Skip to main content

Surface 3 for AT&T LTE may be launching as early as this week

Back when the Surface 3 was announced it was also revealed an LTE version would be released later in the summer. Looking at our late July status, we are certainly well into that season meaning we should start to see those devices appear. Indeed, in the UK and Germany the Surface 3 with LTE is already available with France and Spain following suit.

Windows Central has learned now through a few trusted sources that the Surface 3 with LTE is headed to AT&T in the United States either this week or next week at the latest.

We currently do not know the exact price nor configurations, although previous releases have seen the 64 and 128 GB variants being available. Regardless, we should be learning much more very soon as AT&T is likely to announce its availability in the coming days.

Our own Richard Devine recently wrote about why he is swapping his Surface Pro 3 for the Surface 3 with LTE. It is a good read if you are considering picking up this fab tablet with a keyboard.

The Surface 3 LTE features a 10.8-inch 1920x1280 display, Intel Atom x7-Z8700 CPU, 2 or 4 GB of RAM and up to 128 GB of internal storage and an 8 MP rear camera (3.5 MP in the front). It weighs a modest 1.37 pounds. Prices begin at $499 although the LTE module is likely to bump the price slightly higher.

There's no word if other US carriers will be picking up the Surface 3 with LTE.

Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.

87 Comments
  • Should just wait for a Surface 4, which I think would make sense to launch next to a SP4 during W10's launch.
  • October. Different beasts and very different price points. Depends on what you want, but yeah, SP4 should be impressive.
  • Wasn't there some rumor recently that the S P4 might get released a bit later/early 2016. Have you heard any such?
  • See what I wrote above? That's my final word on the matter ;)
  • Yes I did and wanted to double confirm. :) Thanks, looks like a very interesting few months ahead with W10 end July (and Nokia also announcing something, it seems), 940/XL announced around 5 Sep, and S P4 October. Care to put a date also on Band 2? ;)
  • What I meant is that putting out an AT&T Surface 3 now is a bit strange, to me. Ideally, a Surface 4 WOULD hit in October, and that could go to AT&T out of the gates (but maybe early-life supply issues prevent having WiFi and LTE models readily available?). I guess the other thing is that Microsoft could be using these to get some older Surface 3 stock out the door before the Surface 4 launches, but I'd be rather peeved if I dropped $500+ on a Surface 3, then saw a Surface 4 emerge for the same price 2.5-3.0 months later.
  • Surface 3 has been out like 3 months. No way they will out a next Gen version in such a short time.
  • Consider Microsoft staggers the release of the Surface and Surface Pro it wouldn't make sense to them to release both right after Windows 10. Particularly when the Surface 3 is so early out the gate they wouldn't have time to recoup any R&D.
  • I'd be surprised if they launch a Surface 4 this year. Surface 3 only went on sale 10 weeks ago.
  • Hi Keith...the Surface 3 hitting ATT now puts the device within reach of the back to school crowd. There will also (hopefully) be some pricing plans that make it easier to walk out of the door with said device. Later in the year is great for the 4, but then Microsoft would lose a potentially huge market if they have no device with a carrier.
  • I don't think they will launch them next to each other just because the easily confused masses and press. Not here or a couple of other places but general "Microsoft experts" that always sound like they don't understand it when MS targets different audiences but totally gets it when Apple or Samsung does it somehow. SPx refresh fall/ Sx spring so they can present clear messages for each maybe merge them after they see that people understand the differences. I will be interested in seeing if Hello (facial/iris) makes it to Sx products or they add a fingerprint reader or something like that to cover that base, leaving the other feature as a premium for the surface line.I have to admit from a consumer perpective there are fewer and fewer major diferences after the processor/OS switch that came with the S3, power obviously being the big one but even then you're not gonna game on a SP3 and the S3 runs fairly well for most daily things so I am really looking forward to see what they do to add that "Value" to justify the premium for the SP4.
  • Will they have sp4 with lte option?
  • There is definitely both memory variants. It's in the internal listing for the device.
  • Surface pro 4 was originally planned to launch this month, but that slipped to October.
  • Richard Device! lol! :)
  • LOL! well spotted. IMO this name suits him better.
  • :D Lol ...you made my day ;D
  • Ex Machina for the ladies.
  • Didn't T-Mobile say they'd have it too? What happened?
  • I am seriously thinking about moving to Tmobile with those new plans... but wouldn't want to miss any of the microsoft flagships that At&t would probably be the only one to have. 
  • It's so frustrating that AT&T has such awful plans and draconian overages, yet they're the ones that always get the best phones!
  • Coincidence? Probably not.
  • On the flip side, it's frustrating that T-Mobile has great plans and pricing, but horrendous service in many places.
  • Hoepfully, Microsoft has learned that their "partnership" with AT&T has not born the fruit they had wished. Perhaps, this is what they were referring to when they said they would end carrier relationships that weren't working out. If we've seen anything, it's that a flagship device needs to be on each of the four major carriers in order to be any semblance of a success in the U.S.   Edit: I'm on T-Mobile. So, this better happen. Hah!
  • Question: Do you think the relationship with Verizon is worth saving? How has that carrier treated its Windows Phones especially the very good Lumia Icon?
  • I think the reason Verizon is always walking On egg shells with MS is because of the Kin. That spent lots of money for it to flop. They couldn't even give them away.
  • Wasn't quite a bit of that Verizon's fault, though? They took a pseduo-feature phone and put it under their much-higher smarthpone data tier at the time, making the phone plans for Kins on-par with high-end smartphones, despite that wasn't the market for those devices. Granted, they were still crap phones, at least to me.
  • That Kin debacle happened over 5 years ago. They should get over it. They tried to market them as Windows Phones when they clearly were not. When WP7 actually came out, people just assumed they were like the Kin and dismissed them as such.
  • I'm on T-Mobile with a Lumia 920 that is running Windows 10 Mobile with all the features and speeds you'd expect work, well, work well. So, sure, maybe T-Mobile isn't on the flagship device list like AT&T (and heck, I honestly think T-Mobile will probably pick up at least one of the upcoming flagships, though probably not both), but at least unlocked phones is ALWAYS an option, just have to pay more upfront (I hear good things about the Lumia 1520.3 as well).
  • 1520.3 ?... Didn't get that correctly.. Can you explain? :)
  • It's the Lumia 1520 model that works best with T-Mobile US. I'm on one right now. It still sucks to not have Wi-Fi calling....
  • I agree with that, they should not restrict that feature/app if they are truly going to be BYOD.  Only out for them should be that the app needs some special hardware that isn't built in.  Only case I can see for that is if they have some proprietary HW encrpytion or security chip that needs to be there and that's sooooooo last century...  Use a standard.
  • Yes. The Surface 3 w/ LTE is supposed to be coming to T-Mobile as well.
  • I am hoping to see a SP4 soon... probably will wait to see what happens.
  • Why? ATT won't market it or even keep it in the store; it will probably be online only. they never advertised or kept the Nokia 2520 tablet in the store.
  • ATT is not as evil as some believe. They have their faults, true. If you interface with the bottom feeders at the stores, outcomes are a mixture of bad and good. On the whole side of it, I have worked with ATT from the field tech up through big dog. I have found ATT to be the most responsive carrier overall. Their focus is success, reliability. A product, process has to pass reliability testing. And every product, process is tested, really tested to the point of annoyance. Failure is not an option.
    If this product is being released, it has passed.
    The winey folks at the store, they don't work where I do.
    You want it, go claim it and be happy.
  • They had tons of the 2520, the keyboard accessory was late but overall the black one was always in stock at stores. The other why is, what is at&t trying to become in its stores. This is a computer /tablet. This is a different beast than those iPad's and android dime a dozen android tablets.
  • I'm in southwest Texas and none of the stores stocked them. Most of the salespeople didn't even know what they were; I had to tell them that ATT had them listed on their website. I'm a ATT 15+ year Customer of ATT, I'm just pointing out facts, good, bad, or ugly. I'm not going anywhere because there service is good and phone selection is great.
  • Maybe it was regional... On the San Francisco area there were a bunch
  • why do carriers, like at&t, keep almost all info secret until release?
  • It's the verification process.
  • Was excited about Verizon version, still waiting....
  • My Verizon business rep and their district manager visited me last week - they noted then that the S3 LTE release would be "very soon" for them as well.
  • Boy, I hope this is true. I'm really wanting one on Verizon.
  • I find tethering my phone (I'm on Verizon) with my SP3 works fine. Personally, I prefer this setup because it gives me the freedom to be carrier independent. If I switch to T-Mobile, then I won't have to worry about any contract for the tablet; just for my phone.
  • Can't wait !!
  • its a pity MS just dont sell an LTE upgrate kit for these devices .. 
  • Now that would be awesome. I would give up the microsd slot for that.
  • they do. it's called a windows phone. you can simply click on the phone in the device and it becomes your connection. you don't even have to remove the phone from your pocket. Alternatively, You can also get a usb wireless modem, which works well considering the S3 has a full size usb for it.
  • Pretty sure that AT&T will charge you for that convenience.
  • They are in the business of making money and being successful.
  • To be fair, they charge you for the built-in version so I don't see your point with that.
  • which is why i switched to tmobile.
  • actually, while the phone works, and a USB LTE radio key could work, i think you're right. why don't they make a separate type cover that comes with an LTE radio? then, they don't have to make 2 separate surfaces, but rather separate type covers? and actually work with both the S3 or the SP3? seriously, that makes so much more sens then a whole new device...
  • That's brilliant!
  • Because then you'd have to keep the type cover with you at all times. And that hinders the device in tablet mode. Really, there is no better solution than just having it built in. It just seems like $100 is a bit expensive. I wonder what the actual cost is.
  • Unlocked please.
  • Thats what I'd like to know.
  • Damn, $699 for the 128/4?  I can only hope for some kind of crazy carrier subsidized magic to make this seem affordable.
  • $699?? :-/
  • I think subsidies are a thing of the past. Or soon to be extinct.
  • Makes me wonder... if they are releasing all these LTE versions of the Surface Pro 3, has the Surface Pro 4 been delayed to next year? That would be a shame, as I'm holding out for one. lol
  • This is a Surface 3, not Surface Pro 3.
  • Ha. How embarrassing. Talk about missing an important detail. lol
  • I think this should confirm any high end wp10 that may come will be exclusive to at&t
  • Not sure why this would "confirm" that theory. There is no mention of this being an exclusive. We could see other carriers selling the Surface 3 LTE later this month, or next month. Also, I get the feeling that companies are more likely to buy tablets with data, than consumers. So, AT&T might have been the only carrier interested in offering the Surface 3 LTE.
  • MS announces three tiers of phones. Here's how it'll come down: Flagships - ATT; Business - Verizon; Other - T-Mobile. Just kidding.
  • I'd be interesteed if it were the SP4. The Surface 3 would be a downgrade from my SP3. I really hope the SP4 has LTE. I'm not sure why OEMs, Apple included, are so reluctant to make a laptop with LTE. I don't want to have to create a hotspot every time with my phone.
  • I get the feeling not many people would buy a laptop with LTE. Companies, sure (which is why you can get a mobile data chip for some laptops).
  • I have a very nice Lenovo touch screen with lte running 8.1. Works awesome
  • T-Mobile allots wifi hotspot on your phone... And, in my case (having their unlimited data plan) I get 7gb a month for Internet Tethering before they throttle the tethering. So, only an idiot would get a AT&T equipped with LTE which you would have to pay extra for. Switch to T-Mobile if their coverage works for you...I say!!!
  • Every ATT project I have ever worked on has close to a 0 recall rate. I have worked on a big bunch. And the customer/user still complain.
    Work your ass off delivering services and someone wants my work for free?
    Get real!
  • CAN you purch this on a month payment ala the edge plan? If so, I'd get this for sure
  • I don't see why not. They sell the iPad Air 2 that way.. and I think you're talking about AT&T's "Next" plan.
  • The next plance is nice but has made my phone bill look like a mortgauge payment, lol. Well, more like a car payment.
  • Doubt will ever see this in Canada as the big 3 tried ultra light notebooks, & tablets but didn't see the demand & I don't think MS will overstep them by selling unlocked when its not financially viable
  • It was announced earlier that Surface 3 is coming to Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile.
  • Wanted: Surface Mini w/LTE, at _least_ 4gb ram, 128 ssd, on T-mobile for $800
  • It should be 699 when it comes out. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Must be about time for a new model now AT&T have finally got round to shipping this one.
  • Just bought 4 S3's and got $254. Off the price using my wife's student id card. :D
  • I onwded basically every surface born to date. Then I waited to buy s3,as I was very satisfied with my sp3. Last week my son crack the screen of the sp3 while I was on.vacation in Berlin so.i decided to.give it a try to the s3(4gb128gb) version so that I could wait till sp4 come out in October. Well I find the s3 quite below my expections. It doesn't run well. I had problem with windows mail etc. Now I am thinking whether to return it to Saturn or not. I still have a few days left to check it out. It is a shame as the form factor and the size are just perfect. But it seems Atom is still a cripple processor.
    Beside note: Bought it in Saturn alexanderplatz. The word service ever. I must say I got it just because I was really in need of it, otherwise I should have left it there as the sales rep was just an assxole. I am going to.fill a formal complaint about him to Saturn company. Anyway, to whom own the s3 , what is your experience? Maybe because the sp3 is excellent and I was used to.it, but I find the s3 slow and laggish (sometimes)...
  • I just share my wifi from phone to my tablet. That ability is included in my plan and it saves me another monthly contract. Since my phone is always on me why not?
  • Fi ally... Geeeeeezzzzz ATT wanted me to get the android LG tablet for free just pay 100 bucks a month I said HELL NOH!!! android tabs are aweful! Then they wanted me to get an. IPAD MINK lte pay 10 bucks a month plus the cost of the tablet on 2 year contract I said NOPE,but with a surface pro 3 with LTE!!! HELL TO THE YESSSS!!!!!!!!!!
  • It'll be in the back, on the backside of another display. There'll be one floor unit and it won't be powered on. None of the reps will even know what it is let alone what OS it runs. At least, that's how my local ATT store works. :P
  • They only have the 64/2 version now.  Also, all stores in my area only received 1 to sell.
  • Surface 3 look thin, light and elegant than surface pro 3. I enjoy using the Surface, it gives me more confidence