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Microsoft: Surface devices with multiple aspect ratios coming soon. Surface 2 with LTE on AT&T and Vodafone

Surface 2

Last week, Microsoft announced the Surface 2, Surface Pro 2, and a handful of accessories for the Surface family of devices. After the announcement, Surface boss Panos Panay did an AMA on Reddit where he and the team answered hundreds of questions. One thing we learned from the AMA was that an LTE version of the Surface 2 is planned for early next year.

Now we’ve got more details on which network you’ll be using it on.

We told you folks about the Surface tour near your local Microsoft Store. Last night was the first event with Panos Panay and team at the Microsoft Store in Seattle. He fielded questions from everyone in attendance and demonstrated the new features on the Surface 2.

So what did Panos tell the attendees last night? The Surface 2 with LTE support will come in early 2014 on AT&T in the United States and Vodafone for European markets. He was unclear whether or not we’d see an LTE variant for the Surface Pro 2.

What did he say when asked about the long rumored Surface Mini? Nothing concrete, but he did state that the team is working on various devices with multiple aspect ratios and sizes. Of course that response is expected since Microsoft clearly isn’t ready to announce any other devices beyond the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2.

So are which device are you most looking forward to? A Surface 2 with LTE support or a Surface Mini? Sound off below.

Source: GeekWire, Via: The Verge

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Reader comments

Microsoft: Surface devices with multiple aspect ratios coming soon. Surface 2 with LTE on AT&T and Vodafone

132 Comments

And what has happened so far, a nook app for for only windows 8, and not the phone? They honestly didn't need to buy most of barnes and nobles shares, as they just need to take the original surface and scale it down. Microsoft doesn't need to buy another company to help them with their tablets.

I guess the delay is due to the hardness in positioning a Surface mini.
If they make an rt version it will have to be extremely cheap, otherwise it will be a flop since other manufacturers seems to be working on cheap 7"-8" tablets powered by Atom processors running full windows 8. If they make an Atom powered device too they'll have a hard time finding the right price: if it is cheaper than a Surface 2 it will steal the scene to the middle brother (the biggest brother being the new Surface pro), on the other hand if it is more expensive than a Surface 2 it will be a niche item and won't sell that much. I guess they are also curious to see how well the new Acer w4 will sell and how much it will cost

Personally I would like to see all RT versions go away. Make tablets running WP8 and W8 and be done with it. No need for a bastardized third version. 

I understood that to mean 4:3 vs 16:9 (or possibly other aspect ratios, but that's not as likely).

i think to mini will come at the begining of the year, is MS can do that Apple and Android will have nowhere to hide.

They will never take over, they've given them far far far far far far far too big a lead. And I missed out some far's. But I do think Surface Mini will do well when it comes out with 8.1 and the unified RT/WP store.

Nobody is hiding from the Surface or Windows RT.
Well, except for all of the Windows OEMs who dumped it for Haswell full-Win 8 tablets and convertibles.

I'm not sure there's a need to split hairs over wording but Microsoft has shown time and time again that the left hand doesn't communicate with the right hand so in their siloed world, partnership isn't the worst choice of words.

Understandable but with the reorganization I would think that integration would be the word thought of going ahead in the future since the heads of these departments are gonna be working to integrate products together.

Agreed...and I expected someone to mention the reorg. In reality or a more perfect world, integration should be the best word to use because the company should run like a cohesive machine.

Xbox branding on a 8" and a personal media player would really change things. Tons of games overnight & gamers lining up to buy their mobile Xbox system. With the lack of durability in the iPods, teens are always in the market for a new device.

Like. Unfortunately, wish it wasn't the case, but it is. They just implemented it half-heartedly. If they really did a proper Xbox tablet then hopefully it would actually make a difference. And with the "one store" coming with WP 8.1 a deeper Xbox integration would finally benefit WP as well. Let's hope MS can get it right next time.

If you don't market it, it won't sell. By the way Zune is tons better than the iPod, even thought it hasn't been sold in years. I still have mine and the software is superior to anyone else.

I hope they do something different from a hardware standpoint too to differentiate the mini, it doesn't have to be a smaller replica does it?

I kinda understand what you're saying, but the surface design queues are great and different from all of the iPad look-a-likes.

But...it won't be branded as Surface and Microsoft hasn't bought anything officially yet so it will likely be branded as originally planned with Nokia.

Point taken however if you consider the dynamics the 1520 will be the foundation for that. The cross between the surface and the Lumia lines.

No, a surface phone or joint venture with Dell for an Alienware WP would be epic. All MS would need to do is get all of the major titles on WP and release WP8.1 with full feature sets.

Your mobile service provider is full on ifans & fandroids; accept it and stop blaming ATT!

During the Q&A I asked Panos if they were working on a Pro with cellular connectivity, and he flat out said "no." He apologized for being so blunt, then rattled off a statistic about how 50% of people who buy cellular tablets in the USA don't activate them. So he definitely confirmed that we won't be seeing a cellular pro. Then he referred back to the AMA and said that there would be the LTE version of the Surface 2 on At&t and Voda.

Correct, I was at the event also and his response was a strong "no" about a cellular Surface Pro. This is also what Geekwire and The Verge report in the source articles.

Yep. I was there too and there was nothing at all unclear about his answer on LTE and Surface Pro 2. In fact, he went on to say that Microsoft's telemetry shows people in the US will buy laptops with LTE but they never activate them and that LTE in devices was a bigger deal in Europe than the US.

I might look hard at a wireless only version.  No need for a LTE tablet (that i can see, for me).  My kids have some cheap 7" Android tablets and I feel they are just a bit small for my liking.  I have been holding off for some time on getting one.  I'm looking for just an e-mail checker, web surfer, with the occasional media play.  I don't feel I want to pay $400 for that simple feature set, so time will tell if I bite the bullet or not.  I look forward to the new devices coming and hope Microsoft starts paying more attention to making it right rather than just flooding the market.

Does anyone other than Apple make a tablet that isn't 16:9 ratio? The (non-Apple) market generally prefers 16:9, even if some users prefer 16:10

Outside of viewing movies, 4:3 seems like a better fit. It seems to distribute the weight evenly.

The nexus 7 is 16:10. And the vast majority of people prefer, or would prefer 16:10, but 16:9 is much easier to produce.

My question was not about personal preferences, but market realities -- i.e. 16:9 is what sells. If all the tablets outside of Apple are 16:9, then it seems that it might be cost prohibitive to get LCD panels in another aspect ratio.

will never buy a tablet with locked LTE; unless they release a global version with all existing LTE bands supported and with absolutely no carrier association, they can keep it, its bad enought that my lumia is crippled because of the a-holes at ATT don't need a cripled tablet as well
 

Yeah, I pretty much agree with you 925%.
 
Paying that damn much for a device should at least buy me a fuq'n choice if nothing else. 
 
The reall messed up part is that the LTE model will be the only one with GPS. I'm usually the last one to bad-mouth, or nit-pick MS over their decisions but this one bother me to no end.

Since I only use the Surface to work, I don't really need a "Mini" version. I find "Mini" versions are good for games or reading only. Since I don't like e-books and the games available on W8 are scarce, I don't need one.

But that LTE version on Vodafone sounds good. Not that I use Data plans (I don't need) but maybe I'll get one with the huge stock of loyalty points I have on Vodafone =D

A sphere❕ the "Surface Sphere" it would be like the brain in that UCAV from the movie stealth... Lol❕

Lte means you just get the speeds and you don't need WiFi to run your tablet, correct? Would you be able to make calls on it and texts since your on a network? Thanks and please with everything I say.

You can make calls and texts using services like Skype❕... Yeah,, I know.. That's not what you were looking for.. Sorry,, going to murder myself now.............

Devices with different screen sizes sounds good for the users in the market, a Surface 2 would already be perfect for me though!

I also hear Verizon has a new slogan:
 
Verizon:  No Matter What the Innovation, Our Customers will be the Last to Get It
 
Though I don't think LTE is a big deal for consumers.  I could see the need for enterprise I suppose.

I really want the rumored 14.6" Surface Book.  Tried the Surface, too small for me.  Tried the Dell XPS 18, too big but more fun and productive than smaller sizes.  Something right in the middle would be just right. 

Panay said it would only be available on the LTE model. Took ALL the wind out of my surface related sails.
 
 

No, definitely want a Surface mini but do not need to pay the extra cash for 4g, internet sharing through my Lumia works a treat.

I'm looking forward for this device to come out but I tell you now, I will not "dare" get this device from ATT because of the amber update mess with the Lumia 920. They did not have to do extensive tesing because it works for the Lumia 1020 for sake! Which to add they want you to buy instead of updating a magnificant phone as the Lumia 920.

I was at the event at the Microsoft Store in Seattle last night. He was clear that Surface Pro 2 will not be getting  an LTE version. Surface 2 will, but not the Pro. I'm not looking for LTE in either case, just passing on what I heard. BTW, the appetizers were really good.

Well I wonder what all the manufacturers who dropped RT think about this? I don't think carriers would be committing to something they don't think they can move; I think they've noticed the improvements the surface team has made.

What I don't understand is that, why the hell MSFT is way too late.. I bet you guys,this tablets will damn expensive

I prefer 4:3 8" for web browsing and reading news, magazines, eBooks etc. More comfortable to hold too.

I was just at the event in San Francisco and I asked Panos Panay if the Surface Pro 2 would be getting a cellular connection and he gave a flat out "No".

I really doubt if anyone wants that option on a 10" tablet. Even more so now that Skye is integrated and voice calls are possible on a 3g/lte connection whenever it comes out.

Microsoft and were working on a deal before Nook came out but it fell though. So Nook came out with Android, and Microsoft created the Surface. Things would have been at different if the deal was done, now they are at the point were Nook & Barnes noble are in some trouble. Barnes is looking for someone else to build device & new management for both.

I wish Microsoft launched a 3g variant in emerging markets, LTE deployments are next to zero and it makes surface 2 more affordable

i like the 16:9 aspect ratio. 4:3 is ugly.
i just think, the surface pro series need to have bigger screensizes (like 12-13"). it would add to productivity a lot.
 

At the San Francisco event yesterday he was very clear about the Surface Pro 2 not getting cellular data. 

Would like to see a mini with a functional keyboard cover. How about a fold out. When you look at the connector for the current touch cover its not very wide... Would would on an 8" device