Newbie 3G, Bluetooth and Battery questions

Discussion in 'iPad' started by FlashHead, Mar 7, 2010.

  1. FlashHead macrumors regular

    Feb 22, 2010
    I am very psyched about getting an iPad. It definitely fills in a gap for me with my unique work circumstances.

    I spend at least half of my year outside the U.S., working in foreign countries for usually about 2 months at a stretch. Therefore, I have never seen the benefit in having an iPhone that is locked into a plan that I would rarely use. (However, I can't live without my iPod Touch). So, I am definitely interested in the 3G iPad with it's no-contract pricing (although I've lived this long without it and don't NEED it), but before I leap, I do have some questions and/or concerns.

    As I've never used 3G or Bluetooth before, this Newbie needs help with the following technical questions to solidify my my purchase choice.

    1) Is the 3G radio a major battery drain on the device? If so, is it possible to turn this off when not in use.

    2) If available in a foreign country, would the iPad let me connect to the foreign 3G carrier for two months, come home use AT&T for a month, go abroad again and use the same or perhaps a different 3G carrier. (AT&T roaming rates abroad seem outrageous)

    3) Using Apple's Bluetooth keyboard would suit my needs better than the keyboard dock. I am a director and must take notes (in a studio and/or in a theater) on a 3 hour show and then about an hour (maybe more) of walking around giving notes - and do that twice in one day. With the stated 10 hour battery life this seems doable, but is using the Bluetooth keyboard for such an extended period going to substantially drain the battery?

    Excuse my ignorance, but that's why I need some help.

  2. appleguy123 macrumors 604


    Apr 1, 2009
    15 minutes in the future
    1. Yes, but you can turn it off when not in use (going by iPhone experience)
    2. Yes, as long as they support the micro sim standard (or you can cut old sims to he proper size)
    3. Going by Mac experience, it doesn't drain the battery too badly. Maybe 6 hours with half brightness.
  3. wackymacky macrumors 68000


    Sep 20, 2007
    38°39′20″N 27°13′10″W
    1) I don't know if I could call it a major drain.

    Since the upgrade to OS 3.0 on my phone I really don't notice much difference having it on or off, as it only uses significant power dung data exchanges. I believe it does depend a little on the signal strength, as the phone using more power trying to connect if the 3g coverage is poor.

    2) That would depend on the local carrier supporting micro-SIM, and also having prey-paid options. You would want to make sure that you get a local SIM card, otherwise it would cost you thousands in roaming charges.

    3) Short answer is no. And presumably if you're sitting down to do a lot of typing you'll likely be near a power source?
  4. bluehaze013 macrumors 6502

    Nov 23, 2007
    1. 3g is the heaviest battery drain on phones, it drained my iphone waaaaay faster than the wifi does. You will probably get less than the stated 10 hours using 3g as that 10 hour claim they make is using wifi. How much less I have no idea If I had to guess I'd think around 6 hours but thats just a guess. But remember that would be 6 hours of constant data being transferred not just 6 hours of 3g being turned on. 3 g in an idle state does not use much battery at all.

    2. If the sim card and network are compatible no reason it won't work. Just be aware different carriers use different types of 3g, so it might not be compatible with other networks.

    3. Bluetooth will add additional drain to the battery but not much. Remember the claimed 10 hours is constant use so as long as you are not going to be sitting with the ipad constantly using it for 10 hours straight it will actually last much longer. Just to give you an idea the standby time of the battery without use but just having the device on is 30 it should be no problem making it through 1 day with the device for pretty much anybody.
  5. FlashHead thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 22, 2010
    Not near a power source.

    I actually work in theater, and take notes in a theater seat. And often move around to get different angles, check sight lines, etc...
    So, I am often not near a power source.

    In addition, I travel to Asia a lot, Korea and Japan, getting some work done on a fourteen hour flight can be a big advantage.

    It seems like I will be able to accomplish what I need with perhaps a quick plug in boost between runs.

    Thanks for the excellent tips and information.
  6. t0mat0 macrumors 603


    Aug 29, 2006
    1) It'll be interesting to see if the 3G chipset have improved from the 3GS. You'll likely be able to actually turn off 3G and use Edge in the UK, or GPRS.
  7. wackymacky macrumors 68000


    Sep 20, 2007
    38°39′20″N 27°13′10″W
    Don't some airlines have the capacity to charge ipoad inflight? this should work for the Pad too?

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