Microsoft Surface To Ship Without 3G?

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Tablet could ship without 3G and be pricey, according to a growing set of leaks and rumours

Microsoft’s new Surface tablet is expected to ship supporting only Wi-Fi, unable to connect to 3G mobile networks, according to reports leaking onto the web in several places.

This is in contrast to Apple, which has released a 3G version of every iPad since it shipped its first tablet in 2010.  The latest edition can also support 4G networks, but only in North America.

Wi no Fi, Microsoft?

It has been suggested that Microsoft has left out 3G to keep the price of the tablet down, given that Wi-Fi only models are currently a significant part of the market. Microsoft has said that it is confident that the Surface will have the “best Wi-Fi available.”

According to The Next Web, the ARM-based Windows RT model will retail at $599 (£477), while the Ivy Bridge Windows 8 Pro version will sell for $999 (£795). These have not been confirmed, but it would be in line with Microsoft’s claim that the cost of the RT model would be “comparable” with other ARM tablets with 32GB and 64GB of storage.

The specifications of the device have not yet been revealed, but it will be 10.6 inches wide, 33mm thin and will use an Intel Core i5 Ivy Bridge processor, while a Type Cover will provide a keyboard. Details such as pricing and battery life have not been revealed.

Microsoft has promised that Windows 8 will work equally well on both tablets and PCs and the Surface is expected to lead the tablet charge for the platform. It has been suggested though that Microsoft’s entry into the hardware market, could anger some of its partners which have signed up to produce tablets for Windows 8.

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