Microsoft's laptop gains an edge over Apple MacBook for business users

  • Microsoft is now selling the Surface Pro with LTE, which means it's connected to cellular networks where Wi-Fi isn't available.
  • This gives Microsoft's notebook a leg up over Apple's MacBook products.
  • Microsoft's Surface Pro with LTE is available for order now and ships by May 1.
CNBC Tech: Surface Pro review 5
Jeniece Pettitt

Microsoft launched a new model of its Surface Pro laptop on Tuesday with an edge over Apple's MacBook products, particularly for business users.

The new version of the Surface Pro now has built-in LTE connectivity, which means users can stay connected wherever there's a cellular signal, the same sort used by your smartphone. Previously, Microsoft sold only Wi-Fi models of the Surface Pro. Apple's MacBooks don't support LTE connections, though its iPads are available with that option.

This gives Microsoft an edge for business users who need constant connectivity where Wi-Fi isn't available, like in airports where the signal can be bad. To play devil's advocate, folks who pay for a Wi-Fi hotspot on their smartphones can also "tether" and share the same connection as their phone.

You can use the Surface Pro LTE with the carrier of your choice, including Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint in the United States.

The Verge recently reviewed the new Surface Pro with LTE and gave it high marks for all-day battery life but noted that the processor is outdated compared with newer PCs.

The LTE-model of Microsoft's Surface Pro starts at $1,149 with an Intel Core i5 processor and 4GB of RAM. If you can splurge, you're probably better off buying the model with 8GB of RAM and twice the storage (256GB) for $1,449. You'll need to pay an additional $99 for a keyboard for either model. Microsoft says the new devices should ship on May 1.