Microsoft Surface 3 LTE Skips Windows 10 Launch, Arrives On AT&T Friday With Windows 8.1

Perhaps Microsoft and AT&T didn’t want the announcement to get lost in the hoopla surrounding the launch of Windows 10 next Wednesday, but the 4G LTE version of the Surface 3 tablet is set to bow this Friday, July 24th. Microsoft first announced the Surface 3 with LTE back in late March, and told us at the time that the device would ship before the end of the summer.

The Surface 3 with LTE is tied to AT&T’s network and will be priced at $599. That price will get you an Intel Atom processor with 2GB of RAM, 64GB of internal storage, and a 10.8-inch 1080p display. Interestingly enough, opting for a two-year contract won’t knock much off the price of the tablet, as you’ll still pay a hefty $499. AT&T is, however, offering customers the chance to purchase the tablet for $399 with the purchase of any Lumia smartphone tied to a NEXT plan.

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Yet another option is to purchase the Surface 3 for $0 down and pay $30 per month with the AT&T Tablet Installment plan.

Given that the Surface 3 with LTE will launch on Friday, it will ship with Windows 8.1 instead of Windows 10. You’ll also receive a free one-year subscription to Office 365 and 1TB of OneDrive cloud storage. And while the Surface 3 with LTE will miss the July 29th debut of Windows 10, you’ll still be able to download the operating system for free.

In our own testing of the Surface 3, we found it to be an impeccably built tablet that is hampered by its Atom processor and sluggish SSD. It also doesn’t help that the device is quite pricey and that add-ons like the Type Cover, Touch Cover, and Stylus can quickly balloon the tablet’s price tag. $599 for an LTE tablet with 64GB of storage may be a tough pill for some to swallow, but we can at least take solace in the fact that onboard microSD slot can accommodate at least 128GB of additional storage.