Watch an engineer's tour of the new Surface Pro with LTE Advanced

Surface Pro
Surface Pro

Microsoft today announced that the long-awaited Surface Pro with LTE will be available starting in December for business customers. But aside from news of a release window, Microsoft also offered an interesting at some of the engineering work that it put into the LTE model to keep it both thin and light, despite the addition of an LTE modem and antennae.

As explained by Surface Program Management Director Tim Golik, Microsoft went into designing the LTE model knowing it would have to avoid off-the-shelf parts in order to avoid additional thickness and weight. Across the top of the Surface Pro, Microsoft integrated seven antennae, with support for global LTE bands, into what it claims are the smallest LTE tablet bezels currently on the market. That required engineering a new process for joining polycarbonate and magnesium in into a "single gapless and step-less fusion" of materials.

Adding LTE to the new Surface Pro without impacting the device's size also has a lot to owe to its fanless design. Microsoft says it was able to leverage the space left where the fan would have been to integrate the Qualcomm Snapdragon X16 LTE modem. According to Golik, Microsoft chose this particular modem in order to future-proof Surface Pro LTE, with support for Cat 9 LTE and 20 global LTE bands.

There's still no word on an exact launch date for the Surface Pro LTE, but business customers will be able to get their hands on the device at some point in December. Presumably, the LTE model will be available to general consumers at some point after that.

See Surface Pro at Microsoft

Dan Thorp-Lancaster

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl