Microsoft Surface 3 coming to T-Mobile later this year with 4G LTE

In a press release early this morning, Microsoft announced a brand new full-Windows tablet. The Surface 3 aims to offer a great laptop-replacing experience, at the fraction of the cost of its big brother, the Surface Pro 3. Prices will start from $499 for the base model, and it is the “thinnest and lightest Surface yet.”

Inside this new lightweight tablet is a 1.6GHz quad-core Intel Atom x7 processor. It’s 8.7mm thick and weighs just 1.37 pounds, making it very portable. It also has an 8MP rear camera, a 3.5MP front facing camera and a battery that should get you through 10 hours of use.

There will be four models of the Surface 3, when it launches in May:

  • 2GB RAM and 64GB storage for $499
  • 4GB RAM and 128GB storage for $599
  • 2GB RAM and 64GB storage plus 4G LTE for $599
  • 4GB RAM and 128GB storage plus 4G LTE for $699

T-Mobile announced this morning that it will be stocking the 4G LTE models at some point later this year, but didn’t give any specific release date.

As with the Pro model, these prices are for the tablet only. If you want the keyboard cover to make it the “laptop replacement” Microsoft wants it to be, that will set you back another $129 while the stylus/pen is $49. Both, in my experience using them with the Pro, are fantastic (almost necessary) add-ons if you want the full Surface experience. But it stings a little knowing you have to fork out $630 to get just the base model tablet and keyboard.

Interestingly, the Surface 3 won’t use a proprietary charging system like the Pro 3. Instead, it’ll use Micro USB and a 13W charger. It also includes a full-size USB 3.0 port, microSD card reader and a Mini DisplayPort connector. And each tablet comes with a 12 month subscription to Office 365 Personal.

If you want to check one out before launch, Microsoft stores will have demo models in from tomorrow, April 1st. It ships with full Windows 8.1, and will get a free upgrade to Windows 10 as soon as it’s available.

Source: Microsoft

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  • Ozgur Sen

    How will the financing plans will be?

    • Cam Bunton

      We don’t know yet. If I had to guess, I’d say maybe $0 down on the 2GB/64GB model and $99 down on the 4GB/128GB one. T-Mobile will only stock the LTE models, obviously.

      • Ozgur Sen

        Thanks for the reply

  • Paul

    I can see the versatility of this for business. Essentially it’s an even more portable laptop.

    For me, as a consumer, the storage is still a major issue. I’d kill 128 Gig in a couple hours with Adobe files, music, pictures, etc. I don’t trust cloud systems and USB flash drives would just create a mess of flash drives.

    This is a good thing for businesses, though!

    • Verizonthunder

      Or you can use your smartphone as a mobile hotspot with any tablet or laptop saving several hundred dollars.

    • Danny

      There are now large flash drives for relatively cheap. You can get a 128GB flash drive (doubling the space you have), with USB 3.0, for around $50.

      • Paul

        Yes, I’m aware. I prefer not to fumble with multiple USBs to try and cover a terabyte of files.
        This is my situation and this device will work for others.

    • Ozgur Sen

      I believe on the surface pro tablets you can change your storage

      • noc007

        To change the SSD in the Surface Pro 3, it requires carefully heating the edges of the screen, going through the tedious process of carefully removing the screen from the adhesive without cracking the screen, and not breaking the cables in the process. Not for thee faint of heart and a high probability of cracking the screen.

        • Ozgur Sen

          yeah
          I would pay a professional to do it rather than me trying with out the right equipment.

        • jay_max

          And you’d instantly void your warranty.

    • Ozgur Sen
    • Ozgur Sen

      the SSD is replaceable,

      • noc007

        Are we talking user replaceable with a screwdriver or Surface Pro 3 replaceable with a heat gun, razor blade, plastic wedges, a replacement screen if things go wrong, and monk level patience and time?

        • Ozgur Sen

          yeah

    • Paul

      Everyone’s response has been great. Thanks for not being childish.

      Sadly, to open the Surface requires a lot of work. And my 4 terabyte external is 40%ish full. There aren’t SSD drives, nor USB flag drives, big enough for me.

      This device isn’t marketed to a consumer such at myself. I know that.

    • mingkee

      Micro SD may be a solution for you especially Windows 7 and 8 have native FAT64 support. You can leave memory card as long as you want and add up to 256GB with no hassle.
      RAM is another story though.

  • Joe

    Now does it have band 12?

    • Ozgur Sen

      Probably through a software update

  • Adrayven

    So, with keyboard and pen, $730 base LTE, or $830 for more memory (DDR/SSD)

    I just hesitate at the Atom processor.. they are sooooooo very weak. My idea of a laptop is something that can replace my desktop.. not something that can replace my ‘tablet’.. umm.. I want something with desktop class processing and GPU.. thats NOT this product.

    Kind of backwards to me.. of course Microsoft doesn’t want desktops to go away.. lol

    • Paul

      I view them the same way.

    • Desktop class processing and GPU exists already, it’s called the “Surface Pro 3”.

      This is a much more in-line iPad competitor, even though it has a similar form factor to the SP3.

      • Joe

        The Surface Pro 3 is not even close to Desktop class processing. You have to buy a gaming laptop to get Desktop class processing.

        • Nightpoison

          Yes and no. Remember not all desktops come with dedicated graphics. not everyone needs that.

          but here is my set up. I have two 27″ Asus monitors that I’m connecting through displayport from my SP3 docking station.

          I do all my school work and programming on it. I play COD, Civilization, and league of legends on my SP3 streaming to my monitors. Are the settings maxed, not a chance, but its playable. Would I say you can run crisis or other extremely graphics heavy games. might have more difficulty.
          you say its not a desktop class processing. I disagree. I do everything I did on a desktop with my SP3 plus take it with me when I got to classes. Which is so much more. It really depends on what you need from it. I know people running Photoshop, professional photographers, and autoCAD, designers.

        • Joe

          Ya well the way I use my laptop the SP3 would not be able to handle it. I first of all on average use 11GB ram and keep everything open all the time such at chrome, SolidWorks, Word, steam, Origin, u name it. And well I play games to and don’t like to close anything to play them. But yes the SP3 is a very good PC just not for me. O ya and if you use SolidWorks the way I do you need a graphics card no question.

        • Walter Lonsdale

          No tablet based device would.

    • JLV90

      Atom works very well on Windows. I hope no one plans on doing anything intense with these. Basic browsing and apps will work no problem, add in lowered requirements for windows 10 and it would be even better.

    • Guest

      Sounds just like the iPad, but actually able to run x86 programs:

      iPad 16GB wifi: $500
      iPad 16GB LTE: $630
      iPad 64GB LTE: $730
      iPad 64GB LTE with Third-Party Keyboard: At least $800, possibly $830 or more
      Surface 3 64GB wifi: $500
      Surface 3 64GB LTE: $600
      Surface 3 64GB LTE with Type Cover: $730

      Just saying…

      • JLV90

        Plus expandable storage through USB and microSD.

    • eanfoso

      You’re forgetting that it’s Windows OS. Yes Android has such a poor performance, but Windows is known to work well, even at dual core

    • itguy08

      Or just head over to Apple and buy the 11″ Macbook Air for $899 which has 128GB storage, 4GB RAM, a real CPU, better OS, and a keyboard. It doesn’t have LTE but that phone in your pocket does and is a free hotspot on T-Mobile.

      • skywalkr2

        Better O/S?… go troll somewhere else.

        • itguy08

          Does the truth hurt? Windows is a Sucky OS. Always has been and probably always will be. I use all 3 of the majors – Linux, OS X, and Windows. Windows is dead last in pretty much all areas except app count.

    • charminxtra

      That’s why they have the surface pro 3.

  • Mike

    EIP?

  • Mike

    Wonder if they’ll do EIP with it.

    • jp

      of course they will

  • JB

    This is pretty awesome. For me, I don’t need a desktop class tablet, I just wanted a Surface that will work in tandem with my XBox One paticularly for the remote play that will be baked in later this year. So I may have to get on this, provided they plan on doing EIP with this.

  • mingkee

    This should be a tablet for me, but I have to setup internet sharing to current tablets (Tab Pro 8.4 and Memo Pad ME572 are great tablets for the price).
    However, it may be better to have dual-boot (Windows and Android) solution and hot swap.

  • maximus1901

    T4gru com
    Tmobile enthusiast forums

  • jay_max

    This information is for the first generation Surface Pro. You really should delete the link, as it doesn’t even apply to the Surface 3 product.

    • Ozgur Sen

      Changed it

      • lol

        u changed it to a surface pro 3 link. this article is about just the surface 3. no pro.

        • Ozgur Sen

          I checked it
          You can also change the ssd on the surface 3

  • vinnyjr

    That is a great little machine. Get a lot done with that. Thank You T-Mobile, Thank You John Legere.

  • jp

    Very excited about this. A welcome option to T-Mo’s tablet portfolio.

  • williejackbrainer

    Hmm I maybe interested in this Microsoft Surface 3. I would have to have it for at least three to four years before I start looking for something new. Most of my important documents, photos and videos are housed on my external hardrive. Space is not my concern.

  • Josh

    Yes! Glad I waited! Windows 10 + 4G LTE +Surface Pro 3 = TakeMyMoney(2)(75)

    • Frankwhitess

      Hey Josh,… Not to ruin your moment, but it’s not the Surface Pro 3 that T mobile will have… It’s the weaker model : just Surface 3… No “Pro” here.. The Surface 3 is equivalent to Sprint, As the Surface 3 Pro is equivalent to T Mobile ;) …. Totally different realm lol…

    • JLV90

      It’s not a Surface Pro 3, it’s just a Surface 3, but it does have real windows unlike previous Surface and Surface 2 that had Windows RT

  • Microsoft Finally

    Simply said, Microsoft Surface tablets are the best…I think and my preference for the windows operating system, key board, USB 3.0 port, and microSD card slot….

  • steveb944

    “Interestingly, the Surface 3 won’t use a proprietary charging system like the Pro 3. Instead, it’ll use Micro USB and a 13W charger”

    Thank goodness! I HATE the magnetic charger for my work issued Pro 3, it’s a hassle out in the field.

    Other than that, I still think the Pro 3 is a better buy thanks to the processor. Atom doesn’t cut it, and it still doesn’t sip power like the real Android tablets with keyboard.

    • Ordeith

      This is a completely new generation Atom, and The Surface 3 is the first device ever released using this version of the CPU. It very well could perform well and sip power. We won’t know until these devices get properly reviewed.

      • steveb944

        Cam mentioned 10 hour use, I can manage 8 hours (full work day) on my Pro 3. Not that great an increase in battery life for sacrificing so much processing power, IMO.

    • Brad

      I don’t mind the magnetic charger on my 2, but it sucks that my stylus holder is gone while it charges haha

      • steveb944

        Hmm. There’s a holder on the charger? I use the holder from my case that’s used to keep the magnetic keyboard closed, it’s only a matter of time till I break that elastic.

        • Brad

          the button on the stylus that you use to right click? That’s metal… it clips into where the charger bit goes! My mind was blown when I figured it out :)

        • steveb944

          WHAT?! So that’s why the side is shaped like that…I can’t wait to try it tomorrow! Thanks!

        • Brad

          Haha, yeah… It’s so convenient, but I find myself playing with it on the holder though… annoying click sound haha

    • Bobby Edwards

      See, now that funny, I hate the mini USB charger, give the magnets or a 3.5mm jack. I seen way too many devices with broken mini USB sockets.

      • steveb944

        Haha, to each his own then. I would love having 3.5mm tho, can’t fix what ain’t broke.
        I’ve been careful with my Micro/Mini USB connections. Right now my Pro 3 plug is all bent outta shape

  • VicRooLoo

    I’ll wait for the USB Type C models.

  • Nightpoison

    I love my Surface Pro 3. I hope this means that when the SP4 hits the market it will have T-Mobile LTE support built in. As this would get me to upgrade to the SP4, rather than waiting for the SP5.

    • JLV90

      I would love to get an SP3 or SP4, my current laptop is fine I have an iPad, a Nexus 7, and a Dell Venue 8 Pro. I use them each for about a week when I get bored then they just collect dust. Think my laptop needs to die to justify spending $1000+ on a tablet right now.

  • Hiro

    Yes!!!!!!!! Finally!

  • fhritp

    Finally now I don’t have to make my Lumia rep feel so bad about how they have nothing good to offer.

  • Ozgur Sen

    Man I Hate Google’s customer service
    I waited 41 minutes on the phone
    When the lady answered the phone, she hanged the phone while I was explaining the problem.
    – –
    //
    //

    • VicRooLoo

      I had a very pleasant experience talking with a Google CS rep when I had to get my Nexus 5 repaired.

      • Ozgur Sen

        I called about google maps
        the problem was that whenever I do dual screen mode on the note 4, the blue arrow is not centered. You called about a depair which has a higher priority

        • Andrew Singleton

          calling google about a samsungandroid glitch was your first mistake

        • Ozgur Sen

          It wasn’t samsung it was google because I uninstalled google maps and installed the 9.5 version and it worked.
          When I updated the maps to the latest update the problem came back.
          My dad has lg g3, I checked it with his phone and he has the same issue with the latest update. 9.6 and above

  • Ryanide

    Too bad it’s only a Surface 3 and not a Surface Pro 3.

    Without normal windows programs, it’s pretty worthless to most.

    • Derek Harper

      You are aware this surface (Surface 3) runs the full version of windows right?
      Check their blog: http://blog.surface.com/2015/03/announcing-surface-3/

    • JLV90

      This Surface 3 has real windows and will run windows programs. It does not have Windows RT like the Surface 1 and 2 it has Windows 8.1

    • Tony Villagomez

      It won’t run Desktop Apps? What do you mean? Oh, like an iPad? :)

    • Andrew Singleton

      surface 3 is full windows.

  • Brian Perez

    I guess ill be financing it lol. The best option if your able to that is

  • jonathan3579

    Man, this just goes to show how horribly overpriced the Nexus 9 is.

    • Brad

      that HAS to be sarcasm….

      • jonathan3579

        I don’t see how it has to be sarcasm. This tablet does WAY more than any android tablet and matches or beats the price. I love the Nexus line but the 9 is the one I can’t get behind for the price.

        • Brad

          The nexus 9 is $399 and you don’t need to buy a keyboard and stylus separately… you absolutely need those things to use the surface.

        • Bobby Edwards

          You do not absolutely need those add-ons, many tablets don’t even have them as an option, yet are still selling and being used. Buy a $14 Jot stylus, and you can work just fine even on a 7″ tablet with Windows 8.1 for $79.

        • Brad

          There’s no point in running a full version of windows without the keyboard. Believe me… I have a surface. You want the keyboard. It’s not that great of a tablet.

        • skywalkr2

          You will literally come up with any excuse it seems. Facts are a full O/S tablet is a much better deal at $499 than an android tablet at $399. Not even a close comparison.

        • Brad

          So a tablet with lower specs that can run full versions of software (what software would you want to run? I can’t think of any that’s useful without a full keyboard… the virtual takes up half the screen) for $100 more is a better deal? Explain to me how. Tell me what software you would want to run.

        • vinnyjr

          The Surface is a computer that real work can be accomplished. You can’t even compare them.

  • Bobby Edwards

    OK, Before you all get too excited, we are talking T-Mobile and a date of sometime. That is like Dorothy’s somewhere over the rainbow. Hell I have called to ask when the 640 will sold, and even though it is on the web site, they won’t even say they are going to carry it.
    If T-Mobile could get their act together, they could be a real force, but poor service, and long waits for upgrade (“Denim”) are costing them customers.

    • no2apple

      I guess MS sells a universal GSM unlocked tablet… Check their website… So doesnt have to wait for t-mobile model.

  • PiCASSiMO

    Is the LTE radio worth $100? No, of course not. You can get an LTE smartphone for less than $100 so why should a small LTE radio cost additional $100? Because Apple has been doing it for years since the launch of the original iPad at $129 extra, and has continued the
    theme since. It’s now become the industry norm to pay a huge mark-up for something that costs about $5 wholesale. Easy money.

    So I’ll save the $100 and the additional monthly bill and simply tether my phone with the 5GB of monthly access on my unlimited data plan.

    • no2apple

      Agree and disagree… Yes they put a premium cost to LTE but having untethered internet is lot more convenient.. I figured I never buy a non-LTE tablet anymore..

      Now that I get $5 unlimited data on my legacy plan which I use my tablets on..
      Also for those guys who dont have this plan, you can get $10 tablet data match which is still a bargain..

      Also remember apple skips GPS on the wifi model. Weird..

      • Andrew Singleton

        true, but there are sneaky ways to hide tethering. i use locale so that when im NOT in a place with known wifi, my hotspot is active and my tablet auto-connects. its like tethering without any extra action necessary.

  • jon

    Is T-Mobile version at least using i5 or i7? Please tell me its NOT Atom?

    • no2apple

      Atom

  • no2apple

    Everything great but the 4GB LTE model is getting close to ~900 with tax… I wish they had 64GB-4GB model for 599..

    • Andrew Singleton

      i wish it was free

  • Andrew Singleton

    I AM SO PSYCHED FOR THIS!!! FINALLYYYYYYYYYY

    • Andrew Singleton

      also, is there no share button on this blog? i cant find one

  • OP__

    Only if it has an Unlimited data plan allowed for it.

  • aaron

    id pay for it its a pro..

    • Andrew Singleton

      huh? no its not

  • GinaDee

    This is nice to know it’ll come with embedded 4GLTE.

    It’s just hard to sell these to Enterprise Customers at this price point especially when you have to sell the keyboard and pen to complete the deal.

    I can sell thousands of cheap Chromebooks all day long but these will be a hard sell. Hopefully Microsoft or T-Mobile will help business customers on pricing a bit to help push these out in mass to the Enterprise Market.

  • vinnyjr

    I’ll be buying the surface from T-Mobile. Was going to update my tablet but the Surface is the perfect back up computer that if needed real work can be accomplished.

  • iCrap

    i just have to say, atom fail, especially if this has emmc instead of msata. intel atoms blow. i fell for them twice, i currently have a bay trail asus t100, and it is a slow pos

  • VJ

    omg please stock the pro at tmo!! was considering buying this already from Best Buy but I’ll wait since I might be able to finance on tmobile for zero down and no interest rates! #ihavegoodcreditattmobile

  • KenP

    Wonder if it will support LTE band 2 ?

  • Debo Jenkins

    Anyone heard anything new as far as a date? I’m dying to get one!

  • Debo Jenkins

    Why is no one talking about this anymore? no update on a release date?

  • JCBetancourt26

    Att just came out with their version.

  • AJB1965

    Last article I saw said Tmo was getting this for business users 7/31 but it doesn’t look like that happened. I hope they get it, I would love to have one.

  • Al William

    LTE version came out last month. I hope this has nothing to do with windows phone. I mean, if T-Mo can’t have the phone, then maybe they don’t want anything to do with this Surface 3.

  • Es

    What is status of this coming out with tmobile????