In a "late to the game" announcement, Microsoft is giving customers the ability to utilize mobile broadband networks with a new Surface 2 model. Available today, Surface 2 4G LTE is limited to the AT&T network and available online at the Microsoft store, all Best Buy retail stores and sites, and through the list of authorized Surface resellers. LTE capability should have been baked into the Surface line since the beginning, but even more so in the Surface series 2 models after Microsoft had almost a year to listen to customer requests.
The new device comes with 64GB of space onboard and retails for $679 USD. If that price holds for the unveiling today that makes the new unit just a little over $100 more than the non-LTE Surface 2 device. Those that choose to purchase the Surface 2 LTE will also receive 200GB of free OneDrive storage for two years.
Obviously, this is a valuable option for those that want to stay connected at all times, but, unfortunately, for those who want to be more productive, the LTE option is not available for the Surface Pro series, and there's been no chatter about such a device. And, since the Surface 2 LTE releases as an AT&T network exclusive, connectivity will most likely be spotty in certain areas. I've read explanations before on why AT&T keeps getting exclusivity and first-run devices, but it still never makes perfect sense. If Microsoft wants to make a device like this a success, it needs to run on a more reliable network.
Best Buy has tacked on an additional 99 cents and the Surface 2 LTE can be ordered here: Microsoft - Surface 2 - 64GB (AT&T 4G LTE) - Magnesium
The Microsoft Store has also been updated and provided the ability to save 99 cents: Surface 2 – 64GB for AT&T
UPDATE: On March 21st, an email from Microsoft showed up in my inbox, wanting to assure readers that, while the Surface 2 LTE releases through AT&T, that the device is not exclusive to AT&T. The Surface 2 LTE is an unlocked tablet capable of accepting any GSM micro-SIM card and works with the following cellular network bands:
• 2G GSM (Quadband: 850/900/1800/1900)
• 3G UMTS (Bands 1, 2, 5)
• 4G LTE (Bands 4, 7, 17)