iPad Pro LTE vs wifi version

mag2001

macrumors 6502
Original poster
May 24, 2007
266
69
San Antonio, TX
I am looking to buy a iPad pro 9.7 but cant decide if I should get one with LTE or just the wifi. I use my iPhone 6 plus as a hotspot for my macbook and sons iPad mini already but just wondering if it is worth the extra $?
 

capathy21

macrumors 65816
Jun 16, 2014
1,375
550
Houston, Texas
I got the LTE version because I bought it used and actually got it cheaper than some of the wifi only versions were going for on my local Craigslist. If I was buying retail, I don't think I'd have gone for the LTE version. There's always the extra monthly cost involved with having an LTE plan through your carrier. If it's something you will use, definitely get it. But I don't think it's worth it as a "just in case" thing especially if you have hotspot on your phone.
 

tgara

macrumors 65816
Jul 17, 2012
1,002
2,769
Connecticut, USA
I always get the LTE versions of iPads. Mine is used quite a bit for my business and I don't want to worry about finding a wifi hotspot or having to do phone tethering when travelling before I can answer email. That doesn't sound like much of an inconvenience these days with wifi all over the place, but trust me, it is. Yeah, they cost a couple bucks more and there is a monthly charge from your cellular carrier, but I'm OK with that. It's so much more convenient using built-in LTE, but if you are cost-conscious (e.g., broke or cheap), a wifi iPad will do.
 

spriter

macrumors 65816
May 13, 2004
1,460
585
I always get the LTE versions of iPads. Mine is used quite a bit for my business and I don't want to worry about finding a wifi hotspot or having to do phone tethering when travelling before I can answer email. That doesn't sound like much of an inconvenience these days with wifi all over the place, but trust me, it is. Yeah, they cost a couple bucks more and there is a monthly charge from your cellular carrier, but I'm OK with that. It's so much more convenient using built-in LTE, but if you are cost-conscious (e.g., broke or cheap), a wifi iPad will do.

Agree with this. If you use it often outside of wifi, hotspotting an draining iPhone battery gets tedious quickly. And there's FMI if it ever went missing. I have a pre-pay data sim (12gb that doesn't have a time limit so just reload when i need to) so no monthly tie-in.

I originally had wifi but switched when I saw an LTE model for a good price. Never looked back.
 
  • Like
Reactions: tgara

Channan

macrumors 68030
Mar 7, 2012
2,615
2,168
New Orleans
If you live in the US, I think it's worth it for T-Mobile's free data or 5GB over 5 months for $10 like @off_piste mentioned above. I have unlimited data with unlimited hotspot (for now at least) so it's worth getting a cellular iPad for me.
 

ericwn

macrumors 603
Apr 24, 2016
5,531
3,551
I use the hotspot function of my iPhone, works nicely. If you have access to a cheap plan, consider it, otherwise go with Wi-Fi and save a bit.
 

richpjr

macrumors 68040
May 9, 2006
3,228
1,636
I always get the LTE versions of iPads. Mine is used quite a bit for my business and I don't want to worry about finding a wifi hotspot or having to do phone tethering when travelling before I can answer email. That doesn't sound like much of an inconvenience these days with wifi all over the place, but trust me, it is. Yeah, they cost a couple bucks more and there is a monthly charge from your cellular carrier, but I'm OK with that. It's so much more convenient using built-in LTE, but if you are cost-conscious (e.g., broke or cheap), a wifi iPad will do.

This.
 

JoePa2624

macrumors regular
Oct 12, 2014
243
99
AZ
I had the same dilemma as you when I was buying my 13" iPad Pro but decided to pony up and run with the LTE version. I'll never look back to Wi-Fi only. I use my iPad on the road all the time, without Wi-Fi available and having to open hotspot on my iPhone is frustratingly slow. Plus it's been unreliable.

If you are someone that will be using your iPad in the wild, do yourself a favor and spend the extra money.
 
  • Like
Reactions: tgara

mag2001

macrumors 6502
Original poster
May 24, 2007
266
69
San Antonio, TX
Thanks guys I think I will get the LTE version just incase. Also I forgot about the find my iPhone. The only way to track a wifi iPad is when its connected to a known wifi network.
 

MH01

Suspended
Feb 11, 2008
12,107
9,298
I've always got the LTE version using the rationale others have posted here, the reality since the first iPad launched, I've never had to find my iPad functionality, and it's been used on wifi 99.99999999999999% of time.

Now that you can teather to your iPhone , apart from having the "best" I kinda see it as throwing money away.

If the iPad will spend most of its time on wifi ....don't bother . Not to mention you will have a sim in it paying extra each month, most probably never using it.
 

^^BIGMac

macrumors 6502a
Dec 10, 2009
705
306
The LTE is just simply a convenience thing for me. I don't want to worry about having to be around a WiFi signal. Is it absolutely necessary? No. So, it's an extra $100 on the device and then an extra $10/month all in the name of convenience.
 
  • Like
Reactions: tgara

alecgold

macrumors 65816
Oct 11, 2007
1,145
632
NLD
LTE for me for a few reasons:
- you can't add it later on, so unless I'm 110% sure I don't need the biggest baddest, I always buy the biggest with all features. Has save me from buying a new one several times, in fact up until a few months before the iPP 12.9 arrived I used my original iPad 64Gb. (in between I borrowed my fathers iPA2 for college).
- I use it for business and am often on the road;
- using a iPhone hotspot seems like a good idea, but coupled with a bad LTE signal and your iPhone battery will drain like it's on fire, so it's only really suited for occasional use IMHO;
- I got 10Gb for €10/month on the best network here, which is a good deal for the first 6 months, after that it's €20 but I'm free to cancel the contract any time I like;
- And the always useful, proper consumer advice from Jeremy Clarkson: POWERRRRRR, GRRRRR, V8, BIGGERRRRRRR. ;)

Looking back I'm really happy with having LTE. I just use about 2-5Gb/month, but it's really nice and useful to have. With my Macbook Pro and iPhone tethered, I was always having trouble getting a stable connection and for leisurely use that is annoying, when doing business it can be killing.
 

zamboni52

macrumors regular
Feb 17, 2008
245
63
Colorado Springs
I originally bought the 9.7 Pro 128GB w/o cellular and later traded up. I also have the iPhone 6s+ so tethering was an easy option and with T-mobile I could hot spot my entire 10gb LTE data if I wanted. What made me switch is the unlocked dual sim and better radios on the iPad than the iPhone. I have the T-Mobile data plan that was $10 for 5gb to be used within 5 months. I was in a location where my iPhone did not have any signal but my iPad did. I was using my hotspot on my iPad to get internet on my iPhone. Also, I travel quite a bit and being able to have T-Mobile tied to the internal SIM and purchase a pay as you go for the external, makes it extremely convenient.
 
  • Like
Reactions: tgara

mickeydean

macrumors 6502
Dec 9, 2011
340
47
I got the iPad Pro cellular because I could only pay the monthly instalments to one of the overpriced carriers and not the $1700 Apple charges uni students here, think retail is closer to $1800.
 

tgara

macrumors 65816
Jul 17, 2012
1,002
2,769
Connecticut, USA
Thanks guys I think I will get the LTE version just incase. Also I forgot about the find my iPhone. The only way to track a wifi iPad is when its connected to a known wifi network.

Keep in mind, if you get the LTE model, you don't have to activate the LTE until you are ready to do so. In other words, you can wait on activating the LTE functionality and in the meantime use Wifi only or tether to your phone.
 

zamboni52

macrumors regular
Feb 17, 2008
245
63
Colorado Springs
Keep in mind, if you get the LTE model, you don't have to activate the LTE until you are ready to do so. In other words, you can wait on activating the LTE functionality and in the meantime use Wifi only or tether to your phone.

Excellent point. I'm on an on-demand plan from T-Mobile. I have the $10 for 5gb for 5 months plan, so I only have to pay when I need data. No monthly fee associated with it. I hope I can renew the same data plan when my current one runs out.
 

TrueBlou

macrumors 68040
Sep 16, 2014
3,907
2,678
Scotland
I always used to get the cellular version. But I've got a ridiculously good data plan on my iPhone. So even though my Air 2 was cellular I found myself connecting to my iPhone's hotspot more than I used the iPads built in connection.

So when I bought my iPad Pro I decided just to go WiFi and I don't regret that decision in any way. Never had an issue getting through a day using the iPhone as a hotspot so I'm happy. Ymmv.
 
  • Like
Reactions: alecgold

tgara

macrumors 65816
Jul 17, 2012
1,002
2,769
Connecticut, USA
I always used to get the cellular version. But I've got a ridiculously good data plan on my iPhone. So even though my Air 2 was cellular I found myself connecting to my iPhone's hotspot more than I used the iPads built in connection.

So when I bought my iPad Pro I decided just to go WiFi and I don't regret that decision in any way. Never had an issue getting through a day using the iPhone as a hotspot so I'm happy. Ymmv.

What's your phone data plan? I bet mine's better. ;)
 

TrueBlou

macrumors 68040
Sep 16, 2014
3,907
2,678
Scotland
20GB 4G (used to have literally unlimited with a different provider until last year, but the coverage wasn't as good so it made it a bit pointless.)

So based on my use over the past several years I decided there was no point paying for more than the 20GB because I rarely go over 10GB in a normal month and that's with using it far more than I need to. I've found that just using it without thinking about if I'm connected to WiFi or not stil keeps me well within the 20GB. In the unlikely event I ever need more, I'll add on more but I don't see that day coming for years yet, there's just nothing to eat up that much data that I use.

I've got unlimited 200meg cable at home/office where most of my time is spent so when I remember I hook up to that.
 

barkomatic

macrumors 601
Aug 8, 2008
4,139
1,929
Manhattan
I also went with LTE even though I only use that function a few times a year. I could tether my iPhone, but then I'd be limited by the coverage of a singer carrier. With the new iPads, if one carrier has poor service in the area I'm in then I have others to choose from.
 
  • Like
Reactions: zamboni52

Abazigal

macrumors G5
Jul 18, 2011
13,376
11,709
Singapore
I am looking to buy a iPad pro 9.7 but cant decide if I should get one with LTE or just the wifi. I use my iPhone 6 plus as a hotspot for my macbook and sons iPad mini already but just wondering if it is worth the extra $?
For me, I got the 4g iPad Pro because as a teacher, speed and responsiveness are a premium in the classroom where every second of teaching time counts. Whether it is using data to download a file from Dropbox to notability or looking up something on the web to insert into Showme, speed and reliability matters because the slightest hiccup can disrupt the flow of the lesson.

You might not be so sensitive to the speed though. It boils down to whether you are willing to pay extra for convenience. Tethering is one extra step and drains your phone's battery life as well.
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.