Microsoft doesn’t typically have a lot to show off at CES, but the company dropped a surprise announcement this morning. The Surface Pro 7 is getting a few key updates, including removable SSD storage, a bigger battery and LTE connectivity. The catch? At least for now, the new Surface Pro 7+ will only be available to education and business customers.
The removable SSD storage is probably the most unique change Microsoft made here; the company says it’s meant as a security feature for commercial organizations that may have “specific data retention standards.” It’s also easier to service in the event that the drive fails, something that should make life easier for IT admins.
LTE is a pretty straightforward addition, but it’s limited to the fanless Core i5 configuration. The model with LTE works with both physical SIM cards as well as eSMI, and Microsoft says it should work in more than 180 countries.
As for the battery, the Surface Pro 7+ has the biggest one in a Surface to date, something it managed by using the thinner display first featured in the Surface Pro X. Microsoft made some other improvements as well, including a redesigned internal thermal system with larger vents.
The Surface Pro 7+ got a processor upgrade, as well — it’s now running on Intel’s 11-generation Tiger Lake processors in Core i3, i5 and i7 configurations. The i7 model is the only one that needs a fan, so the other models should be nice and quiet.
As Microsoft is positioning this device for business and education customers, it’s not exactly clear if or when you’ll be able to just pop on Microsoft’s website and pick one up. We’ve reached out to the company for more price and configuration details but The Verge reports that it’ll start at $899 with a Core i3 processor, 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. You can apparently shove as much as 32GB of RAM and 1TB of storage into the i7 Surface Pro 7+, and that’ll set you back a whopping $2,799. There are plenty of models between those, of course, including the lone LTE model, which starts at $1,149.