If you had to pick between cellular and 256gb memory...

sixxmum

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 15, 2010
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I set a cap of $1000 for my iPad including the Pencil. So, I can get *either* cellular or 256 gb of memory (instead of 128), but not both.

I don't game, and I typically don't put movies on the iPad. I use it mostly for work (documents, pdfs, sometimes PowerPoint, etc.), streaming videos and music, drawing, reading and taking notes.

Thoughts?
 

stevemiller

macrumors 68000
Oct 27, 2008
1,702
1,132
You could do neither and save a few bucks?

Do you foresee many situations where you'd need cellular? I'm sure there are travellers for whom it is worth it. I never missed it on my 3rd gen; i just tethered to my phone the few times I needed it.

Likewise I'm making due with 32gb knowing my iPad is not intended as a full computer replacement. It's a drawing tablet, browser and streaming device primarily. 128 seems ample if you don't have large libraries of data or apps.

It's totally up to you though! Maybe put the dollars towards the keyboard attachment?
 

Andy847

macrumors regular
Mar 17, 2016
162
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Chicago Suburb
I use to worry I made the wrong choice by going with a Wifi only unit, but it works for me by tethering to my phone. Which I don't mind. Now our family just switched to Comcast after years away from them, so now can find Hotspots all over the place with their app. So I"m fine with not having the cellular version.

My buddy has an Ipad Air and it's cellular, but he pays so much for the data plan just for that. He says he wouldn't do it again, because he hardly uses it. He's on Comcast also, so he just looks for local hotspots.

So I would take the extra Memory, but that's just me. Some people don't like tethering to their phone and don't have the comcast hotspot to help either. JMO, but even the Apple salesman told me I can just tether, so don't waste the money on the Cellular version. He said Everybody tethers now.
 

Nermal

Moderator
Staff member
Dec 7, 2002
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New Zealand
i just tethered to my phone the few times I needed it.
That's what I'd do too. I certainly wouldn't bother with the additional expense of both the cellular radio and the necessary SIM and data plan. It's easier to tether unless you're going to be using data a lot.
 

Shadowbech

macrumors 603
Oct 18, 2011
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Apple iPhone World
For me I thought I could get by with the Cellular model. When in fact, I barely use Cellular data so I returned it for a Wifi only. If I need to use GPS, then I'll use my iphone for that. If i'm out and about, and have no wifi available then i'll just tether to my iPhone. Plus I get 3 GB bonus from AT&T each month, and making it total of 6 GB for the price of a 3 GB data line. So I won't have to worry about going over my data.
 

blasto2236

macrumors 6502a
Nov 4, 2012
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My last iPad (Air 1) was a cellular model, my first out of the 4 iPads I'd owned up to that point. Maybe it's just how I became accustomed to using iPads after having Wifi only models for several years, but I could count on one hand the number of times I used cellular on the Air. And that's in 2 1/2 years of daily, active usage of the iPad.

But maybe that's just me, and maybe it'll be different with the Pro. But I still foresee myself mostly using it at home and on planes, where cellular data isn't necessary anyway.
 

OneMike

macrumors 603
Oct 19, 2005
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Do you have a phone that can tether?

I'd go for larger storage as if you really needed cellular. Being that you had an iPad before you would know.
 

rui no onna

macrumors 604
Oct 25, 2013
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Personally, I'm not willing to give up either cellular or storage as I use both a lot. Given those are both things that can't be changed/upgraded without replacing the iPad, I'd much rather postpone/delay getting the Pencil if I had to than have to go with with less storage or get a wifi-only model.

That said, given the aforementioned usage, it doesn't seem from your post that you need either.
 

rigormortis

macrumors 68000
Jun 11, 2009
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the number one reason to get cellular is so you can find your ipad if someone steals it.

t-mobile offers 200 mb of free data each month. you could turn off everything and just use the free data for find my iPhone

a locked ipad will only connect to a known wifi network. if it is out of range of one, it will have to grow legs. a wifi ipad that is locked can't click on "connect " at mcdonalds either.

the best thing to do with wifi only iPads when they get stolen is to engrave your lock code on them so someone could use it, that way it can be found or locked
 

sonicrobby

macrumors 68020
Apr 24, 2013
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New Orleans
Yeah, I got the 128GB air 2, and don't use half the storage. I got a 64gb iPad mini with cellular, and it is my favorite iOS device. I much prefer having native data on my iPad rather than having to tether to my phone and drain it's battery.
 

Commy1

macrumors 6502a
Feb 25, 2013
726
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Given what you plan to use it for I would go for the 128GB with LTE. 256GB is excessive at this point in time for nearly anyone, and having LTE gives you access to cloud storage that may bring your overall storage space for the future anywhere for a lot less that a 256 iPad.
 

bodonnell202

macrumors 65816
Jan 5, 2016
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Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Hmmm, based on your use case (no games, movies) it doesn't seem like you really need 256 GB of storage (unless you plan on storing a lot of documents on it, but I would recommend backing up your documents to a cloud service anyway). With regards to cellular that depends on if you will frequently use your iPad where you don't have wifi access and if you can get away with tethering from your cell phone when you don't have wifi. From what you described it sounds like you may be able to get away with getting neither cellular nor 256 GB and save some money, although I don't know everything about your use case so there might be something I'm missing.
 

ka-spot

macrumors 6502a
May 23, 2012
606
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Sofia, Bulgaria
no games and movies you wrote. does this include porn? if you are not watching even porn, than definitely go for the cellular (; what the heck you'll do with extra unused (all the time) space of 128GB ? cellular ;)
 

TrueBlou

macrumors 68040
Sep 16, 2014
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Scotland
i just tethered to my phone the few times I needed it.

Another vote for this. I've got a massive data plan on my phone, don't see the point in paying for two of them when I've yet to even use more than the 20GB allowance I've got on my phone.

But if I had to make a choice, it would definitely be the higher capacity over the cellular. Though why you need a lot of capacity if you're not filling up on games and movies I don't know. If I didn't use either of those I'd probably get a smaller capacity iPad.
 

rui no onna

macrumors 604
Oct 25, 2013
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Another vote for this. I've got a massive data plan on my phone, don't see the point in paying for two of them when I've yet to even use more than the 20GB allowance I've got on my phone.
In the US, we have the option of getting a shared data bucket (AT&T and Verizon) and paying $10/mo access fee per tablet and $15-20/mo access fee per smartphone to use that bucket. For the extra $130 for the device and $10/mo, I like having the convenience of built-in data on the iPad. Indeed, I use the iPad as hotspot for my laptop.

There's also T-Mobile which offers 200MB free data per month. Good enough if you just want the data connection for Find My iPhone.
 

pika2000

macrumors 603
Jun 22, 2007
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It depends on where you will be using your iPad.
At home, wifi only would be sufficient.
I bring my iPad mini with me, thus having cellular connectivity is awesome and well worth the extra money.
As for 128GB vs 256GB, depends on how you will be using your iPad for. I have 64GB mini 2, and it is a bit tight if I want to put everything in it. I do think 128GB is sufficient, unless you really want to put all your media in your iPad.

For me, I would rather pick 128GB with cellular for 9.7" pro. But if I was buying the big iPad Pro, I would probably be okay with wifi only as I wouldn't be using the huge iPad Pro on the go.
 

TrueBlou

macrumors 68040
Sep 16, 2014
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In the US, we have the option of getting a shared data bucket (AT&T and Verizon) and paying $10/mo access fee per tablet and $15-20/mo access fee per smartphone to use that bucket. For the extra $130 for the device and $10/mo, I like having the convenience of built-in data on the iPad. Indeed, I use the iPad as hotspot for my laptop.

There's also T-Mobile which offers 200MB free data per month. Good enough if you just want the data connection for Find My iPhone.

Yeah we can get shared plans here too, though they aren't as good as that.
I'm not arguing that cellular isn't the right option for some, there are those who will always prefer it. But she wanted opinions so I was just offering up mine because I've been through something similar.

All of my previous iPads have been cellular and they either ended up using WiFi or connected to my iPhones hotspot because it's data plan is better. Just as you use your hotspot for your laptop, except I no longer carry a laptop, my Pro can do what I need on the go. Plus I often share my iPhone's data using my Kingston G3 as a router when we're away from home. So this time I decided it was pointless paying the extra for something I'd rarely make use of.

I've never really found it to be inconvenient to use my iPhone as a hotspot, there's never, ever a time when I have my iPad and not my iPhone. Dear god I can't go to the loo without my iPhone without breaking into a panic :D
 

ilian92

macrumors regular
Oct 7, 2012
163
106
I'd personally go for 128GB + Cellular as 128GB is more than enough, you presumably have somewhere to backup pictures and video and cellular is super convenient to have. You can tether too, but that drains battery on your phone, requires your phone to be with you the entire time/within range, plus you have to always set up the hotspot.

I should say though that my data plan on my phone includes a free second sim card to use in a tablet, so I don't "specifically" pay extra for that. And I have a 128GB iPad with a bunch of useless crap on it and still have more than enough space left.
 

sixxmum

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 15, 2010
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Thanks for the feedback, everyone! I think I may actually end up going with a smaller capacity iPad without the cellular and just save some cash for an upcoming move. This was very helpful in my thinking!
 

DavidLynch

macrumors 6502a
Apr 9, 2015
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Seems like you've made up your mind and I'll just echo what others have said, based on your usage you're not going to go anywhere near 256GB. You'd probably be fine with the 32GB, but in the interest of future proofing, 128GB would be a very safe choice.
 
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jetjaguar

macrumors 68040
Apr 6, 2009
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id like both but if i had to pick one it would be cellular .. mainly because i have a grandfathered unlimited plan which i would never give up and use the hell out of