Pros and Cons of 3g ipad?

glocke12

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 7, 2008
999
5
So I am actually pretty happy with my wifi ipad, but I can help but think it would be nice to have the benefits of 3g. At the same time I am wondering if it is really worth the 10% restocking fee I will incur, the extra $130 on top of that, and than the added cost of 3g. So I thought Id compile a list of pros and cons of the 3g ipad hoping that people can add to it.

Pros of 3g ipad

wireless connection when you need it
GPS chip
More versatile apps that would be able to take advantage of the GPS


Cons of 3g ipad

More of an expense
Ugly black bar across the back
lousy streaming video over 3g


Thats all I can come up with for now...Can anyone think of anything else?
 

mickbab

macrumors 65816
Sep 13, 2008
1,136
0
Sydney, Australia
An extra Pro could be that even though you might not need on-the-go internet now, you will always have the option in the future. 'Future proof' might be a simpler statement.
 

sakanagai

macrumors member
Apr 26, 2010
60
0
Indiana
Pros of 3g ipad
+wireless connection when you need it
+GPS chip
+More versatile apps that would be able to take advantage of the GPS

Cons of 3g ipad
-More of an expense
-Ugly black bar across the back
-lousy streaming video over 3g

Thats all I can come up with for now...Can anyone think of anything else?

I haven't tested streaming over 3G yet on an iPad, but my other mobile platforms usually aren't too bad in my area. At certain times throughout the day, the connection slows enough to cause problems when loading Youtube videos or the like, but I think that the service does a decent job. Not sure how services like ABC and Netflix handle compression for 3G, but I am interested in testing.
 

Zepaw

macrumors 65816
Apr 18, 2010
1,294
0
MN
An extra Pro could be that even though you might not need on-the-go internet now, you will always have the option in the future. 'Future proof' might be a simpler statement.
That is why I want it. I will probably be in an area without ATT 3G this summer, but I will surely want it when I get back in the Fall.
 

glocke12

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 7, 2008
999
5
Reports from using mifi to test streaming were actually very positive about streaming.
interesting....maybe it varies by area. I have a friend who has his ipad tethered to his iphone running some sort of tethering app and the netflix quality was horrendous.
 

4PPLEM4C

macrumors newbie
Apr 16, 2010
23
0
UK
For my needs the 3G isn't worth it, which is why I'm going to get the Wi-Fi 64GB. A little bit more expensive than the 16GB 3G but I'd rather have the GB's than the 3G.

But I guess it depends on what your needs are.
 

Chupa Chupa

macrumors G5
Jul 16, 2002
14,834
7,394
So I am actually pretty happy with my wifi ipad, but I can help but think it would be nice to have the benefits of 3g.
In the weeks you've had your WiFi version have you been in a situation where Wifi was not available? Personally, I've traveled up and down the east coast, and even when I had to pay for WiFi, like at airports, my total tab for the month is less than $30, which is what a month of 3G costs.

The dirty truth is 3G only exists in moderately to heavily populated places -- which is also where you are most likely to find an abundance of free WiFi. In the places you really need wireless you have to settle for EDGE, which I suppose is better than nothing. But if you are not in that situation I'm not sure what benefit 3G will be except to be a $130 insurance policy. Of course, unlike insurance, if you use it, you have to pay out $15 or $30/mo.

So in my mind the real "con" is that it cost $130 extra. That's about a 25% premium on the 16GB model and a 19% premium 64GB model. That's fairly steep if you don't know you'll definitely will use the feature.



'Future proof' might be a simpler statement.


Or as I call it -- simplistic. Future proofing is an impossible concept unless you can stop time.
 

glocke12

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 7, 2008
999
5
In the weeks you've had your WiFi version have you been in a situation where Wifi was not available? Personally, I've traveled up and down the east coast, and even when I had to pay for WiFi, like at airports, my total tab for the month is less than $30, which is what a month of 3G costs.
Thats a good point...My ipad actually has only left my house once really, and I was in a place that had a wifi connection. I am figuring that 2.5% of the time I have my ipad out I will probably like to have a 3g connection to quickly check something, but I also have my iphone with me and would be able to use that. $130.00 + $15 or $30 to check something on the web for a few minutes is a pretty steep price to pay...
 

Zepaw

macrumors 65816
Apr 18, 2010
1,294
0
MN
It is a device meant for the internet. I loved my iPhone, but one thing I thought we be awesome was an iPhone with just the data plan, no phone deal needed. This is exactly that, but on a device more suited for that purpose.
 

normwood

macrumors 6502a
Sep 12, 2008
659
18
In a house...duh!
I see zero cons. The benefit of connectivity when I want it far outweighs any points that I might consider a con. I intend to have it with me most of the time in a backpack or man bag.

We travel quite a bit. Having 3g while being a passenger in a car is awesome. I use my iPhone for that all the time....but as I age...I'm only 43....I find the little screen gets more and more challenging.

Steve
 

Advil

macrumors 6502a
Oct 4, 2008
860
226
The only real plus for me was the GPS chip. I tether via mywi so I didn't care about 3g. I think the Wifi iPad looks way nicer too. I didn't think it was worth the extra 130 bucks, I spent that money on more storage and I don't regret it at all.
 

melman101

macrumors 68030
Sep 3, 2009
2,736
290
Everyone's experience is different.

I, myself, was set on grabbing a 3G iPad but primarily due to impatience, and price, I decided to go for 64GB WiFi. So far, in my real tests, I have not wished I had 3G. Location Services have actually been working well. At the two places I am mostly, work and home, I have WiFi.

I went on a trip to San Francisco right after the WiFi iPad came out. While in the airport, I was tethering to my iPhone 3GS for a little bit, just to get some news articles on USA Today. Then I would read, etc. On the plane, obviously, no 3G or WiFi, so having 64GB allowed me to have a quite extensive collection of media that I could decide what I wanted to watch / do. I played some Plants vs. Zombies, read some comics, etc.

In the hotel, they wanted to charge $55 bucks for 72 hours of WiFi. Get out of here. I just plugged my iPhone 3GS into the wall, and tethered with MyWi. Worked amazingly well for 4 days. Then I switched hotels. And guess what? No cell phone service in the room. Which would mean, no 3G on my iPad either! Luckily, that place had free WiFi.

All in all, my iPhone battery has not died. When I really needed to get on WiFi, a hotspot was around or I tethered. And I saved $130 initially and $30 a month. And now I have the 64GB one, instead of the 32GB 3G one I was going to get.

Oh, lastly, I don't forsee myself using an "GPS" type apps on the iPad. Location Services via WiFi should work fine for what I do. I have not felt the urge to walk around and carry this with me and use it as a map. I always have my dedicated unit, and I have my iPhone 3GS. I find in a pinch on the street, much easier to pull out my iPhone then an iPad.
 

gatearray

macrumors 65816
Apr 24, 2010
1,130
232
One more thing about the AT&T data plan to consider, is the way the iPad constantly reloads webpages on Safari, I think that people will find that there is no other choice than to get the $30/month plan, and we all may be kidding ourselves thinking we could get away with $15 a month, unless it is only for checking email and other very light tasks.

For me, I can't bear to give AT&T another $30 on top of what I already pay for my iPhone. Here in NYC, to maintain my call integrity and not kill my phone battery, my 3G has been disabled for months and months now! I have wi-fi at home and at work, and when I'm out an about, the dreaded EDGE network delivers my email to me just fine, and I typically forego any web surfing unless I find an open wi-fi network somewhere!
 

ZombiePete

macrumors 68020
Aug 6, 2008
2,251
973
San Antonio, TX
The dirty truth is 3G only exists in moderately to heavily populated places -- which is also where you are most likely to find an abundance of free WiFi. In the places you really need wireless you have to settle for EDGE, which I suppose is better than nothing. But if you are not in that situation I'm not sure what benefit 3G will be except to be a $130 insurance policy. Of course, unlike insurance, if you use it, you have to pay out $15 or $30/mo.
I can get 3G all the way from San Antonio to Dallas up 35, which is what the majority of my traveling is.

For me, the only big conference that I go to each year I invariably stay at hotels where the wifi is expensive. At work I can't use the wifi for personal computing devices, and at home my ISP has a 15GB usage cap (it's a small, rural ISP). I plan on using 3G probably 90% of the time.
 

catalyst6

macrumors 6502a
Oct 13, 2007
570
3
Berlin
There aren't too many cons except the up front price and later availability.

The biggest con though is having to pay AT&T $30 A MONTH FOR A REDUNDANT SERVICE. I pay $30 for data on my iPhone, I sure as hell am not gonna give them another $30 for iPad data. That just rubs me the wrong way, and I don't even use 3G that much.

I'm a single, young professional making damn good money for my age but $30 can get a decent dinner with my girlfriend, almost a full tank of gas, or half of my car insurance bill.

It's not a matter of the affording $30 a month, it's the concept of being milked for cash in order to have a data plan for each device. I suspect when the iPhone 4 comes out, many people will cease to use their 3G iPad data plans anyway.
 

random person

macrumors 6502a
Feb 28, 2008
569
9
In the weeks you've had your WiFi version have you been in a situation where Wifi was not available? Personally, I've traveled up and down the east coast, and even when I had to pay for WiFi, like at airports, my total tab for the month is less than $30, which is what a month of 3G costs.

The dirty truth is 3G only exists in moderately to heavily populated places -- which is also where you are most likely to find an abundance of free WiFi. In the places you really need wireless you have to settle for EDGE, which I suppose is better than nothing. But if you are not in that situation I'm not sure what benefit 3G will be except to be a $130 insurance policy. Of course, unlike insurance, if you use it, you have to pay out $15 or $
You are so right. In my experience the times I've not had wifi have frequently also been tines when 3G was not available.

That said I just came back from a very expensive vacation in Arizona where this world famous spa had -- you guessed it -- no wifi! I fixed that situation in-room by using an airport express but i couldn't fix it over breakfast, for example, where I really wanted to use my iPad to read the ny times. (speaking of, where the heck is that times reader app for iPad????) I have to say that the entire week I was there I cursed myself for not having held out for 3G.

Then again I think I would have missed having the iPad at all -- it was amazing on the airplane, especially with wifi! But, netflix streaming would not work on wifi in the air, nor would tv streaming.

The other annoyance was that boingo, which I thought was a brilliant solution for airport wifi access, for some reason wouldn't work at one of the airports.

Also, even with free wifi, you can sometimes get very slow speed or tedious login procedures, good arguments for 3G as an option.

It is a deep subject, to be sure. Had the 3G version been available at launch I would absolutely have purchased that one. Any official word on whether apple will do a trade for a restock fee? Just in case i go in the 3G direction?;)
 

Sketchr

macrumors 6502a
Jun 15, 2009
929
120
I was willing to pay the extra for the assurance of connection. Had there been a contract attached and no option to change usage/fees schedule monthly, I would have likely passed on it. But the flexibility was the selling point for me.
 

Err0xx

macrumors member
Apr 13, 2010
61
0
3G Availability..

In the weeks you've had your WiFi version have you been in a situation where Wifi was not available? Personally, I've traveled up and down the east coast, and even when I had to pay for WiFi, like at airports, my total tab for the month is less than $30, which is what a month of 3G costs.

The dirty truth is 3G only exists in moderately to heavily populated places -- which is also where you are most likely to find an abundance of free WiFi. In the places you really need wireless you have to settle for EDGE, which I suppose is better than nothing. But if you are not in that situation I'm not sure what benefit 3G will be except to be a $130 insurance policy. Of course, unlike insurance, if you use it, you have to pay out $15 or $30/mo.

So in my mind the real "con" is that it cost $130 extra. That's about a 25% premium on the 16GB model and a 19% premium 64GB model. That's fairly steep if you don't know you'll definitely will use the feature.







Or as I call it -- simplistic. Future proofing is an impossible concept unless you can stop time.
I live in a teenie tiny Alabama town of about 2000 people, miles and miles away from Birmingham and I have 5 bars of 3G coverage in the middle of the woods. Wouldn't consider that a "moderately to heavily populated area." Fact is, 3G is expanding every day. Give it a year or two, well within the life cycle of current 3G iPads and 3G will be everywhere. Criticizing it's availability now isn't very forward-looking in terms of technological expansion.
 

MiguelS

macrumors regular
Mar 15, 2010
133
0
San Jose
Con:

Availability

Someone mentioned they spent $30 or so on prem Wifi so far.

Well 3G plan is monthly, but not contractual. So I have the availablilty of it when needed. I might just pay the $15 probably 2 times out of the year.

Plus who knows what else might pop up with a 3G capability in the future.

$130 well spent.

We should think about the now and the future.
 
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