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Leak at Ignite 2017 suggests when the Surface Pro 2017 LTE model will land

Surface Pro 2017
After briefly popping up for customers to pre-purchase through an online U.K retailer last week, the LTE version of Microsoft’s latest Surface Pro 2017 2-in-1 will reportedly be made available on December 1, 2017. The launch date was spilled by a Microsoft spokesperson during one of the many developer sessions at the company’s Ignite 2017 conference in Florida.

Panos Panay, the head of Microsoft’s Surface division, is slated to hold a keynote during the Microsoft Future Decoded event in London starting October 31. He’s expected to announce the launch date of the LTE-based Surface Pro 2017 model at that time. But the Microsoft representative speaking during the recent Ignite 2017 session claims the LTE versions are already listed on Microsoft’s online storefront. If so, we have yet to find them.

Based on the brief listings in the U.K. last week, Microsoft may limit cellular support to its current two Core i5 models. If you have yet to purchase Microsoft’s fifth-generation Surface Pro 2-in-1s, the Core i5 versions only come in two flavors: 256GB of storage and 8GB of system memory for $1,300, and 128GB of storage with 4GB of system memory for $1,000. Expect those prices to be higher with the added support for cellular connectivity.

Here are the overall specs if you missed them:

Screen size: 12.3 inches with 10-point touch input
Screen resolution: 2,736 x 1,824
Processor: Intel Core i5-7300U
Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 620
Memory: 4GB or 8GB
Storage: 128GB or 256GB SSD
Connectivity: Wireless AC
Bluetooth 4.1
Ports: 1x USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-A
1x MicroSD card reader
1x Headphone jack
1x Mini DisplayPort
1x Cover port
1x Surface Connect port
Camera: 1x Infrared camera
1x 5MP front-facing
1x 8MP rear-facing
Audio: 2x 1.6-watt speakers
Dolby Audio Premium
Battery: Up to 13.5v hours
Dimensions: 11.50 x 7.93 x 0.33 inches
Weight: 1.70 pounds

The latest Surface Pro (5) 2-in-1s made their debut in May 2017. After Microsoft said that LTE-based models would arrive before the year’s end, rumors surfaced that the units would center on an ARM-based processor instead of the current Intel CPUs. But then the two Surface Pro LTE models showed up last week sporting the Core i5-7300U processors offered in the current Wi-Fi models, killing that theory. The listings didn’t show any major changes in the two Core i5 configurations save for the added LTE cellular connectivity.

On the pricing front, we’re still playing the guessing game with Microsoft’s LTE models. Their former U.K. listings showed the 4GB/128GB model priced at 944 British pounds before taxes, or $1,269 in American dollars. Meanwhile, the 8GB/256GB model was priced at a meatier 1,169 pounds before taxes, which translates to $1,571. That’s a significant price increase over the Wi-Fi models for added cellular connectivity, but there’s more going on inside the Surface Pro than just adding a SIM card slot and antenna.

That said, LTE versions of the Core i7 models may not even be an option to keep the price ceiling under control. The Core i7 1TB/16GB model nearly hits the $3,000 roof as it is, so we can’t imagine the added pricing LTE support could bring.

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Kevin Parrish
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