10.5" - Wifi or LTE?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by drewjonn, Jun 11, 2017.


Should I get LTE or just Wifi?

  1. LTE - The extra 130 bucks would be worth it

    48 vote(s)
  2. Wifi - Don't spend more for a feature that you might not use often enough

    34 vote(s)
  1. drewjonn, Jun 11, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2017

    drewjonn macrumors regular

    Feb 15, 2016
    I am still deciding if I should get the LTE or just the wifi; I know for sure that the LTE is the way to go, it is just that I am not sure if the LTE feature would justify the extra $130 for me.

    Yes, I would take the iPad a lot for traveling; especially that it is the 10.5" version, so not only that it would stay a lot on the couch but also in the car or at the coffee shop and school library for me. The thing is, wifi would be available in most places except in the car or somewhere wifi is not available. Thus, I can always use my phone's personal hotspot if internet is not available (though not too convenient)

    If you could just recommend which one to go with not just by voting but explaining why, I would totally appreciate it.
  2. gobikerider macrumors 68020


    Apr 15, 2016
    United States
    Please don't pay extra money for both the iPad and the data plan when you will have wifi basically everywhere, unless you would be on the road and be reliant on internet to do your job, it's pointless
  3. goomba478 macrumors regular

    May 10, 2012
    Yup Gobi is right. So rare you need to use the cell data. Save yourself a boat load and get the Wi-Fi version.
  4. rui no onna macrumors 603

    rui no onna

    Oct 25, 2013
    Matter of personal preference.

    I like having LTE on mine. I usually spring for the top capacity so I appreciate being able to track my iPad wherever it may be. Cheaper than insurance and it's something I actually use everyday. Got my dad a wifi-only iPad back in March and kinda regretting that decision now. They just scheduled an overseas trip and having built-in LTE on the iPad would have been useful.

    That said, LTE is kinda one of those things that you know what you'll use it for. If you have to ask, then you probably don't need it.
  5. yep-sure, Jun 12, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2017

    yep-sure macrumors 6502


    Sep 21, 2012
    Melbourne, Australia
    Why is this specific to the 10.5? This question can be asked of all iPad owners/potential purchasers.

    ...and it has been.

    To answer the question - if you need a reliable way to use your iPad's connectivity outside of your home, then get the LTE version. Tethering to your phone is slow, clunky, unreliable and drains your phone battery like nothing else.

    I've owned both versions of iPads in the past, and LTE connectivity was the difference between an iPad sitting at home gathering dust, and an iPad that I use as an actual computer which I take with me whenever I leave the house - just in case I might need it. It's brilliant for travel, etc...

    I just get a prepaid SIM with an 8gb allowance that has a one year expiry, which supplements perfectly for those times I need it without WiFi being available.
  6. S1njin macrumors 6502a


    May 3, 2010
    I'd rather grab a MiFi for $10/mo access fee for the few times I need my iPad when I'm not in my house. That's predominantly when I'm RV'ing; in which case the rest of my family also could use the hotspot.
  7. frenzal macrumors newbie

    Jul 3, 2014
    One often overlooked feature of the wifi + cellular model is the fact that it has GPS whereas the wifi only models rely on a database of known WiFi networks for calculating your location. When I've been overseas having the GPS in the iPad (mini 2 in my case) has been very helpful.
  8. Adelphos33 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 13, 2012
    I've always preferred iPads with LTE as that makes them truly a mobile computer. Frankly I don't understand why Apple doesn't include LTE as an option for all of its laptops.
  9. Algus macrumors regular


    Jun 8, 2014
    I love my LTE iPad. The freedom of having a net connection regardless of the local wifi situation is fantastic. Realistically though it adds extra money to my monthly bills that I could avoid regularly by connecting to public wifi, friends, etc. Or just using my phone as a hotspot.

    I suspect for most people that live in major cities or otherwise have stable internet access, it is a luxury and nothing more.
  10. azentropy macrumors 68020


    Jul 19, 2002
    I really took advantage of the T-Mobile 200mb a month for free plan. Since I only needed more than that one or two months a year it was perfect. But they did away with that plan for "new" iPads although the jury is still out if you can move a SIM from one iPad to a new one and it still work.

    Because of that I went with the Wifi model this time as I couldn't justify spending $130 more upfront, plus even $10 a month to add it to my AT&T plan. I'll just tether from my iPhone when needed. I did decide to get the 256gb version though with the savings although I've been fine with 64gb on my iPad 2 Air.

    If however it turns out people can move their old T-Mobile SIM to the new iPads, I might return it and get the LTE version. I would then downgrade back to 64gb so it would really only cost me $30 more.
  11. willmtaylor, Jun 12, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2017

    willmtaylor macrumors G3


    Oct 31, 2009
    A Natural State
    Wifi is ubiquitous. VPN's are a must. Personal hotspots are not inconvenient. YMMV.
  12. jbachandouris macrumors 601


    Aug 18, 2009
    Upstate NY
    As previously mentioned: the LTE version is the only one with true GPS. If you need the iPad for navigation purposes, it's definitely worth it.

    Wifi ubiquitous? I am from Upstate NY and that has most certainly not been my experience. Whenever I needed it most, it was not available.

    Using your iPhone as a hotspot is going to run down your battery pretty quickly.

    What has not been mentioned yet: your carrier will allow you to do a payment plan such as AT&T Next on the device allowing you a 0% loan. This assumes that you are not planning to buy your iPad outright.
  13. willmtaylor macrumors G3


    Oct 31, 2009
    A Natural State
    That's fine. Let me then add YMMV.
  14. gatorknight904 macrumors 6502


    Jul 24, 2011
    Dallas/Ft. Worth
    Historically, I have always gone with the wifi model and I did tend to leave my iPad home a lot. I switched to LTE for the 10.5 model and look forward to not relying on public wifi connections with spotty speeds.

    It will be nice to have a connection when traveling between all of these public wifi spots everyone speaks of. An extra $20 a month for unlimited data on my plan with AT&T seems like a no brainer to me....
  15. drewjonn thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 15, 2016
    lol vote results in 50/50. this thread doesn't solve my dilemma.
  16. mtehonica macrumors regular

    Nov 7, 2007
    not anymore, i just solved it for you.
  17. willmtaylor macrumors G3


    Oct 31, 2009
    A Natural State
    Only you and your usage can determine that, unfortunately.
  18. trife macrumors 6502


    Apr 16, 2012
    When in doubt, go for the most features. Every single time I've bought an iPad, I initially got the WiFi version. Then I second-guessed myself and returned it for the LTE version.

    Yeah, I don't use it on LTE daily. But being able to when I really NEED to is worth the extra money upfront. And really, if you're spending $700+ on a tablet, what's an extra $130 in the long run?
  19. Alrescha macrumors 68020

    Jan 1, 2008
    When T-Mobile had their free 200MB/month offering, getting LTE was a no-brainer for me. It was not the amount, but rather the fact that just being connected was effectively free. Now, unfortunately, basic connectivity costs at least $10/month - I would just use my phone instead (I spent that money on more storage).

  20. redscull macrumors 6502a


    Jul 1, 2010
    Can you afford the extra $130 and don't mind $10/mo (if AT&T)? If yes, LTE for sure. I've had both. I could never go back to non-LTE. It's just so much more convenient.

    Toggling hotspot on/off, worrying about your phone battery, and being on the lookout for wifi that isn't terrible and using VPN to keep your data secure are all hassles. Versus just paying $10/mo for the ease of using your iPad whenever you want. No extra steps. Just use it like a phone.

    That said, I only have one LTE iPad. My kids' are wifi only, but I can use my iPad as a hotspot if I really want them to have mobile access. But even that's actually a perk because the iPad's larger battery handles the hotspot load more easily.
  21. richpjr macrumors 68030


    May 9, 2006
    If you can afford the extra $130 and $10 a month for data (or whatever your carrier will charge) than for me it's a no brainer - get LTE. I live in Southern California and there are a ton of spots without Wifi or with crappy wifi and I just don't want to mess around with toggling a hotspot on and off on my phone and the battery drain.
  22. ericwn macrumors 68000

    Apr 24, 2016
    This didn't really need a new thread as mentioned previously, this discussion came up often enough. Reasons pro and against haven't really changed much. I haven't missed LTE because my iPhone makes its hotspot available very quickly.
  23. willmtaylor macrumors G3


    Oct 31, 2009
    A Natural State
    Well put.
  24. siurpeeman macrumors 603


    Dec 2, 2006
    the OC
    Before it was a no brained with the free 200 MB LTE from T-Mobile. But now that it's closed for new iPads i'm not so sure anymore. I'm thinking hotspotting from my phone might be the better option now.
  25. Brown Trout macrumors member

    Mar 6, 2011
    Agree. Much of my iPad usage is offline with MS Word or Excel and/or syncing email or more recently for long trips - video downloaded. 256 is twice what my mini 4 had and I can't wait to try it out. I may even get a keyboard, something I never considered with the mini. Taking a couple of pounds off toting a MBP (my aging MBP) is something I am looking forward to trying out.

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