3G or not 3G?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by Dunmail, Feb 11, 2011.

  1. Dunmail macrumors regular

    Mar 27, 2009
    Skipton, UK
    I'm thinking of getting an iPad. Is it worth getting one of the 3G models? I'm UK based.

    I understand that there is likely to be an update before too long, I'm not in a rush to buy so may wait until the updates appear. (May be a long wait :rolleyes:)
  2. TEG macrumors 604


    Jan 21, 2002
    Langley, Washington
    If you need the 3G data, get it. Otherwise you will have to rely on WiFi or a MiFi/Portable Hot Spot device for a 3G carrier you want to use.

  3. Jack97 macrumors regular


    Nov 30, 2010
  4. Saberon macrumors 6502a

    Sep 16, 2008
    That would be so much funnier if it was 2G we were talking about.
  5. DNAppleGold, Feb 11, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2011

    DNAppleGold macrumors 6502

    Apr 9, 2009
    I have a 3g model, and frankly, don't find it's worth the $$. And yes - I travel for work work a lot. It's definitely nice to have, but another $15-$25 a month adds up quickly. I turn my account on/off to reduce costs, and would really think twice when I upgrade to Ipad 2 or 3. Here are a few questions to ask yourself:

    - Over the next few days, make a mental note of how often you are someplace with no Wifi. For me home, work, client's, airports, hotels, cafe very often have very good wifi access and I"m in one of those a lot. That basically leaves being in-transit or when the above don't have wifi.
    - Do you have a really good smart phone that gives you access to the web when your between wifi hotspots
    - Do you drive a lot where you need maps/driving instructions? Ipad is awesome for this, but for me, I rarely need more than my Iphone provides.

    All this being said, if the extra $100 isn't an issue, get the 3g, use it for a month, and turn off your account if it's not worth it.
  6. Hawke macrumors regular

    Dec 21, 2007
    Dublin, Ireland
    I am also stuck between 3g or Wifi only, I think I am going to settle for Wifi only with the larger storage capacity:D
  7. DeeEss macrumors 6502a

    Jan 17, 2011
    I believe that with carriers such as o2 in the UK you get use of the free BT Openzone and Cloud hotspots. I'm always seeing BT openzone on my iphone so I was wondering the same thing as you.

    But the thing is, the time I really need 3G are the times there is no Wifi, and I don't want to have to walk around trying to find a hotspot when I don't have the time to. When you're busy with work and need access to it quickly you get pretty frustrated and angry pretty quickly!

    I think a pay as you go deal would be ideal and I think it's like £2 a day as and when you need it. that way those times you really need 3G it's there and otherwise i'll just stick with wifi. £2 for emergency use is a good deal I think.
  8. zenio macrumors 6502

    Feb 2, 2011
    I think it looks stupid walking around with a big old slab of aluminum, but that's just me.

    Some people like to show off, cause they think they're cool with their iPad... :)

    It's all up to you.
  9. Acorn macrumors 68020


    Jan 2, 2009
    i have 3g and i love it. i can turn 3g on or off whenever i please. there is no contract. so paying for the extra service is a non issue. i bought 3g for nov dec and jan feb so i could surf the web when we lose power from being snowed in. also use it at the doctors office while waiting all the time. as far as looking cool i keep mine in a leather porfolio so people dont know im carrying it. all set with getting jumped.

    there is no way i would give up 3g when there is no contract and you can turn it on and off as you please. there are tons of places like las vegas where all networks are closed so you need 3g or pay a large fee. where you live or where you go may may depend on that as well.

    Its nice to have internet even on simple things like long car rides or rides to the beach.

    give up 3g.. nah.
  10. Buck987 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 16, 2010
    I have both. The wifi stays at home and is used allot. The 3G stays in my briefcase and goes with me everywhere. I dont walk around with it trying to be cool. I take it out when I need it. I'm have the unlimited plan. Best $30 I spend a month.


    I use it for work to look up info relevant to my job.

    I like using it during down time at lunch or after work.

    I watch at least one hour of netflix a day at the gym on the treadmill. ( I got to a private gym with not allot of members.)

    I'm looking at cars and I take it with me to find invoice prices and reviews.

    Its a constant info source. I use it for entertainment and for info.

    Cant go wrong with either one.
  11. Buck987 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 16, 2010
    yeah...millions sold in the first year...i'm sure thats the popular opinion of most....

    so many uncool people...surprised you go out at all.
  12. Michael CM1 macrumors 603

    Feb 4, 2008
    If you can get some sort of tethering or hot spot plan from your cell phone provider, no. With AT&T offering that soon, it means I have zero reason to get a 3G iPad. I have my iPhone with me all of the time, so that means I would have the ability to create a wireless hot spot for roughly the same cost as the 3G iPad plans. I also wouldn't have to spend an extra $129 on the 3G radio, which technically means I could double my flash storage with that extra money.
  13. vrDrew macrumors 65816

    Jan 31, 2010
    Midlife, Midwest
    The answer really depends on your lifestyle, and what you plan/would like to do with your iPad.

    I've spend a couple of months in the UK (mainly London and the SW) travelling with my WiFi-only iPad. And to be honest, I've never really felt the absence of 3G. As others have noted, there are plenty of WiFi zones accessible in major cities. But even in the smaller places without public wifi - I managed to get by. At worst, I could usually find a Costa coffee if I felt a burning desire to check my e-mail or update my (NFL) football picks.

    One major difference between the WiFi and the 3G models is the GPS chip. At first I was puzzled by the absence of GPS on the wifi only version - but it sorta makes sense. GPS data, without access to map info from Google, etc. doesn't do you much good. If you ever plan on using your iPad as any sort of navigational aid - go for the 3G model.

    One place in the UK where I DID sometimes miss not having 3G was on trains. Very few UK trains seemed to have wifi (I think only Virgin and some Natl. Express.) Eurostar advertises free wifi at their terminal at St Pancras - but actually getting a stable connection there seemed nigh on impossible. Ditto for both Heathrow and Gatwick departure areas. WiFi might, theoretically, have been available (I was using a Boingo account) - but actually getting it to connect just didn't work.

    That said, I found having my iPad with me on my travels was a real boon. Not having to lug 10 kilos of books in my suitcase was nice. Having a handful of great games to keep me entertained in the down moments was good. And doing crosswords and reading my (US) newspapers kept me in touch. I also took quite a few digital photos during my travels - and the ability to quickly review my day's photos on the iPad (rather than having to beg or borrow the use of someone's PC) was incredibly helpful.
  14. Petered macrumors newbie

    Aug 5, 2010
    I regret not getting 3G on mine

    2010 MBP
    ipad 16 gb WIFI
    tons of ipod's
    iphone 3G and iphone 4
  15. filmbuff macrumors 6502a


    Jan 5, 2011
    It depends on a lot of things, but I had to get the 3g model because I wanted built in GPS.
  16. Hobbes. macrumors regular

    Jun 10, 2009
    I've been asking myself this question lately and I have decided as long as I have my iPhone with an unlimited plan, that i'll just use jailbreaking to create a hotspot (since I refuse to pay AT&T any more).

    They already get $80, they don't need anymore from me especially if i'm "unlimited".

    Even though i'm in a wifi zone for most of my free time, I just think for travel and non-wifi my iPhone will have to help pull some weight.
  17. bmcgonag macrumors 65816


    Mar 20, 2007
    I thought about the 3G, but went with Wifi only. I found Clear, a local 4G provider that has a Mifi type device that allows you to connect up to 8 devices at once.

    At strong signal I get around 6 Mbit down and 1.5 Mbit up.

    At weak I get more around 2 or 3 Mbit down and 512 to 768 up.

    I still find it to be very fast and reliable...but I only use it here around town, and it's only useful where there is Clear service.

    Just a thought buy you might see what 4G options there are out there.

    Ohhh $52 a month with hardware warranty coverage.
  18. epi117 macrumors 6502

    Mar 8, 2010
    I have a 3G, a few times in the last year i have activated the monthly plan, most times i used wifi or my jail broken iphone for wifi. But i like the option to enable the monthly plan.
  19. Sydde macrumors 68020


    Aug 17, 2009
    If you expect to travel and stay in motels, you want 3G. Most of the 30 or so places we stayed last summer had wifi (Super 8, Best Western, etc), but in about half of them were set up in such a way that my iPod Touch could not log onto the network for one reason or another. If you think you might need network in a small town, get the 3G just for insurance.
  20. adnoh macrumors 6502a


    Nov 14, 2010
  21. Dunmail thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 27, 2009
    Skipton, UK
    The Hamlet reference was deliberate :p

    Perhaps I should have stated my main intended use and locations in the OP. Mainly it will be for round home web surfing and the like where it can use the wifi setup. Away from home its other main use will be to show photos I've been taking that day/weekend.

    In a way it would seem that I've answered my own question - I've no pressing need for the 3G model. Then again I've no pressing need for the iPad itself :eek:
  22. deeddawg macrumors 604

    Jun 14, 2010
    Another thing is that the 3G model includes GPS capability that the Wifi model does not. Many apps I think will use Skyhook or similar to figure your location based on your Wifi connection, but if you think you might want to use a utility like NavFree (which stores maps locally) while away from a Wifi connection then the 3G model may be worthwhile.
  23. dukeblue91 macrumors 65816


    Oct 7, 2004
    Raleigh, NC
    I have the wifi only version and most places I hang out at have free wifi.
    For the few times I don't get wifi I use my jail broken iPhone with mywi, works like a charm.
  24. thelookingglass macrumors 68000

    Apr 27, 2005
    If you have an iPhone already, it's a bit redundant to get 3G on the iPad (and a bit redundant to get the iPad, in my opinion).

    At one point, I had an iPhone with two plans (for two different countries) and an iPad with two 3G plans for those same two countries. What do I have now? One plan for my iPhone. Hardly ever use my iPad, but even if when I do there's nothing I couldn't just do on my iPhone that requires 3G. If I'm in a hotel or something like that, I just use my Macbook Air as a wireless router.
  25. md63 macrumors 6502

    Jun 11, 2007
    If you want to be mobile with your iPad then get it. You don't get WiFi in a car on the beach in a park, etc. I live in NYC and I find that 50% of the WiFi hotspots that I use are bogged down with other users or just don't work. Go into a fairly crowded Starbucks or Barnes & Noble book store on the Upper East Side of Manhattan and you have dozens of users hooked up to their network. Sure its free, but it can be so slow at times that it basically useless for browsing. In those cases I switch over to 3G and its actually very quick in comparison.

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