, etc… meanwhile Pandora is taking their time getting their own app ready…

        Besides, many developers don’t start developing until they start using the devices the app is meant for and the success of products like the Asus T100 helps promote app development…

        Mind, devices with small screens and touch screens are where ModernUI has the clear advantage over traditional desktop apps… Especially, when factoring connected standby enabled devices where you need a ModernUI app to be able to maximize battery life and be able to play media while the screen is off… Since the desktop is auto suspended on CS enabled systems whenever the screen is turned off…

        So don’t judge on just what’s available now… Much like knowing whether a new business will be a success or failure, it typically takes a few years before a new app ecosystem can be judged fairly…

      • Tsais

        They already had the x86 apps working, before they pulled the plug.

        But go ahead, keep writing your wall of text posts, if you have nothing better to do…

      • CyberGusa

        Sorry but you really should stop trolling… Facts are facts and the simple reality is ARM can’t run x86 apps without the apps either being ported to run on ARM or run through a solution like emulation…

        Problem is ARM doesn’t provide enough performance to handle emulation… And porting apps has to be done properly or it can slow down the whole system!

        With barely enough performance to run Windows as it is, they never really had a choice about allowing legacy desktop apps…

        But hey, keep on trolling old discussions if you got nothing better to do…