3G iPad - Worth the extra 130 down payment?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by klamse25, Dec 23, 2010.

  1. klamse25 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 25, 2009
    I'm going to buy an iPad after Christmas because I will probably have enough money.
    Will I regret paying extra for the 3G version?
    How much bandwidth does Netflix use over 3G?
    Any other comments?
  2. Dragoro macrumors 6502


    Nov 27, 2010
    I like having 3G as a stop gap for when wifi isn't available. That and only 3G models have gps.
  3. klamse25 thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Oct 25, 2009
    I figured that too... Do you have the $15.00 plan or $30.00 one?
  4. saberahul macrumors 68040

    Nov 6, 2008
    In my experience, 3G is good if you're mostly away from a wifi hotspot and need to access the web. I use my BlackBerry in such scenarios. For the iPad, I am almost always in a wifi zone (unless I'm driving to work and cars don't fully feature internet, yet).
  5. BacklitFirefly macrumors 6502

    Dec 27, 2009
    Sandhills Area, North Carolina
    Can't you just buy that thingie from Verizon now that lets you do 3G with a wifi iPad? For maybe $20/month?
  6. Dragoro macrumors 6502


    Nov 27, 2010
    Right now I tether from my droid 2 but I got the 3G model in case I ditch my droid 2 and contract cause I barely use my phone so it's cheaper to just get a crappy prepaid phone. Having the 3G model lets me connect without having to have a contract.
  7. Dragoro macrumors 6502


    Nov 27, 2010
    You have to carry a separate wifi thing if you want to go through verizon. Can only use the internal 3G through ATT.
  8. BHP41 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 21, 2010
    United States of America
    If you're in a area that doesn't have good AT&T coverage this is a good option. If you have good AT&T coverage then I don't think it's the best option. It's another contract plus what,$100 for the mifi. Plus AT&T is much faster than verizon at the moment. I have the 3G iPad and use it with my mifi from

    The mifi is for work so I can use my laptop so I don't use the 3G feature that much. About the only time I do use it is when I'm on a trip and don't carry my mifi with me. It's easy enough to turn on the service when needed.

    So, IMO. Yes, the 3G option is worth the extra money. I think it's also easier to sell when/if that time comes.
  9. Mr Kram macrumors 68020

    Mr Kram

    Oct 1, 2008
    worth is how you define it. it's definitely worth it to me to have 3G. it's nice to have the flexibility. i'm on wifi for the most part and often i don't even have 3G enabled on the ipad. when i do need it, i usually opt for the $15 plan which is enough for moderate browsing. if you're planning on streaming netflix, i did a test once and a kid's hour and a half movie ate 167 MB of data.
  10. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    Downpayment? It's a purchase without a downpayment.
    Is it important to have internet everywhere you go?
  11. pv1191 macrumors member

    Apr 27, 2010
    Like others have said it depends on your usage. I work in a place that does not have an open wifi so the 3G is great for streaming radio or podcasts. I have the unlimited plan so I don't have to worry about usage.
  12. Xeperu macrumors 6502

    May 3, 2010
    I bought a 3G for the GPS chip in it. Upgraded months later to an international data plan because of traveling. Before that I just MiFi'd on my iPhone.
  13. SaMaster14 macrumors 6502

    Aug 23, 2010
    Los Angeles, CA
    I would say definitely worth it.
    On my way to my house in palm desert from los angeles right now and the 3G is perfect for the 3 hour car ride.

    Also our house down there doesnt have wifi in it (the country club does, but since we don't go down much there is no wifi in the house).
    So the 3G will be perfect! Only way i can really get online except for my blackberry (which would be annoying to use as an every day computer device) or going down to the clubhouse to get wifi.
  14. azstinger macrumors member

    Sep 21, 2010
    If you plan on traveling, abroad in particular, then it is worth it imho.
  15. sushi Moderator emeritus


    Jul 19, 2002
    Have 3G. Love it. Glad that I got it! :)

    Very two important points.
  16. iSingandiDance macrumors 6502a


    Apr 24, 2010
    Worth it and some.

    The mifi alternative only has at best a 5 hours battery life.

    Being built-in FTW.

    But seriously, I don't even use mine (used it the first month), but I already have wifi everywhere I go.

    Still, it's going to be easier to recoup my money once ipad2 drops, and that's IF I'm so compelled to sell/purchase.
  17. MrWillie macrumors 65816


    Apr 29, 2010
    Starlite Starbrite Trailer Court
    You are a member of a country club and can't afford $70 for a wifi access point in you home ??? I have DLink pocket wireless client/router/access point device. I take it with me when I travel, for those rare occasions the is wired ethernet, but not wireless (it's plugged into the TiVo when I am home).
    People have stated in other threads about getting more at resale. But if you get an extra $70, you have lost an extra $60 over selling a wifi only model.
  18. roberthodgson, Dec 29, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2010

    roberthodgson macrumors regular

    Jul 18, 2010
    Buy the 3G version

    Buy the 3G Version
    when we travel we use the Ipads 3G all the time

    IE: you travel to Disney World for 10 Days Disney charges $14.99 per day for internet access if you get the internet for your entire stay you just paid the difference in one trip.

    not to mention you can have internet access while you drive to keep the Kids or wife entertained allso you get a GPS with the 3G version

    I would buy a 3G version again in a heartbeat
  19. ldburroughs macrumors 6502

    Feb 25, 2005
    Virginia Beach, VA
    It will boil down to your needs and your preferences.

    If this helps, here's why I didn't opt for 3G version.

    1. Data capped. The few times I may actually use 3G, I will likely use more data than the plans allow without paying through the nose. We recently took a week-long trip to Disney and I would have easily burned through the data during that time. I actually come close to it on my phone at times but have unlimited through Verizon so it isn't an issue.

    2. We have more than one in the family. It can get expensive to run more than one plan for the few, rare times we use 3G.

    3. There are many viable, less expensive options out there.

    We use the Virgin mobile mifi which uses the sprint network. The data plan is unlimited for $40 per month and we can use up to five devices at once. This option was great while we were traveling. As for it's battery life, we didn't surf the web for more than 5 hours at a time. While at the hotel, we just left it plugged in and it worked extremely well as a wifi hotspot for our timeshare. When we don't need it, we can simply turn it off. There is no contract. If one of us needs it for some reason while away from wifi, they just take it along. My wife takes it with her to crops (scrapbooking) and let's others use it at the same time. It's not as convenient as all of us having our own, alway available 3G through AT&T, but it is an affordable alternative.

    As for resale value, my ipad is not a car and I really don't care much. I bought mine used at a very reasonable price and will pass it down when the time comes to upgrade. I may just keep it. Who knows? I am, however, looking forward to the next version. I may consider the plan options if the move to Verizon or add 4G but am fine with the mifi for now. Again, it will boil down to your needs and preferences in the end.
  20. roberthodgson macrumors regular

    Jul 18, 2010
    Capped Usage

    True you only get 2GB per month but that is plenty of data if you have more then one device then the MIFI is great but if you are only taking the IPAD why carry 2 devices

    But only you can still get the 3G version and the MIFI and only activate the 3G on the Ipad when you need it and you do not want to carry a second device with you

    In the past I have used our 3G version to invoice clients right on site so they get the invoice before I walk out the door and some times I get paid on the spot and do not have to wait 30 to 60 days for payment
  21. jpjandrade macrumors member

    Mar 17, 2010
    Very much yes. At first I thought I was wasting money, since I got wifi at home and at work, but when the iPad becomes an extension of your arm and your grandma doesn't have wifi at her house, you'll realize it was US$130 very well spent.
  22. BladesOfSteel macrumors regular


    Jul 13, 2009
    St. Paul
    I got the WiFi only . . .

    My thought was that if I was somewhere sans wifi, and in a pinch, I could use my iPhone.

    So, as others have said, I guess it depends on what you're going to be using it for.
  23. DNAppleGold macrumors 6502

    Apr 9, 2009
    I had my WiFi only ripped off and I replaced with a 3g. While it is very handy, honestly, I'm not sure it's worth the extra costs (both upfront and monthly). I have WiFi access at home, work, and most coffee shops I'm in. I do travel a ton for work, and the 3g is more useful for these trips. But even then many hotels and airports have WiFi. Like others of said, it really depends on your use, but here are two questions I wish I considered.

    Spend 48 hours making a mental note of how many places you are that don't have WiFi access. How often are you really in places where there is no WiFI that you would actually use an Ipad. For some people the answer is a ton, for others, not so much.

    Do you have an Iphone or other robust smartphone with a robust data plan? If so, this will fill in many of the non-WiFi gaps.

    Unless you buy a more expensive data plan for the Ipad, $25+ a month, you'll be limited to checking e-mail and light web surfing. Is that worth an extra $180 a year? I know you can turn it on and off but you have to buy the plans a month at a time.
  24. ArchXyrho macrumors member

    May 15, 2009

    If you don't plan to upgrade to the iPad 2 when it comes out then i would say yes. Why? because you never know if you need it down the road of having the iPad, so is better to have that option instead of not able to use it when you need it. That's what happen to me i went and brought an iPad Wifi only and 3 months later i sold it and brought one with 3G.
  25. el-John-o macrumors 65816

    Nov 29, 2010
    The 3G is nice when your away, a word to the wise, I can get a solid 8-9 house of non stop 3G use (source: last road trip). With one of those tethering dongles, you have a limited 3 to 4 hour battery life before your offline, unless of course you can plug it in.

    I don't use it often, in fact the 3G version was a gift otherwise I might have bought the wifi, but it sure does come in handy, in hindsight, I WOULD have bought the 3G version, if I had been the one to buy it, and I had realized how much it comes in handy, if that makes sense.

    You cannot add it on later, remember that. If you can afford it, do it. The plan is a la cart, buy it as you need it. I don't auto subscribe, I just buy it when I need it, if I still have time left great, if not, I buy more. Otherwise I might go for a month of paid service that I didn't really use.

    The GPS is also a fantastic feature!

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