It’s been a bit quiet on the Surface news front this week again. A lot of the other tech sites are thinking this is because Microsoft is getting ready to launch the SP4 next month. I tend to agree but don’t want to get my hopes up too much – the old Surface Pro 2 is due for an upgrade for sure.
Regardless, there were a few interesting news stories this week which I’m passing along to you now:
- Unlocked Surface 3 LTE Delays and Pre-Orders
- Cortana arrives In More Countries
- Lenovo Surface Clone
Weekly Surface News Roundup: Unlocked Surface 3 LTE Delays and Pre-Orders
Earlier this week, the U.S. Online Microsoft Store began taking pre-orders for unlocked versions of the Surface 3 LTE. The Canadian store will start allowing pre-orders on September 10th.
You can (or will be able to) pre-order both the unlocked Surface 3 LTE with 64GB/2GB RAM and Surface 3 LTE with 128GB/4GB RAM for $599 USD and $699 USD respectively. All you will need is a supported SIM card and you can hop onto 4G LTE from anywhere (with a data plan, of course).
Originally, the unlocked Surface 3 LTE models were supposed to be available late last month but, it seems, Microsoft is having a hard time getting everything ready. As a result, the unlocked model won’t be available in the U.S. and Canada until September 19th. It will be available in the UK, Germany, and France on October 2nd.
Weekly Surface News Roundup: Cortana arrives In More Countries
You may already know that Cortana has only been available in a few select countries, and U.S. is indeed one of the lucky ones. But if you’re a Microsoft Insider still waiting for Cortana for your Surface, your wait may have gotten shorter. Microsoft has released Cortana as an optional download in Japan and in English in Australia and Canada. They also have an early English version for folks in India. That version is expected to receive an improved voice later this month.
Later this year Cortana will also be available in Brazil and Mexico, and a French version for Canada.
Weekly Surface News Roundup: Lenovo Surface Clone
“Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery” -Charles Colton
If that’s true, Lenovo is flattering Microsoft, to no end, with their new Miix 700, which seems to copy the Surface Pro 3 right down to the kickstand and removable keyboard cover. Expected to be available in November for $699 USD the Mix 700 will offer an Intel Skylake processor, up to 8 GB of RAM, and up to a 256GB SSD.
With such a low price and specs like these, it could certainly be an attractive alternative to the Surface Pro 3/4. However, as I have heard someone put it, “let me see how much performance and hard drive space I will have left, after Lenovo puts their uninstallable shit-ware on it”. I have to agree. I like Lenovo but, along with HP, they are notorious for putting crap on their devices that is supposed to make the user experience better. In reality, it does nothing but eat up valuable resources, like drive space and RAM.
That’s it for this week’s roundup. See you back here next week.
Tim Rolston is a professional geek with over 23 years of experience working in Information Technology and dealing with everything from large-scale storage to remote systems management and automation for organizations such as Texas Instruments, Mobil Oil, and the University of Michigan (where he was an Academic IT Director).
He co-founded JTRTech along with Joanna to realize his long-time dream of working for himself.