Microsoft has officially announced a launch date for its Surface 3 with 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) modem, confirming that it will appear at UK retailers at the end of the week.
Announced as part of the launch line-up but with no firm release date, the Surface 3 (4G LTE) - to give the tablet model its official name - is identical to the existing Surface 3 Windows 8.1 tablets in all but one respect: as the name suggests, it includes an integrated 4G modem for on-the-go data access. 'The ability to stay connected wherever you roam (assuming a mobile broadband signal – thank you lawyers) is a powerful addition to a device that is already incredibly versatile,
' Microsoft's Brian Hall joked in the announcement
The Surface 3 (4G LTE) has already launch, of course, appearing in Japan two weeks ago via a partnership with local network Y!Mobile. Microsoft had kept the launch reasonably quiet, however, as it was loath to confirm international availability - until today, when it has opened the kimono to announce the UK launch on the 3rd of July, just two days away. Interestingly, this launch - along with a simultaneous launch in Germany - comes ahead of other regions including Microsoft's native North America, which will get the hardware 'in the coming weeks
' along with France and Spain.
The Surface 3 (4G LTE) will be sold in the UK via O2, which has yet to confirm formal pricing beyond promising that business customers will be able to pick up the base 64GB variant for £50 on a £27.67 per month contract; no pricing has yet been provided for the 128GB variant, nor has Microsoft - which Hall describes as 'focused on business availability
' initially - confirmed availability or pricing for SIM-free retail editions.