iPad with or without cellular

Discussion in 'iPad' started by slstein, May 26, 2019.

  1. slstein macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2012
    #1
    I'm wondering if it's worth getting a model with cellular?
    Doesn't seem necessary to pay the extra cost to have it.
    What are your thoughts?
    Thanks.
     
  2. Shirasaki macrumors G3

    Shirasaki

    Joined:
    May 16, 2015
    #2
    I pay for cellular because I always want a plan B, and Wi-Fi is still not a thing that you have access to all the time. Personal Hotspot might be an option but it is unstable.

    The catch is you have to maintain a separate data-only plan, which may cost you the same amount as your mobile plan. And ISP May give you less data and charge you more.
     
  3. mikzn macrumors 65816

    mikzn

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2013
    Location:
    Vancouver
    #3
    My vote is for the non cellular

    I have been using iPhone as a hotspot when no wifi availble - works well for me
     
  4. Lee_Bo macrumors regular

    Lee_Bo

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2017
    Location:
    Greenville, SC
    #4
    I have a wifi only iPad and if I could go back I would have bought the cellular model, mainly because I'm big into mobile photography and it's easier to use Lightroom CC mobile on my iPad. I'd like to have my photos sync all my devices.
     
  5. Tdosthp macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2015
    #5
    I have always purchased cellular. Several years ago, I wanted to experiment with a Surface Pro, which was Wifi-only. I vowed to never go WiFi-only again. I would much rather be able to use the iPad/tablet immediately, rather than be forced to manipulate WiFi and/or hotspot.

    I also don’t like using my phone as a hotspot for battery purposes.

    Cellular all the way.
     
  6. BigMcGuire Contributor

    BigMcGuire

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2012
    Location:
    California
    #6
    I have always wanted the cellular edition but they're not easily found - the places I frequent don't stock them. That and every single time I've wanted cellular, I go to WiFi on my iPad, and initiate a hotspot with my iPhone and that has worked very well. 98% of the time I'm on very strong wifi so I can't justify cellular. Verizon charges a nice $ for an additional tablet line - after taxes. Do the math and tally that up over 3-4-5 years and you could have purchased another tablet or two in that time. I can't justify cellular for my usage.
     
  7. Newtons Apple macrumors Core

    Newtons Apple

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2014
    Location:
    Jacksonville, Florida
    #7
    Always get cellular. A cellular iPad Pro saved me mentally during our hurricanes here, in Florida. I would never be without one. Currently have the 11” and new mini, both with cellular.

    We had no power and no WiFi for 6 days and the iPad and iPhone were my only means to know what was going on. Small generator for the fridge, lights and charging. Have a larger generator now so we have 220v for the well some ac and hot water for a shower.
     
  8. slstein thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2012
    #8
    These are strong arguments ...but seems like it's a cost vs your particular need. I'm in a major metro city ... probably can always find a Starbucks or someplace similar...the extra cost for the cellular model plus the cost of service is, yes, almost the cost of two models over a couple of years.
     
  9. AlliFlowers Contributor

    AlliFlowers

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2011
    Location:
    L.A. (Lower Alabama)
    #9
    I went WiFi only this time, and I've been sorry from the start. I'll never get WiFi only again. It's only another ten bucks on my family plan, and is so much more convenient than using my phone as a hotspot.
     
  10. Shirasaki macrumors G3

    Shirasaki

    Joined:
    May 16, 2015
    #10
    Yes. So this is a trade off rather than a flat benefit.
     
  11. kupkakez macrumors 68000

    kupkakez

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2011
    #11
    I tend to go with cellular even if I don't use it a ton I just like having the option of being constantly on. Especially on road trips or on vacation.
     
  12. RichardMZhlubb Contributor

    RichardMZhlubb

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2010
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #12
    I never get cellular iPads. It isn’t worth the upfront or monthly costs unless you need to be connected all the time in an area without WI-FI. I’ve had no problems using my iPhone hotspot when I need to get online with my iPad away from WI-FI.
     
  13. Infinite Vortex macrumors regular

    Infinite Vortex

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2015
    #13
    I always buy the cellular version of whichever tablet I'm buying as I've always found the autonomy of the tablet to be really useful. Granted one's value of that comes down to not only the difference in cost of the tablet but also the cost of the cellular contract. I'm fortunate that I have an additional SIM bundled into my package so this doesn't present itself an extra cost.
     
  14. AutomaticApple macrumors 65816

    AutomaticApple

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2018
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    #14
    Depends on which iPad you're getting.
     
  15. mikzn macrumors 65816

    mikzn

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2013
    Location:
    Vancouver
    #15
    Also there is the cost of the data plan if exceeded? app updating, iCloud sync, drop box, text message sync, not to mention any Netflix / streaming.

    I find using my iPhone hotspot very easy - don't even have to touch the iPhone just activate the hotspot from my iPad Pro 12.9 and instant WiFi (usually for email receiving and sending or to allow some important files to sync) - also does not kill my battery on the iPhone 8 - I keep it task specific and leave the other stuff to later when I have on regular WiFi connection.

    I travel quite a bit and use my iPad Pro extensively - it is very rare that I cannot access a wifi network - hotels, cafes, airports, all have WiFi access
     
  16. BasicGreatGuy Contributor

    BasicGreatGuy

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2012
    Location:
    In the middle of several books.
    #16
    I get cellular. It cost $20 a month for unlimited data. I use my iPad mini 5 more than my XS Max.
     
  17. *~Kim~* macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 6, 2013
    Location:
    UK
    #17
    I was going backwards and forwards on my Mini as I don’t use it as much as others probably do, but I decided to go for it as I don’t always have a plan I can tether from. My existing iPad sim was good for me. I won’t pay for Cellular on anything larger than a Mini again though.

    No physical sim slot would be a dealbreaker for me Cellular wise in the future.
     
  18. bodonnell202 macrumors 65816

    bodonnell202

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2016
    Location:
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada
    #18
    I’ve always gone with just wifi. It really depends on your use case though, I find I’m not using my iPad away from wifi very often, and when I am tethering from my iPhone works great (and is very easy as it can be turned on directly from the iPad). I think if you were in a scenario where you were using an iPad away from wifi a lot it would probably make sense to have a cellular version since tethering from your iPhone does drain the battery faster.
     
  19. xraydoc macrumors demi-god

    xraydoc

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2005
    Location:
    192.168.1.1
    #19
    I get cellular models. I travel enough for work to know that hotel WiFi often sucks so badly as to be nearly useless. Having cellular backup on my iPad has been worth the price for me.

    The phone’s hotspot works ok, but it’s not the same as being always connected.

    And, since the iPad has its own cell connection, I can remotely find it or disable/wipe it if it’s ever stolen.
     
  20. BasicGreatGuy Contributor

    BasicGreatGuy

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2012
    Location:
    In the middle of several books.
    #20
    Tethering works well but, it will drain your phone fast. When I am out and about, I don’t want to have to constantly check my phone battery due to tethering. That, and the cheap price of cellular is a good reason (for me) to keep with cellular, even though the cost of the iPad mini cost more than the WiFi model.
     
  21. LibbyLA macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2017
    #21
    My first two were WiFi. My iPP 11 and Mini 5 are both cellular. It’s less expensive to run them on the AT&T unlimited plans than it would be to add them to my Verizon plan and switch to a Verizon unlimited plan. I get better AT&T service at our camp than Verizon but Verizon is more reliable where I live during disasters and costs less.

    Everyone’s situation is different. For me, cellular connectivity makes a huge difference because we spend a lot of time at our camp where we don’t have electricity unless we run a generator, and no TV, cable, etc.
     
  22. Newtons Apple macrumors Core

    Newtons Apple

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2014
    Location:
    Jacksonville, Florida
    #22
    Another plus with cellular models is very accurate GPS.

    I have three very large concrete planters on my driveway. They are about 20 feet apart. I can easily see these planters on the satellite map and which one I am standing next too.

    Cellular is not required by many and I can go months without using it. It is kinda expensive if you have no need so pick the model that suits your needs.
     
  23. LibbyLA macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2017
    #23
    Newtons Apple has a great point about GPS. I wouldn’t buy a cellular model just for GPS, but on Tuesday of last week, I had to travel to a place outside a small MS town. My newly-updated Garmin nuvi couldn’t not locate the road where the house was located and I couldn’t even find it manually. I used the Maps app, typed in the road and town, and the iPad Mini 5 found the road for me and I had my “go go” location.

    Not only was it able to navigate easily, but also it warned me of a traffic tie-up just past the place where I got in the interstate, but told me that that route was still the fastest route.
     
  24. tps3443 macrumors 6502a

    tps3443

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2019
    Location:
    NC,USA
    #24
    Cellular iPad or no iPad at all. I will only get a WiFi only iPad for my children.
     
  25. fivenotrump macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2009
    Location:
    Central England
    #25
    Cellular for me. I don’t use it a lot: get a week or month plan when away, using Apple SIM or a local one.
     

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