Why you might (and might not) want a PC with LTE

Why you might (and might not) want a PC with LTE
Why you might (and might not) want a PC with LTE

With the release of the Surface Pro with LTE and with the upcoming "Always Connected PCs" from various manufacturers, many more people are waking up to the idea of laptops using mobile data as a way to connect to the internet. Anyone with a phone knows how convenient it is to always have a connection to all that information riding around in their pocket, but what about when used with one of the best Windows laptops? Do you really need to have your laptop connected at all times rather than relying on Wi-Fi or Ethernet connections? Let's take a look at why you might and why you might not want to jump on the LTE wagon.

You can stay connected (almost) anywhere

This is the big reason. With a laptop that has an embedded SIM (eSIM) or SIM reader, you can sit down anywhere with mobile data coverage and bash out an email, make changes to a website, or pull information to complete a document. As we move more into the cloud, this becomes more important. Sure, you can do all these things on your phone, but it's nowhere near as convenient as with a full screen and keyboard.

For anyone who feels like they can't leave the office lest they get hours behind on work, a laptop that's not half useless without Wi-Fi will make an enormous difference. You'll no longer have to worry about where the next hotspot is located, and you won't have to worry about any shady public connections. As the workforce moves more online (and we become more dependent on the internet), PCs that can retain a connection at all times should only become more popular.

LTE laptops provide a more secure connection in public

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon

Public Wi-Fi hotspots — those you find in cafes and hotels — are generally shady at best, and you never know who might be sitting nearby waiting to hijack the connection for their own nefarious needs. A subscription to a worthwhile VPN does indeed get rid of a lot of the problems with public Wi-Fi, but if you're in the market for a new laptop anyway, one with LTE will let you bypass anything that seems untrustworthy.

You also won't have to put up with bandwidth being split ten different ways as everyone in the vicinity tries to hit a deadline (or catch up on the latest gossip).

Related: 6 good reasons why you really should use a VPN

LTE laptops provide a faster connection than tethering

LTE laptops provide a faster connection than tethering

Though tethering your laptop to your phone is a solution when you're on the go, connecting straight to LTE is certainly more elegant. Your laptop will generally see higher transfer speeds, and you won't have to worry about your phone's battery draining faster than usual.

Considering tethering is usually a feature that costs more on top of your standard mobile plan (if it's available at all), it's hard to see it going much farther than where it stands right now. As Executive Editor Daniel Rubino said in his article on how LTE and eSIM are changing the game, "wireless 4G tethering is a kludge, not a solution.

Why (and how) Windows 10 PCs with LTE and eSIM will change the game

Battery life in LTE laptops shouldn't be affected

Battery life in LTE laptops shouldn’t be affected

Whereas in the past some laptops with LTE functionality took a hit in the battery department, current tech has narrowed the gap down to where it's almost unnoticeable. Take the Surface Pro with LTE as an example. Compared to its non-LTE counterparts, using mobile data doesn't suck up much more battery than using standard Wi-Fi.

This is partially due to Windows 10 data-saving and battery management tools, but nevertheless, you should no longer have to choose between great battery life and an LTE connection.

Surface Pro with LTE review: Impressive but not for everyone

LTE laptops are more expensive

As more LTE laptops continue to hit the market, prices will no doubt begin to level out, but for now you're going to be paying more for a device with mobile broadband capabilities. Again using the Surface Pro as an example, a non-LTE configuration with Core i5 processor (CPU), 256GB solid-state drive (SSD), and 8GB of RAM costs about $1,300 (opens in new tab).

For the same configuration with built-in LTE, you're looking at paying about $150 more (opens in new tab). This isn't an enormous difference, but if you think you can get by with only Wi-Fi, why not save some money?

See at Microsoft Store (opens in new tab)

Wrapping up

Dell Latitude 7390 2-in-1

Laptops with an LTE feature are only going to get more common, and it's easy to imagine a time in the near future where every new device comes by default with an eSIM inside. As buying options become simpler, you'll be able to buy a few gigabytes of data for immediate use, further simplifying the entire setup.

As for right now, anyone who's constantly on the go can undoubtedly benefit from an LTE laptop, though if you think you can continue to get by with Wi-Fi or Ethernet, you'll be able to save some sweet, sweet money.

More resources

Have a look at these other articles for more information about LTE laptops.

Cale Hunt
Senior Editor, Laptop Reviews

Cale Hunt is formerly a Senior Editor at Windows Central. He focuses mainly on laptop reviews, news, and accessory coverage. He's been reviewing laptops and accessories full-time since 2016, with hundreds of reviews published for Windows Central. He is an avid PC gamer and multi-platform user, and spends most of his time either tinkering with or writing about tech.

  • Absolutely true, an always-connected computer isn't for everyone.  We have two cellular lines in our household.  Even with a shared data package, it costs a fortune.  I'm not about to pay for an ADDITIONAL line just to support a tablet that, while I USE it a LOT, I don't need internet access on that much.  Also, living in a border town, we don't even have reliable cell service outside of town so, again, we rely more on what's actually ON our devices than anything we access wirelessly.  The value we would get from an always-connected PC just isn't worth the cost for us.  For those living in more metropolitan areas and having a greater online need, LTE PCs make more sense.
  • I think this is awesome but since I have TMobile Im thinking just to use my unlimited Hotspot from my phone. I just dont want to have another bill for another device and not be able to have unlimited Data.
  • I think you're missing the part about buying data as you go in the Store vs. a monthly subscription. The eSIM tech and Microsoft Store is going to allow this, which is a big deal vs. current model.
  • He's already paying for a monthly subscription. Why spend extra on pay as you go which will probably turn out to be more expensive the way people now a days consume GB
  • "He's already paying for a monthly subscription. Why spend extra on pay as you go "
    The assumption here is every month he's making 100 percent use of that unlimited data vs. only using occasionally. That poses a problem. If he is using tethering every day or consuming 5-10GB a month it makes more sense to have a laptop with a dedicated LTE connection. Speeds will be better, the reception will be better, and your phone doesn't do double duty as a modem. It's also much more convenient. If, however, he is only using tethering once or a twice a month I could argue that spending that much on an unlimited plan is a waste and that buying data bits only when you need it would be cheaper (plus, you still get better speeds and don't kill your phone). Again, this will all change when high-end laptops just have LTE in them by default. Tethering now is the ONLY choice you have on consumer PCs. That's going to change and when you have the choice for once the equation will shift.
  • But As-You-Go plans expire too, don't they? If you don't consume all the data you paid for, say after 30 days? If data expiration is more than 30 days say 60 or 90 days, the deal would be a lot more attractive!
  • They do, but there's competition. Imagine if the Microsoft Store has 15 data plan options. Some 500MB, some 3GB, some subscription, and some one-off purchases. Soon you get companies vying for your business when it's just one-click away. Sales, better deals, longer expiring times (maybe no time limit), etc. The bad thing now about today's model is you have to go to AT&T, get a plan, get a SIM, and you're locked in. There's really no competition if you are on a 12-month plan, is there?
  • When I hear about you crazy system in US, I'm really glad I'm living in Norway. (Or EU for that matter.)
  • You don't get it. The point I'm trying to make is that everyone has a smartphone that's always with you. Most plans today are already unlimited which includes hotspot. You are going to pay for it anyways. There's a reason why Wifi iPads (for example) far outsell the LTE versions. You are trying to go back to the stone ages where you have 1000 minutes talk 1000 text with 2GB monthly plan. And the speed loss of hotspots is negligible, unless you want to stream videos which in that case Pay as you go will be wayyy too expensive compared to hotspot.
  • Well unlimited plans have only recently started coming back if I remember correctly. For a while people still had unlimited plans from being grandfathered in. I also don't know if it's accurate to say most people have or had unlimited plans, they are usually the most expensive plan too. And I don't know about other carriers but I'm on AT&T and usually hotspot isn't included as a basic feature. I just quickly Binged the AT&T unlimited plan details and the "unlimited plus enhanced" has hotspot but up to 15gb before they start throttling and the "unlimited choice enhanced" does not include being able to hotspot. For my family's usage we definitely don't need an unlimited plan so we've been on the shared 10gb plan with monthly rollover and it has been more than enough. But sadly we can't use our phones as a hotspot because it's not included as a basic feature. Now the pay-as-you go plan may or may not be totally worth it based on the pricing and the different level of tiers you can purchase.
  • NICE
  • Switch to Verizon. No extra fees for Hotspot and up to five devices can connect. 
  • Well, no Dan, tethering is not the only option. I have a USB stick 4G modem. Now, the confusion I have is that these new laptops cost an extra $150 according to the article which is really expensive for a simple modem. Why are these new modems so pricey? What extra do they include compared to current modems? I would think integrating them into the soc would result in a price reduction compared to USB modems, but that's not so? My scam detector is buzzing a bit. Is there a reason? Will the available esim data packs have a similar price uplift compared to current physical sim data? Sounds a bit like there may be a bit of price garnishing going on to me.
  • I would think it's more expensive to engineer them into the device itself, especially if you're trying to make a device that's lighter and thinner.
  • a company charges a price.  If you want the good or service, you pay the price.  If the price is too much, you don't buy the good or service.  The price for a good or service does not have to relate to the cost of putting the good or service on the market.  iPhones cost about $250 to make.  Why do they cost $1000?
  • I disagree, what this "new laptop feature" will only saturate carrier networks. AFAIK there is this technique called WiFi Offloading which looks for redirecting some cellular traffic over Wifi Networks. I will always prefer to share data between my cell and my laptop than buying another line, anyway, you can find free Wifi spots almost everywhere, you can use them relatively safe with, let's say, Opera browser which has a built-in VPN (and much better stability than Edge. (Oops!, did I think it or did I write it?)
  • Dan, do us all a favor and don't enable comments on the next article about Always Connected PC's. No matter how well anyone lays out the rationale, the people here just can't see past the here and now.
  • Dan you are stating a hypothetical as a fact. Right now, what you're talking about isn't here, and there's no clear timeframe as to when it will be. When and if it does happen, a new article can be written.
  • Why should I pay more for something I already have? I have a 20GB family plan, which is more than enough. Plus, tethering does not cost any more (Verizon) and it's plenty fast enough.  Buying more data is stupid when I already have plenty. 
  • I am using Surface 3 WIFI model right now and think that the LTE version would be great addition since it is very cheap and very fast in my country.
    I am looking forward to having a good range of Snapdragon PCs with LTE available when I want to replace my device.
  • Well in the US most Unlimited Mobile Plans include tethering. My T-mobile plan includes 10 gig of 4gLTE Tethering a month before it would slow down. I never reach the 10 gb. This to me works great, without paying any extra cost for esim or sim equipped laptops or tablets. By the way using built in LTE would utilize your laptop or tablets battery more too, just like tethering uses your phones battery. So, the title for me should be changed to Why you might (and might not) NEED a PC with LTE.   
  • "By the way using built in LTE would utilize your laptop or tablets battery more too, just like tethering uses your phones battery. "
    LTE uses the battery in the same sense as having Wi-Fi. The difference is when you now have an idle LTE connection or even disabled, there is no battery hit. I think you're missing the whole equation here: Phone + PC for tethering equals battery drain for both devices. (The laptop is already using Wi-Fi to tether...so what's the benefit here?) PC with LTE only drains one device. Using LTE does not drain more than using Wi-Fi on a laptop. Either way, in a couple of years, LTE will be standard in higher end laptops making all of this moot. You - and others here - will 100 percent be using LTE connected PCs in the next five years.
  • Definitely the ideal scenario for an LTE equipped laptop is to have a pay as you go data plan attached to it. The small percentage of users that may be going through a fairly set amount of data each month and can justify getting a set data plan of 2 or 4GB for example then pay as you go obviously wouldn't make sense for them. I definitely agree about battery drain if going the tethering to phone route. In my case, if I am using a WiFi only Windows or Android tablet, my use is so minimal (typically 30 minutes of browsing for instance) that tethering makes sense and neither device takes a large hit to battery. Seeing that most of these laptops are in the premium category (more than likely $799 to start), they are geared towards business use and they will be supplied to employees by the employer which a LTE plan attached if it matches with that individuals duties.
  • You mean like how I can't buy a non-smart TV even though I don't need or want one due to set-top boxes?  That might happen with portable computers.  I'm biased though because I don't even use mobile data at all.  I pay for Ethernet at home and only use voice/chat for mobile phone.  Those things are expensive enough.
  • Dan you are missing another equation too... LTE equipped laptops will still have WiFi too. When you get home (or a secure and trusted WiFi network)... You are still going to use your home wifi vs something that is "Pay-as-you-go". What will not be "elegant" as some of you call it will be having to have your laptop switch back to your home wifi from its built in LTE. I can see it now... "Oops, I forgot to switch" Regarding the write up's speed case. I use a Note 8 to tether... I achieve in some cases 110 mbps down and 70 mbps while tethered. So, the better speed reason also doesn't hold up for me. Also, I have DroidMacro installed in my phone. The tether function is automatically evoked by my Surface Book 2. I don't have to stop and turn it on from the phone! Much like tethering was automatically turned on for my Surface Pro 4 from my Lumia 950xl. How "Elegant" is that? Now, the only way this may make some sense would be if the carriers that offer plans such as mine will allow the 10 gb monthly 4g LTE allotment to apply to esim or the extra Sim to go in my laptop or tablet... All within the cost I already pay for, and not any extra cost. So, even if future laptops will be offered with this built in that doesn't mean that it would be the best choice in using it over secure wifi and/or tethering. Finally, we all can't really definitively speculate on any new technology option that is yet to go mainstream and mature. Remember, Microsoft had hopes with something called UWP. We all know what's happening to it.
  • We get it, your are a google lagdroid fan, can't stand the fact that Microsoft is ahead of the curve on this. 
  • How will the laptop switching between LTE and WiFi not be elegant? It is what millions of smartphones around the world do multiple times a day already. Anyone who has a WiFi network configured on their phone does this without giving it a second thought. This will be more elegant with laptops because again there'll be no messing around. Outside of WiFi areas you won't even think about it, just fire up the laptop and got on with doing stuff, no screwing around connecting to your phone first.
  • I agree - make that LTE work on the plan I already have, and I might get one. I won't pay for more data though. 
  • Not for me. I'll just use my phones hotspot. I believe most unlimited plans already include hotspot (at least in the US)
  • Exactly... I guess Daniel still doesn't understand the vaule of some of our Unlimited Plans - he had to have a different editor chime in on the subject. You will never beat 5 Unlimited Lines with 10 gib tethering for each line for $140 a month (which I have). Sorry, Windows Central...try as you might, but right now I don't see this flying like you think it might.
  • "Exactly... I guess Daniel still doesn't understand the vaule of some of our Unlimited Plans - he had to have a different editor chime in on the subject. "
    False, I just talk to and know normal people and most do not have unlimited data plans. It's frankly a waste of money if you are Wi-Fi often and only use 1-2GB a month. I don't have an unlimited plan and neither do any of my friends or family. Unlimited plans aren't normal for consumers. What exactly is the difference between paying a full-priced unlimited data plan that you only use a fraction of for your phone, but occasionally tether vs. buying data as you need it for a PC? How is paying for data you are not always using good? And tether all you want but PCs with dedicated LTE connections will get better reception and better performance. Those are things I at least care about. They will also work when I travel outside the US and don't need to roam on my carrier. With eSIM I'll be able to buy data only when I need it and get a cheaper phone plane per month. I find all your arguments just poor, sorry. Let's take a bet: In five years, all high-end laptops will have LTE just built in just like Wi-Fi is now a normal "feature" today (no one opts into Wi-Fi on hardware). Once you buy a laptop that just has LTE, not as an option but as a default configuraton tethering to your phone is going to feel really dumb and inefficient. The problem right now is choice. You have none. You tether because you have no other option, it's just what you know. Go buy a Surface Book 2, MacBook Pro, or Dell XPS 13...you can't get it with LTE at all, so what choice do you even have? Now, if they all came with LTE like they all come with Bluetooth you have a choice. When you have that choice and the ability to buy bits of data instead of a monthly plan, let's talk.
  • How much would it cost you for 5 lines on your non-unlimited plan? I doubt it would be less than $140 a month. By the way the circle I am in... All have unlimited plans. I consider them the norm. Some have children under their plans and don't have to worry about overages. Believe you me there is value in having an unlimited plan. Just because you choose not to or you don't know too many people who does have unlimited.. means it is the wrong choice. I am also the CEO of a franchised IT Outsourcing Company. All my subcontractors have unlimited plans just like I do and they tether. We all remote in to are clients networks, use Webex the whole nine yards. It just works.. and it works now without esim or built in LTE. Like I said before in your own editorial on the subject. We will just have to agree to disagree on this.
  • I'm not saying you don't find value in it, what I am saying is you have no choice right now. You literally cannot go and buy any of the top PCs or 2-in-1s on the market with LTE in them right now. You can only tether. So, you making the argument that tethering is the best with an unlimited plan is a false one - you can't do anything else. My point is when laptops and 2-in-1s, and new smaller devices come with LTE built in, not as an expensive option, but standard (like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth) suddenly using your phone to tether is going feel very old-fashioned and silly. There is no future wherein the year 2025 you are still using your phone to tether to a mobile computer - whatever their form. You'd be the equivalent of using a flip phone in 2018 vs. a smartphone. You can do it, but it won't be the norm. I feel like if we went back to 1995 you'd be telling me that no one is going to buy a laptop with Wi-Fi. It's too expensive a no one has free Wi-Fi spots anyway, so where would you use it?
  • You are assuming there is a technical reason those laptops don't have LTE. Isn't it more believable that LTE just isn't that useful in a laptop? That LTE is a niche feature, there just isn't demand for it? Sure, it might be nice, but certainly isn't a game changer as you have argued.
  • For once, I agree with Bleached. We have no proof that LTE will be in an laptops in 5 years. 
  • You are just trolling.
  • I think that these are more suited for enterprises. There are some businesses that would benefit from being always connected.
  • Definitely, but technically, they have always had this option. Lenovo, HP, and Dell all sell enterprise laptops with options for LTE cards and have done so for years. The difference today is the industry is shifting to the consumer market. It's not just Microsoft. Apple, Google, HP, and others are all getting behind this concept.
  • Why are we pretending there's anything new here (other than this site's desperate need to pretend Microsoft has anything to offer anyone in mobility? And I say that as one of the world's last seventeen Windows Mobile users!) This is really no different from when laptops went from needing external WiFi PCMCIA-cards/USB adapters to having built-in WiFi.  Anybody that *needs* LTE connectivity on a laptop has it now, either via tethering (BTW, USB tethering is far more battery efficient than WiFi, negating the "wasting the battery on two devices" argument) or via a USB/LTE dongle. As far as Microsoft making LTE cheap/desirable with their "coming soon" a la carte eSIM data plan, I remind you that Apple, with considerably more market leverage with cell carriers than Microsoft will ever have, never managed to get cell carriers to make iPad data plans so cheap we all wanted one. Like with cellular iPads, the additional upfront cost of including LTE will keep "everyone" from buying LTE-equipped laptops for years, and the price of data will keep most of us from using them even if we had one! So, this "revolution" is barely evolution. Laptops are just catching up to smartphones' and tablets' level of built-in connectivity in a post-PC world.   
  • "Anybody that needs LTE connectivity on a laptop has it now, either via tethering "
    I'd argue a lot of people don't know about tethering, how to do it, or know if their plan supports it. In five years, tethering is going to seem very outdated, silly, and inefficient. More to the point, if in five years you are still tethering with your phone vs. LTE-connected computers being the norm, I'll say I'm wrong (but I'm not). There is no future that I see for mobile computing - Apple, Google, or Microsoft - where people tethering their phones is the preferred way. Once building in LTE and eSIM is cheap enough and the industry moves to ARM only old folks will tether, as they cling to Windows Vista or something.
    "Like with cellular iPads, the additional upfront cost of including LTE will keep "everyone" from buying LTE-equipped laptops for years, and the price of data will keep most of us from using them even if we had one!"
    We said the same about 4K displays, Wi-Fi, SSDs, facial recognition cameras, fingerprint readers and touch displays. Literally, every piece of technology starts off cost prohibitive and then becomes normal. Do you even remember how no one wanted to buy data plans for smartphones? That wasn't a thing until a few years ago. People only paid for voice and SMS, and didn't see the immediate value in an expensive data plan. Things changed. Re: Apple and Apple SIM, a few things: One, it was a proprietary solution and still a physical SIM. It relied on carrier deals. eSIM is electronic, open, and being adopted by all companies and will be by all carriers. Even Apple uses eSIM now. The difference is eSIM is an agreed upon technology - everyone supports it - vs. Apple SIM, which was typical Apple trying to control things. All phones will have eSIM in the coming years, that's not even debated.
  • Dan,  more and more places will have Wi-Fi, until it is like light - it is everywhere.  Goverments will probably provide it at some point like a necessary service.  Connectivity will be like electricity - all over - and paid by taxes or to lure in customers. Maybe you have a point - everyone will go eSim instead of WiFi.  But that is way down the road. Right now, most business people have a phone with LTE ...if they have to work - they can tether...it is not rocket science.  Also, if they have to work - they will find a StarBucks... MS getting into LTE laptops will make no difference.  If Google or Apple chooses to got this route - they can do it - because they possess marketing skills. My $0.02 Mr. V
  • "I'd argue a lot of people don't know about tethering, how to do it, or know if their plan supports it."   Probably true, but if that's the case, they don't *need* tethering. If someone truly needed always on connectivity on their PC currently and didn't know how, they could ask their mobile operator or their work IT folks.    Besides, as I mentioned, tethering is only one option. A USB LTE dongle would be the preferred solution if you need more than occasional cellular connectivity.   "In five years, tethering is going to seem very outdated, silly, and inefficient. More to the point, if in five years you are still tethering with your phone vs. LTE-connected computers being the norm, I'll say I'm wrong (but I'm not)."   I'm not saying most mid-to-high end portable computers won't have built-in LTE in a few years- economies of scale will see to that. What I'm saying is most people won't use it, just like most people didn't subscribe to Boingo or competing subscription WiFi providers in the early days of built-in WiFi. Like now, some people will use tethering as a kludge if it's cheaper, some will pay extra to use the built-in (e.g. today's dongle users) and most will do without and wait for free WiFi.
      "Do you even remember how no one wanted to buy data plans for smartphones? That wasn't a thing until a few years ago. People only paid for voice and SMS, and didn't see the immediate value in an expensive data plan. Things changed..."   Yes, I remember- people didn't buy smartphone data until carriers *forced them to* as a condition of buying a device, starting with AT&T and the first iPhone, and quickly copied by the others. It'll take something similar to make always-connected PC (consumer) users to buy data as well.   "eSIM is electronic, open, and being adopted by all companies and will be by all carriers. Even Apple uses eSIM now. The difference is eSIM is an agreed upon technology - everyone supports it - vs. Apple SIM, which was typical Apple trying to control things. All phones will have eSIM in the coming years, that's not even debated."   So what? That doesn't change the business model from the carrier's end. SIMs are cheap and disposable. The issue will be how cheap the data plans for these devices are. As I said, Apple has sold a decent number of cellular iPads, all SIM unlocked- where is the pay as you go data for those? The market doesn't feel the need to create one because that would potentially cannibalize the pool of suckers currently paying an extra $15-30/month for a plan they rarely use. What makes you think Microsoft has any leverage with cell carriers to convince them to suddenly act in consumers' best interests and provide cheap data? Carriers will offer the same plans for connected PCs as they already do for tablets, making on-board LTE just another built-in PC radio most people don't use, like Bluetooth! :)        
  • An always connected laptop works like a desktop connected by Ethernet. Data on demand makes it work efficiently. The two together are killer.
  • I went out last night and watched some YouTube's on the Lenovo Miix 630 and the HP Envy x2 always connected 2-in-1s and for once I am actually excited about a mobile initiative by Microsoft.   IT departments should like the fact that their employees are safe and secure on LTE plans rather than on public WiFis.  Employees should like the fact that they don't have to deal with tethering hassles.  And in time even consumers (at least prosumers) should like the fact that they have a bigger screen and a keyboard to write an email on, sketch some ideas on, do some light gaming on, watch a movie on, or read a book on when they're on vacation.   The only thing I'd like to see is a GPS in these devices.  Sure my phone has a great GPS in it, but how nice it would be to get turn-by-turn directions on a bigger screen.  
  • Nice, thanks for sharing -and lucky you getting to use those devices...you must have a fun job!
    "The only thing I'd like to see is a GPS in these devices. "
    Agree there. Surface Pro does have GPS, but I guess from your statement HP and Lenovo do not? That'd be a bummer.
  • Ignoring costs, having a PC with LTE is liberating, and pretty much represents what we'll all have in the future. ^_^
  • There really isn't that much new going on with this "initiative" and it seems its only because the surface has added LTE that a big deal is being made. Firstly, LTE isn't new to enterprise so nothing to talk about there, their needs wont be met by anemic devices such as the new WoA PC's. As for consumers there have been LTE options for years: the hp Spectre x2 was sold with Verizon connectivity a few years ago, as is the current Samsung galaxy book today. The current Elite X2 1012 and its previous model also had LTE options. Buy almost any dell and you'll have the option to add LTE so I'm not seeing why these devices offering LTE is seen as new. More importantly LTE is just not something you see being a sought after feature by consumers on their tablets/laptops aa much as storage size or RAM because they mostly use their phones for internet use, either directly or tethered and its strange to suggest people don't even know about it when its prominently advertised with carrier plans. Ultimately, this is going to be another option heavily dependent on how much price gouging will be going on, rather than some brand new feature people will be salivating for. Options are good, just some aren't as wonderful as they are made out to be.
  • This is going to be a hit mainly with enterprise customers who need secure mobile devices for their employees.  I have a hard time seeing Google and Apple not jumping on the bandwagon too. 
  • Not worth it to me, might be worth it to some. I gave up on my laptop 3 or 4 years ago, I think I've turned it on less than a dozen times since then. Desktop PC at home for the power, upgradability & big monitor. Phone can manage for pretty much everything else. Perhaps I'm atypical.
  • Same here to be honest, My old Laptop gave up the ghost a couple of years ago and I was given a cleron based one, but i never use it, I put Linux on it, but I find no need for it. I did nto use my old one that much either.  I prefer the desktop, granted I can nto take it anywhere, but then I have no need to.  
  • I do want one with LTE so I don't have to worry about connecting to dodgy wifi when traveling.  I find laptops to be much more useful than a phone.
  • It is sad that people seems to have a need to be connected to the net 24/7, while I can see a point for these machines for businses or work reasons, it is not something I would have.  Roll on the summer where i can to my local park and read and switch of from the net and communication, just about get a signal there to get a text.  Saying that I will still have some technologyu as I use an Ebook.  
  • I see this as something nice to have. I have had both laptops with SIMs and USB dongles with SIMs. Both very easy and quick to connect but not as easy as my iPad with an LTE SIM. What I do not get is why this should be any revolution, I agree on a OK evolution making life a bit simpler but I can't see the game changer. Maybe it is because a come from an European view point but I can't see Microsoft store being the prime place to get the data from. When it comes to companies they usually already have plans that only will add eSIMs to them, for private surfing on a company laptop maybe but most people already have some kind of data plan and I have an hard time to see that Mi’crosofts offer would be cheaper or more convenient. The big data plans are there for a reason, it is convenient. The same can be said for a lot of businesses, plans instead of piecewise. Most don't buy CDs, DVD and such anymore and even books is giving in for plans from Spotify, Netflix, Youtube, Audible and so on. The few times I have paid for data in bulk have been when I have been abroad but that have still been handled by an SMS on the phone and then using it as a hotspot. So while I see this as a good evolution where the norm that the ability to use LTE on all laptops, I can't see that Microsoft store would add any convenience to that.
  • "Considering tethering is usually a feature that costs more on top of your standard mobile plan" Canada is different, tethering your mobile's internet is no charge here since the arrival of 3G, so I don't see the need of a dedicated LTE on PC unless it would be using the same data plan I already have on my phone (for a little extra fee I suppose for the extra SIM card).
  • Canada isn't different. I know because I live in Canada. I have to pay more for tethering in Canada.
  • I don' pay for tethering. - a Canadian, eh...
  • Hi Cale....I'm also in Canada with Bell. No line item charge for tethering and my plan is old with grandfathered unlimited. Tethering was always available for me without additional fee. I can't speak with certainty but anecdotely based on peer feedback I think this is now the norm.
  • We need not just LTE but VoLTE.
  • No you absolutely do not need LTE on a PC. 1) Mobile already covers this 2)If you really need to sit and work - places like these have wifi 3) tether if you are in a pinch 4) your work is that important...doubt it MS dropped the ball leaving mobile.  Once Google-Android dominate the world (and move to x86 or mega ARM as they acquire broadcom),  Microsoft, the hobbyiest OS will say..."we should have put more effort into mobile
  • 5G is going to support many more nodes than 4G LTE, and will offer performance that will be faster than Wi-Fi. I believe with 5G, it will make sense to by-pass Wi-Fi and just use cellular all the time. I think (or hoping) due to the increase node capacity of 5G, wireless companies will offer different type of plans that are not fixed to devices. With eSIM, there should be no reason you couldn't use your single unlimited plan on many different devices. I believe this is the future Microsoft is preparing for; that is the world of 5G and eSIM. Right now, many of the readers have a good point about how tethering, though a bit clucky of a solution, economically makes sense with current 4G LTE plans.
  • Sometimes coming from a third world country can be quite advantageous . Like you guys in the US pay $140 for only 10Gb of 4G data? And to worsen the entire thing there is no hotspot as a basic feature. Here in Kenya $40dollars gives you at least 30Gb with no restricted hotspot, only your device maximum number of connected devices will limit you(that's for safaricom) other carriers such as Telkom will give unlimited data for the same amount. And now super fast fiber (call it faiba here) will give superfast 4G /LTEat much cheaper price. 30Gb for $25(monthly)