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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 (opens in new tab)

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the Editor in Chief for Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl. Got a hot tip? Send it to

  • Great Video!! I can sense how microsoft is evolving in the hardware division using the Surface.
  • Showing the internals is always pretty ballsy. Shows you how confident they are. Fanless full power Intel i series device, very nice. 
  • Now we know why it took longer to release the LTE version :-)
  • Nice presentation! A great move on having an eSIM onboard...Surface Fold will have one as well....
  • Hope the surface book 3 will have LTE-A as well. That's the only thing missing Imo.
  • Hearing this make me understand and appreciate the achievement more. I think they have achieved what they desired - a reference design with no compromise on weight/ size/ look etc.
  • Finaly the Surface phone is here.
  • :| really?? Is this the most inteligent thing you could come up with, fanboy?
  • I love these Microsoft Mechanics videos on Surface products (they are all on YouTube). Having no engineering skills myself but I appreciate seeing the design issues and engineering work that goes into these products and why they can take so long to develop.
  • Surface is the best on its class! Love surface line!
  • I love the dig at the "wireless hoopla"  Even though the modem can support 450 mps, no carrier can deliver the speed.  Ha.
  • My carrier can do 600 Mbps today. They must be talking about US carriers.
  • So when talking about removing the fan, he compared against the SP4. Now can't recall if the SP'17 was already passive cooling without LTE? If not, eager for benchmarks to see if this throttles more without the fan. +benchmarks vs SB2-13"
    Also eager to know when its available at consumer retail.
  • new surface pro without lte 17 version is fanless
  • I really like the Microsoft Mechanics Videos. Too bad they havn't done one on Xbox One X yet.
  • Looks like a great upgrade for my Surface 3.