The 4G LTE Surface Pro 8 isn’t coming until next year
Last week, Microsoft announced its new Surface Pro 8 tablet. It comes with an all-new design, looking like something of a mix between a Surface Pro X and a Surface Pro 7, adding in Thunderbolt 4 and a 120Hz display. There’s also a 4G LTE model of the Surface Pro 8, but as it turns out, it’s not coming until next year.
After the announcement, pre-orders went live immediately, but Microsoft didn’t list the Surface Pro 8 for Business right away, and that’s the one that’s going to come with 4G LTE. As it turns out, the product isn’t coming until 2022. This also means that we don’t get a Core i3 model until then either, as the lower-end CPU is strangely limited to the business model.
Microsoft’s current plan is to continue selling the Surface Pro 7+ alongside the Surface Pro 8 (not necessarily the business model), and the 7+ does have 4G LTE. In fact, that tablet was exclusive to businesses, adding things like 11th-gen Intel processors, removable storage. and cellular connectivity, but putting them all in a similar chassis to the Surface Pro 7.
The reason for this strategy is because businesses rely on legacy support. The Surface Pro 7+ fits the same docks, keyboard covers, and other accessories that businesses have already stocked up on, also including USB Type-A. The Surface Pro 8 is a redesign, and it’s the first time ever that the Intel-powered Surface Pro has received a new keyboard connector. It also ditches USB Type-A.
It’s not entirely surprising that the 4G LTE model is coming later. In fact, Microsoft has a long history with Intel-powered cellular tablets being delayed long past their Wi-Fi only models. It’s a bit more surprising that the Surface Pro 8 for Business as a whole is delayed until next year. Presumably, Microsoft would want to sell the Surface Pro 7+ and the Surface Pro 8 for Business alongside each other, at least for a time.