iPad iPad Air(32/64) cellular or wifi?

ajumbaje

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 30, 2005
358
0
VA
I am currently a grad student and am switching from a nexus 7. Android on tablets is "meh" IMO.

I have a lot of games from my old iphone 4s that are compatible with iPad, but I wouldn't have them all on my ipad at once. I have Kotor, chrono trigger, and some other rpgs. Same goes for my movies (I would only put movies on my iPad if I am flying somewhere).

I am around wifi a lot and only have a 1gb plan with verizon for my phone and have never gone over it. I have a feeling a need for data outside wifi would pop up, but I have my phone. Anyone else in the same predicament?

I have never gone the cellular route with any of my previous tablets but was curious this time around.
 

Ludatyk

macrumors 68000
May 27, 2012
1,647
690
Texas
Been a cellular iPad user since the iPad 3.

I normally take my iPad Air with me everywhere I go.. I'm a student and I like to do side projects, I like the ability to check email or go inside a data needed app to find useful information.

But I have a 16GB model and I really don't keep music or movies locally on the iPad. I have Plex and Uverse subscription apps for movies.. While using iTunes Match for music.
 

s2mikey

macrumors 68020
Sep 23, 2013
2,462
2,521
Upstate, NY
I went with the cell model this time versus more storage but the jury is still out on whether the cell was worth the extra cost versus storage for that extra money. I've only used the cell a few times so far and probably could have gone without it each time but it WAS nice to have. Over the next 4-6 months I'll be able to better assess the whole thing.

I'm not a student though and you may find the cell support worthy being on the go often.
 

Lucille Carter

Suspended
Jul 3, 2013
1,266
4
Would not own an iPad without cellular unless it never leave the house.

My travels and 90% of the time I have WiFi. The times you don't, cellular is golden! AT&T offers a 2GB plan that is cheap enough to have all the time, use it or not.
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
63,856
30,377
Boston
I've had both and I found cellular gives you the freedom and performance that wifi cannot.

Many free wifi hotspots are ploddingly slow, either because of handling a lot of connections or the router is of the older technology, (wifi a/b) Either way its not fast many times. Then there are those times where its not available, and you wished that it was.

I have a LTE rMini and it only costs me 10 bucks a month for the data (I'm on a family data plan), so for 10 bucks I get high level of freedom to use the iPad. I let me kids use it when I'm driving, and they can pull down YT videos or listen to pandora.
 

donnaw

macrumors 65816
Apr 19, 2011
1,134
6
Austin TX
I would never have a wifi only device.

1). 'Free' public hotspots provide little to no security. I would never access my bank app or buy something online using one. Plus they are usually really, really slow. My LTE iPad is just as fast as my home wifi.

2). You may not use it often but as a previous poster said when you need it YOU NEED IT. And tethering is a real pain plus it just drains your phone battery.

3). ATT has several options, $10/mo for shared data if you're on a share plan, $25 for 1g that's good for 3 months (great for occasional use), $25/month for 3g of data. Other providers have some good plans to, including the free 200 mb data avaliable from T-Mo.

Everyone's needs are different. But I've had 3 times where we lost electricity during storms,,hence no wifi at home. My cell connection on my iPad provided me with weather info. Yes I could use my phone but the iPad app gave better data.

Some people can't justify the need for cell, others can't justify the need for more storage. Take a look at your life and think about where you go, how often you may be looking for hotspots, how much music/video etc you usually carry. Make a list if you need to. That will help you decide what may work best for you. Luckily you do have a choice.
 

CEmajr

macrumors 601
Dec 18, 2012
4,373
1,132
Charlotte, NC
I'd go cellular. It's no extra monthly cost anymore either since they're offer free 200MB of data. Then if you happen to go over 200MB for the month you can just tether after that point.
 

ajumbaje

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 30, 2005
358
0
VA
I currently have verizon as my cell provider, but am intrigued by the tmobile free data. Only problem is that the area I am in at school not only has strong wifi in all the buildings, but only 3G
 

cynics

macrumors G4
Jan 8, 2012
11,313
1,696
Personally I would get the wifi version and up your iPhones data plan if you need too.

Verizon offers free tethering on tiered plans so you can use your iPhones data when you need it and don't have another bill. Plus the iPad is cheaper without cellular.

That's just my thoughts on it anyway.
 

mentaluproar

macrumors 68000
May 25, 2010
1,731
130
Ohio, USA
I have an iPad 4th gen on wifi and it works fine for what I need. I can feather it to my 5S easily enough, and I always have that on me.

If you want cellular on iPad, go with Tmobile. All plans offer free tethering and the iPads purchased through them get 500 megs a onto for free.

If you can tether, you can get by just fine without a cellular model.
 

michael31986

macrumors 68040
Jul 11, 2008
3,766
455
I'd go cellular. It's no extra monthly cost anymore either since they're offer free 200MB of data. Then if you happen to go over 200MB for the month you can just tether after that point.


Does the 200mb cut off after you use it all. I kind of want to just get at mobile SIM card and register it
 

daddyd302

macrumors member
Feb 2, 2012
88
7
West Allis, WI
I currently have verizon as my cell provider, but am intrigued by the tmobile free data. Only problem is that the area I am in at school not only has strong wifi in all the buildings, but only 3G
The free 200MB only works if you have voice service with them. You will be charged $10 if you just have a tablet with T-Mobile. There is a thread about people learning the hard way how T-Mobile wasn't exactly too honest about how it really works.

I have voice service and the free 200MB on T-mobile but I went with AT&T for data just because they offer 3GB versus T-Mobile's 2.7GB for $30 and have better D/L speed. I would of consider Verizon but they only offer 2GB for $30 which is a ripoff.

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1668454
 

maflynn

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Staff member
May 3, 2009
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Boston
I currently have verizon as my cell provider, but am intrigued by the tmobile free data. Only problem is that the area I am in at school not only has strong wifi in all the buildings, but only 3G
250mb is not all that much, I think you'll be hamstrung by such a tiny quota.
 

rui no onna

macrumors 604
Oct 25, 2013
6,799
3,089
The free 200MB only works if you have voice service with them. You will be charged $10 if you just have a tablet with T-Mobile. There is a thread about people learning the hard way how T-Mobile wasn't exactly too honest about how it really works.
Not true. The $10 monthly charge is only if you get the iPad with financing from T-Mobile. If you've got a fully paid iPad, you just need the SIM card ($0-10) and you're good to go. The 200MB really is free, no monthly charges. I have 2 Verizon iPads and 1 Nexus 7.2 on T-Mobile's free 200MB plan.
 

MacBH928

macrumors 68040
May 17, 2008
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if you have a smartphone that can be turned into a hotspot there is no need to pay extra money for a cellular iPad.
 

maflynn

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May 3, 2009
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if you have a smartphone that can be turned into a hotspot there is no need to pay extra money for a cellular iPad.
True and I did that with my first gen iPad mini except it doesn't alway work as well as you except. First I found out this absolutely kills the iPhone battery. Secondly it's not always feasible to stop what you're doing to start up the mobile hotspot - at least for me.

Say I'm in the car driving and my kids are using the iPad, they want to watch some youtubes, I cannot safely turn that on. True that's not a common occurrence and if I know in advanced I can turn it on before getting into the car.

My point though for a small increase in purchase price you get more flexibility and freedom. YMMV and tethering may be an option for some.
 

Hey Jude

macrumors 6502a
May 9, 2008
705
168
Florida
Gps

I was an early adopter, and I have always gotten cell version because I absolutely need GPS, plus I like to check email, browse the Internet, etc on the go.

For my uses, a cell plan is critical for my iPads.
 

MacBH928

macrumors 68040
May 17, 2008
3,376
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True and I did that with my first gen iPad mini except it doesn't alway work as well as you except. First I found out this absolutely kills the iPhone battery. Secondly it's not always feasible to stop what you're doing to start up the mobile hotspot - at least for me.

Say I'm in the car driving and my kids are using the iPad, they want to watch some youtubes, I cannot safely turn that on. True that's not a common occurrence and if I know in advanced I can turn it on before getting into the car.

My point though for a small increase in purchase price you get more flexibility and freedom. YMMV and tethering may be an option for some.
well, just don't forget for the extra price you will pay for the cellular iPad you will also pay a monthly subscription for the chip that goes in it
 

Freyqq

macrumors 601
Dec 13, 2004
4,014
166
I'd rather share data through my iPhone. On my plan, that's a savings of $10/mo x 24 months = $240 + $129 cheaper for the iPad, which you could spend on more storage or go towards a new ipad. If you share over bluetooth, the battery loss is negligible, but the speeds are slower. If you share over wifi, there is a little more battery loss, but the speeds are very fast.
 

Truefan31

macrumors 68040
Aug 25, 2012
3,419
658
well, just don't forget for the extra price you will pay for the cellular iPad you will also pay a monthly subscription for the chip that goes in it

Not true. My free 200 mb from tmobile doesn't charge anything. Never asked me for cc info

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The free 200MB only works if you have voice service with them. You will be charged $10 if you just have a tablet with T-Mobile. There is a thread about people learning the hard way how T-Mobile wasn't exactly too honest about how it really works.

I have voice service and the free 200MB on T-mobile but I went with AT&T for data just because they offer 3GB versus T-Mobile's 2.7GB for $30 and have better D/L speed. I would of consider Verizon but they only offer 2GB for $30 which is a ripoff.

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1668454

Tmobile is free 200 mb. I don't have an account with them yet. Got a retina mini, popped a tmobile sim in, restarted ipad. Automatically the pan settings came on. Created a prepaid account, selected the free 200 mb. That's it. And I have a verizon rmini
 

maflynn

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May 3, 2009
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Boston
well, just don't forget for the extra price you will pay for the cellular iPad you will also pay a monthly subscription for the chip that goes in it
10 bucks a month for me, so right now its extremely affordable and given the high competition with the carriers thanks to T-Mo shaking things up, I don't expect a price increase anytime soon.

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It's not much but for occasional usage it's fine. Watch a few videos though and that'll go poof quick!
My daughters use it for pandora and YT, while I typically live well under my shared plan of 4gb, I can't see 250mb being feasible.

I guess if you only check your emails or occasionally visit a website it may be ok.