Microsoft's Surface 2 is a good pick for business users who need to stay productive when they're away from the office. Now, a new version will help you stay connected as well, thanks to the inclusion of mobile broadband support. The 4G LTE-equipped version of the Surface 2, which comes with 64GB of onboard storage, is set to debut tomorrow (March 19) for $679. In comparison, the 64GB Wi-Fi-only model costs $549, and the Wi-Fi-only 32GB base model costs $449.
LTE-connectivity lets you access the Web from anywhere your cellular carrier offers 4G LTE coverage, and its speeds are comparable to what you'd get from your office Internet connection. You pay for access from your cellular carrier, just as you would for a smartphone data plan. However, the Surface 2 is compatible only with AT&T's 4G network, and no contract is required.
Aside from 4G connectivity, the new Surface 2 is basically identical to the standard 64GB model. Both tablets weigh about 1.5 lbs., and both get an impressive 10 hours of battery life. They both run on Windows RT, a stripped-down version of Microsoft's operating system that is not compatible with desktop Windows applications. That means programs you run on your Windows XP, Windows Vista or Windows 7 PC will not work on the Surface 2. In comparison, the Surface Pro 2 has all the functionality you've come to expect on a home or office PC.
If you rely on a specific piece of Windows software to keep your business running — and need quick access to that program when you're on the go — the Surface 2 may not be the tablet for you. But the device does feature a big library of Windows modern apps that should meet the needs of most users, and 4G connectivity will help you make the most of those apps when you're on the go.