iPad2: 32GB WiFi v. 16GB 3G

Discussion in 'iPad' started by Number 41, Oct 18, 2011.

  1. Number 41 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 15, 2009
    So, I was recently given the iPad 2 16GB WiFi model as a gift. I also have a $100 Apple Gift card that I've been holding onto for a while.

    My choice is to upgrade the iPad to 32GB or go w/ 3G at the smaller level.

    While more storage is always more-gooder, I feel like it's getting more difficult to find quality, free WiFi hotspots. Other than places like Starbucks or Panera, I feel like every WiFi zone I encounter is either pay-per use (at airports and hotels) or such low bandwidth that it doesn't even work (malls, stores, random "unprotected" WiFi signals).

    Anyone with thoughts on the matter?
  2. jmpnop macrumors 6502a


    Aug 8, 2010
    If you store a lot of content like movies, music, games, etc on the device, then 32GB is a better option. If you can manage with 16GB, go with the 3G version as it offers better connectivity. iClould should help you to reduce the load on local storage.

    Another option is to spend $100 more and get the 32GB 3G iPad. You don't have be to worry about what to store on the device which I feel is worth the extra $100.
  3. Dangerous Theory macrumors 68000

    Jul 28, 2011
    Why don't you tell us what you need the iPad for? Are we to randomly guess what you require?

    If, ultimately it's about browsing the internet and using mail at the most convenience, then 3G sounds like the best option for you.
  4. iphone1105 macrumors 68020


    Oct 8, 2009
    Having my 3G, is ideally why I wanted an iPad. Yeah would've been great to have just a wifi model, but it's too limiting IMO. With 3G knowing i can rip it out of my bag, hop on the net for a second, and transfer doc or read work emails is just to valuable for me not to have!

    3G iPad all the way, plus you get GPS with it too. Makes a great Nav device when on the road.
  5. daftpunkstu macrumors member

    Oct 17, 2011
    do you have an android phone/ iphone with a data plan? if so get the 32gb wifi and then just tether it wirelessly to your phone? then you get the best of both worlds
  6. Number 41 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 15, 2009
    I have an iPhone, but I'm on the old unlimited plan -- and I'd really like to keep that and avoid data caps that would come with switching to a wireless tether.

    As far as my usage: I see the iPad as being a replacement for lugging my laptop to work when I have to do personal stuff during the downtime at work, as a replacement for the laptop on the road when I vacation or take trips, etc. I also see myself reading on it, watching ripped movies/TV, etc.

    I guess my primary question is -- for WiFi owners, do you find it difficult to locate free WiFi when you're out and about? And, for 16GB owners, do you find yourself running out of space frequently?
  7. danderton macrumors member

    Jul 15, 2010
    if you commute or away from home/wifi then personal a 3G ipad is a no brainer.
  8. Steve686 macrumors 68040


    Nov 13, 2007
    US>FL>Miami/Dade>Sunny Isles Beach>Condo
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A334 Safari/7534.48.3)

    Get the 3G. If u miss a movie or two, who cares? Being non wifi or tether dependent for net access is worth the bump in price.
  9. wingsabr macrumors 6502


    Dec 13, 2008
    I went with a Wifi iPad 1 and I didn't really miss the 3G that much because I could tether with my Droid. It somewhat cumbersome to go in, hit the button, connect, blah blah blah. This caused me to end up leaving the iPad 1 at home.

    When I got the iPad 2 I thought about the 3G, but ultimately decided against it because I never took the iPad 1 anywhere. I had it for about a month and really missed not being able to use it when needed so I gave my friend the iPad 2 wifi and bought a 3G.

    Very happy...

    Regarding storage, movies take a lot of space so if you can live without 5 of them on one iPad, then maybe 16gb will work for you.
  10. jsh1120 macrumors 65816

    Jun 1, 2011
    Another option. Rather than a 3G iPad, you could purchase a 4G/LTE hotspot and get internet access speeds at 7-10 times faster than 3G and use wifi for your phone as well with the same performance increases.

    There are, of course, costs and benefits to consider.

    () No GPS on a wifi only iPad. Adding it via a bluetooth gps will cost you about $100.

    () My plan with Verizon gives me 5Gigs per month for $50. However, it is a two year fixed contract. I find I almost never approach 5gigs per month on the data plan but I'm always assured at least a 3G connection and for most places I go, a 4G/LTE connection for both my phone, laptop, and iPad.
  11. palpatine macrumors 68040

    May 3, 2011
    It all depends on you. The iPad really shines when it is connected. It takes a lot more work to deal with it when it is not (mostly preparation ahead of time to make sure you have everything you need). If you are connected, you can use the cloud and rigorous space management to get by with 16GB (I did with my iPad1). But, 32GB is probably the sweet spot for most people.

    I often turn my wifi off to save battery and do my work (reading and writing) unconnected. So, for me, 3G is not worth it. Nah. It is worse than that. I dread the thought of signing up to allow the bloodsucking carriers to bleed me dry, throttle me, and lock me into a contract. I'd never even consider it. If you have ever dealt with carriers in other countries, you might get a sense of how outrageous the system we have here is. Free market and competition? LOL :)

    OK. Rant over. Give a think to the hotspot idea. I did that last year (overseas) and loved it.
  12. IrishVixen macrumors 68020


    Jun 20, 2010
    I went a year with a wifi only (occasionally tethering to my phone) and have now gone 6 months with 3G--both 16 GB. Unless you're going to load a lot of movies and music on there, the 16 GB is fine. But unless you never plan to take it out of the house, go with the 3G.

    Public wifi hotspots generally aren't secure--neither are a lot of hotel wifi networks. I'll only use either as an absolute last resort. 3G directly on the iPad is faster than going tethered to a phone, and doesn't drain the battery of either device as much as tethering does. And the 3G plans for the iPad usually don't require a contract; they're pay as you go, so if you don't need it for a given timeframe, don't use it.

    I like the portable 4G hotspot idea, but until I can get it down to the "$15 a month only when I need it" model I currently have, it's too pricey on a monthly basis for my tastes.
  13. Tumbleweed666 macrumors 68000


    Mar 20, 2009
    Near London, UK.
    Whatever you go for, get a 32Gb.
    I've got a 16Gb and its pretty constraining, it doesn't take much to get near that.

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