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To 3g or not to 3g?

Yoshiki UK

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Well, that is the question.

I have been rather settled on the idea of getting a wi-fi 32gb ipad for when i graduate from uni in around 2 weeks time. I will be getting £300 as a gift (i'm in the UK) and I will put the rest towards it.

But i've been thinking about 3g. While I have been looking at the wi-fi, the 3g is a temptress lurking in the shadows, pulling me into her grasp. I have wi-fi at home, and use my ipod touch at home, but I sometimes feel limited at the fact that I can't use it at relative's houses, on the the train, or at shops (one thing I like the idea of is checking prices of goods on my ipad when I am at the shops to compare store prices with internet prices.


In the UK, the 32gb wifi is £499. The 3g version is £100 more expensive at £599. And then, of course, I'll have the data plan to pay each month. The cheapest here is £7.50 per month for 1gb, which isn't exactly the worst thing in the world.

An alternative is to buy a portable modem known as 'mifi' from the network 3. But it has its negatives, as you can get the modem 'free' but with £9.50 per month, on an 18 month contract, something which I really do not want to be locked in to.

I figure that overall, for the first year, the 3g version will cost around £690 if I get it on the 3 £7.50 per month plan.

So i suppose the question is, is that extra money worth it? Of those of you who have 3g, would you say that you sometimes regret having spent the extra money for the device and the data plan per month, or have you never looked back? Where do you use it? How much does 1gb get you?

I know this is a generalised question, but i need all the info and help I can get so i make the sure I make the right choice on which version of this fantastic device I end up buying.
 

figmo10

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I preordered a 3G iPad and waited the extra month for its release. I didn't want the wi-fi only model. The thing to take into account when making your decision is that the iPad without internet access is just a shiny glass slate.
 

Hasty

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I use a 3 mifi but it's pay as you go.

This is a reasonable option if you don't envision using it that often. Think mifi (about the size of a packet of fags) was around £60 and the top up cards between £5-25, or you can top up via their website.

If you think you'll be using it a lot on your travels go for the 3G option.
 
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Yoshiki UK

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I use a 3 mifi but it's pay as you go.

This is a reasonable option if you don't envision using it that often. Think mifi (about the size of a packet of fags) was around £60 and the top up cards between £5-25, or you can top up via their website.

If you think you'll be using it a lot on your travels go for the 3G option.

I think I might go for this option. 3g seems attractive, but i think it may frustrate me when I pay £100 more and at least £7.50 a month and then find i'm not using it much.

Does the mifi top up have a time limit for its use? For example, if I top up with £10 for 1gb, does that stay on until I use it up? So £10 could in effect last a few months if it is not used much?
 
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Sonny Burnett

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I have a 3G and the $30.00 per month unlimited plan. I seldom use the 3G but it is there just in case I do. You should take into account that 1GB of data usage on the iPad is nothing.
 

CMFox

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3G unless you never travel out of wifi areas. I have a 3g and love it. I can get connected so many more places, including friends homes who live in the dark ages and have no wifi.
 

RobotRock

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Definitely go for 3G. Most contracts here in the UK are rolling contracts, which means that you pay monthly and are not tied for say 12 or 18 months. I also think a few of the networks have their own app where you can add data to your plan from the iPad. You can also get a few different sims for Free, and swap them about for the best plan.
 

muyoso

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Do you have a phone like the iphone or any android phone or any windows mobile phone or any blackberry phone? If you do, get the wifi model and just tether with the phone wirelessly. They all can do it and it saves you a ton of money. You will always have your phone with you, so its not something extra you gotta bring along.
 

poshpantspaddy

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3G all the way but mifi is an option. I just thought that I would have either forgot the mifi or the battery wouldn't be charged when I actually needed it. It's bound to happen this way.
 

Mayo7

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One thing you should keep in mind about the mifi is that you will always have to carry another piece of electronics with you, which also means another thing you have to worry about charging occasionally. I'm not sure what the battery life on the mifi is but if it doesn't last as long as the ipad, that's another inconvenience.

The best thing about going with 3g in my opinion is that it is built in and fully integrated into the ipad. There are also apps that utilize the gps built into the 3g antenna.

The mifi also has it's advantages like being able to connect devices other than the ipad to the intetnet, but if you want to have the best experience with your ipad, then 3g is the way to go.
 

muyoso

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One thing you should keep in mind about the mifi is that you will always have to carry another piece of electronics with you, which also means another thing you have to worry about charging occasionally. I'm not sure what the battery life on the mifi is but if it doesn't last as long as the ipad, that's another inconvenience.

The best thing about going with 3g in my opinion is that it is built in and fully integrated into the ipad. There are also apps that utilize the gps built into the 3g antenna.

The mifi also has it's advantages like being able to connect devices other than the ipad to the intetnet, but if you want to have the best experience with your ipad, then 3g is the way to go.

True, the best experience will come from getting the 3g and spending the extra money, but you can replicate everything the 3g does for 5 dollars. For example, I have a Touch Pro 2 phone. I run HTC wifi-router and it creates a wireless hotspot for me which the ipad can use. I run Blue2GPS and it turns my phone into an external GPS, which the ipad works flawlessly with after purchasing the BTStack package on Cydia.

Not the most ideal setup, but I always have my phone on me, as most people do, and saving an extra $130 not to mention the monthly charges makes it worth my while.
 

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