New to Apple and Considering an iPad 2 - WiFi or 3G?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by kcmo, Apr 21, 2011.

  1. kcmo macrumors member

    Apr 21, 2011
    Hi Guys/Gals,

    I've always admired Apple and their devices, and have been thinking of getting an iPad 2 for a while. The only Apple device I've owned is a 4 year-old iPod Nano.

    Everyone I know who has an iPad loves it and I need something to replace my 5 year-old dying Dell laptop that is used primarily for web browsing and media. May go for a Mac laptop replacement down the road, but for now I'd love a tablet for portability, and the iPad 2 seems to be the best choice.

    I'm leaning towards the WiFi version since I'd use it primarily at home, but it is nice to think that with the 3G model, you're always connected. Can't say I'm crazy about the thought of paying for another data plan though. Just don't want to make a mistake - either way.

    Thoughts/opinions? Have any of you bought the WiFi and wished you'd gotten the 3G instead?

  2. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    I never care about not having the 3G model until I'm sitting in an airport. I refuse to pay for airport wifi and I don't belong to any clubs, so I don't get it for free.

    However, for those once a month times when I may travel, I wouldn't mind 3G and therefore, if I buy another iPad, it will likely have 3G service. I hate paying for yet another data plan but that seems to be the way of the world.
  3. madat42 macrumors regular

    Mar 25, 2011
    What's nice about the 3G version is that you can activate/deactivate whenever you want with no monthly contract. If you plan on doing most of your internet activities over wifi, you can just activate the cheapest 3G plan to help supplement. Is it worth the extra $130 up front? I may not use it all the time, but I know I'll be glad I got it when I use it.
  4. naples09 macrumors member

    Feb 3, 2011
    WiFi in my mind is the best bet and cheaper than 3G.

    Also, good to see someone from TRF on macrumors!

  5. moosquared macrumors regular


    Nov 10, 2010
    I'm down with the 3G. I just ordered mine a couple days ago. A white 32GB with 3G from ATT. I'd like to have the option to have internet wherever I go, even if I have to pay for it.

    If you have to pick between ATT or Verizon, I'd suggest ATT because it'll give you the option to use 3G when you're traveling outside USA. They're the same price anyway.
  6. freeman727 macrumors 6502

    Feb 9, 2009
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8C148 Safari/6533.18.5)

    Why not tether off your phone on those infrequent times you need 3G?
  7. doc294 macrumors newbie

    Mar 31, 2011

    I have a Droid X on Verizon network and I just tether it. That and I can hook up 4 more devices in addition to my iPad2.
  8. thelookingglass macrumors 68000

    Apr 27, 2005
    I agree. If you use 3G infrequently and you already have a phone with a personal hotspot function, there's no real reason to get the 3G iPad unless you want GPS on a bigger screen.
  9. DynaFXD macrumors 6502a


    Jun 15, 2010
    East Coast
    Well, these are pretty hot items. If you decide you want a 3G down the road you can probably sell the one you have and move into a new/used 3G without a whole lot of headaches or extra cost.

    Having said that, between tethering, smart phone capability, and available wifi hotspots the greatest advantage to the 3G, IMO, is the GPS chip. But, the ability to fire up a 3G account and cancel it when done is a nice feature if you are only rarely going to be mobile.

    So, I'd say get the 3G and bet set.
  10. XXFirefighter macrumors regular

    Apr 4, 2011
    I went for the 3G version due to the fact that it has a GPS in it.
  11. OlgaJ macrumors 6502

    Mar 27, 2009
    I bought an original wifi iPad last week. I am sorry I didnt get the 3G model. So my next iPad will be the GSM (ATT) model.
  12. emuyshondt macrumors member

    Jul 9, 2009
    I got the 3G more for the GPS than for the 3G function. However, one day I decided to try the connectivity for a month and now could not live without it. WiFi is just not available everywhere I want to use it.
  13. Vizin, Apr 21, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2013
  14. scorpio1973 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 5, 2009
    I went with the 3G model. I don't have wi-fi everywhere, so I wanted to be able to get service in those instances. For me, it was worth the extra $130.
  15. kcmo thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 21, 2011
    Thanks everyone!

    My current phone does NOT have hotspot's a Blackberry Bold 9700. I do plan to upgrade later this year to one of the soon-to-be-released models with the functionality though.

    Hmmmm, tough to decide. How exactly does the 3G plan work? Do I have to start paying monthly immediately if I get a 3G model from AT&T? Do I only activate the plan when I want to use 3G or do I have to pay every month?
  16. kcmo thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 21, 2011
    Hiya Jim!!! :D
  17. Vizin, Apr 21, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2013
  18. kcmo thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 21, 2011
    Thanks for the explanation. Definitely nice to be able to activate/deactivate at will and not HAVE to pay every month if I don't need to.
  19. aneftp macrumors 601

    Jul 28, 2007
    Hint. The wifi signals are strong. You can hang out right outside of most airport clubs and pick you their free wifi signals.
  20. erayser macrumors 65816


    Apr 9, 2011
    San Diego
    I had a 3G 64gb version for my first gen iPad. I hardly ever used the 3G because I almost always have a wifi connection at work, home, and hotspots in the area. If I didn't have wifi avaiable, I just tethered. I considered a 3G version for my iPad 2, but with 4G around the corner, I prefer to tether. If I get a 4G phone in the near future, I would rather tether 4G than activate 3G on my iPad 2.

    As for GPS, it was nice on the iPad, but I prefer using my phone since it is easier to mount it pretty much anywhere in my car. The iPad was to big, so I ended up only listening to the voice. At least on my phone, I can listen and glance at it since I can mount it eye view on my windshield. Based on my experience with my first gen iPad, a 64gb wifi only was a better fit for me.
  21. bowlerman625 macrumors 68020


    Jun 17, 2009
    Chicago, IL area

    It's great to have even if you never use it.
  22. leomac08 macrumors 68020


    Jul 12, 2009
    Los Angeles, CA
    get the 3G GSM (AT&T) model...

    even if you don't use it, it has GPS which is a nice thing to have

    in addition if you go to Europe, Asia, Africa... Etc... you could buy a prepaid SIM card and use their data plans since the iPad is unlocked.. ;)
  23. kcmo thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 21, 2011
    That's what I'm thinking.....thanks
  24. kcmo thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 21, 2011
    Ahhh, I didn't know it comes!
  25. CBJammin103 macrumors regular


    Jun 6, 2007
    Louisiana, United States
    Really now? That's good to know... I have a 3G and wasn't aware of that.

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