wifi only / 3g / wifi only with mifi ?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by ri0ku, May 27, 2010.

  1. ri0ku macrumors 6502a

    Mar 11, 2009
    Hey guys, im really wanting to hear from people who have used 3g devices and the mifi devices.

    Im really struggling with making a decision for tomorrows UK launch. My parents have decided they will buy me the cheapest iPad for my 21st. So If i want to get a better version I just apply my own money on top of the £430 to get it.

    I am stuck between 2 models... the £500 wifi only 32GB or the £530 wifi + 3G 16gb ...

    But I could possible get the 32GB wifi only and use a 3 MiFi device. Does anyone have anything good to say about the mifi devices? is this the option I should go for?

    The thing putting me off is the apparent battery life of those mifi devices.

    I have long distance travels to uni each day (1 hour 20 mins there and then the same getting back home) and 3G would really help me on those journeys.

    about funding... I pay rent etc and im a student so im pretty skint. Although I can afford all of the choices id rather get best value for money and productivity (as we all do I guess...)

    Sorry for the long post and thanks for your time.
  2. ManBearWaffle macrumors member

    Jan 24, 2010
    Well I went with the wifi-only version, and I'll explain why, but ultimately its up to you.

    The iPad isn't the type of device you can just pull out while you're walking to check your email. You will most likely have to stop some where to use it. Almost any where that I would stop, such as Starbucks, Cosi, Borders, etc, has wifi. Even when I can't get access to a wifi network (rare), I can just use MyWi to use my iPhones data on the iPad.
  3. spank2223 macrumors member

    Aug 8, 2007
    I did the same thing. Wi-Fi and will use mywi on the iphone if i need it badly.
  4. poloponies Suspended

    May 3, 2010
    I'm guessing his 80-minute commute is not all walking. I commute daily by train and 3G gives me more options. Even if I didn't use the 3G at all most of the time I think it's invaluable for traveling. Aside from the daily rates most hotels charge having the potential to use it abroad makes it worthwhile.
  5. ManBearWaffle macrumors member

    Jan 24, 2010
    Well I figured he was either driving or using a train. You can't use an iPad and drive at the same time, and here in NYC, 3G wouldn't work on the train anyway.
  6. BulkyCranium macrumors member

    May 23, 2010
    No experience with any as I am still waiting for mine to show up, but here in Canada, a MiFi will comes with a 2 or three year plan & a $65 or so a month bill. Or you can pay a couple of hundred & still pay $65 a month or so.

    Batteries in the MiFi only last around 4 hours from what I have heard, and you can not use it while it is charging unless you are connected by USB.

    Here the 3G plan for the iPad does not come with a minimum term and is only $35 per month for 5 gigs. So the 3G was a no brainer here.

    Not sure what your plans are like, but you should check them out before you decide.
  7. barefeats macrumors 65816


    Jul 6, 2000
    With new Android phones being introduced, maybe you can get a deal on an existing Android phone with an affordable unlimited data plan that can be tethered to your iPad via WiFi.
  8. chaslam macrumors regular

    Oct 29, 2006
    Well, I was in the same situation as you and I decided against going down the built in 3G. Time quoted by 3 on mifi is 5 hours, but heard it's around 3-4. Are you using it on the trains? 3G signal won't be that great on the trains as your constantly going under tunnels and constantly switching masts, going though patchy areas.
  9. ri0ku thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mar 11, 2009
    Thanks for the reply guys, I should have stated my journey is 1 hour 20 mins on a Bus (even longer when you consider i have to walk to a train station take a train to the bus station then get the bus lol)

    So I will be sitting down 1 hour 20 mins on a bus. I can get a 3 MiFi over here in the UK for £69 then I can apply data time by pay as you go rather than getting a contract.

    However like someone mentioned if it only has 4 hour battery life it puts me off... however if I did decide to get the 3G ipad... then il be losing 16gb of space....

    I might just break and go for a 32gb... but I kept telling my girlfriend I'd never! never! pay £600 for an ipad lol

    Decisions decisions
  10. antiprotest macrumors 65816


    Apr 19, 2010
  11. poloponies Suspended

    May 3, 2010
    As far as space goes, I'm always a "more is better" person but having said that I'm well below half-full on my 32GB (healthy mix of audio/video). Even back in my iPod-only days I kept a lean mix of content on my iPod because I'd refresh the mix pretty frequently. Even after I got my current iPhone (16GB, about half-full) I loaded stuff for the week pretty much. Takes just a few minutes. And AirTunes is pretty awesome. The AirStash is also a nice option for expandability.
  12. ri0ku thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mar 11, 2009
    Yeah I saw the airstash a while ago, very nice product.

    Ok so you guys have helped me get out of the wifi only zone. So now it seems to be more of a storage choice.

    I think I could live with 16gb only, iv only used up 3.5GB on my ipod touch in music. Obviously il be putting some videos on the iPad so hmm it all is down to video.

    Whats the average movie size for ipad? 700mb ? 1GB? or am I way off?
  13. poloponies Suspended

    May 3, 2010
    Just like in math(s), the answer is "it depends." Rule of thumb is about 750MB-1GB per hour for AppleTV format but you can shave that down to about 550-650MB per hour.
  14. yogamonkey macrumors 6502


    Jan 5, 2006
    I've used the Three Mifi with my iPad for a month now and it's great.

    Couple of tips:

    Buy spare MiFi batteries! They are approx £15 from eBay. Always handy to have a spare or two in your bag.

    Secondly, unlock the MiFi unit and you can use it with any SIM. I use mine with a T-Mobile PAYG SIM which is £2 per day or £15 per month (unlimited).
  15. Radon macrumors newbie

    Apr 10, 2010
    London UK
    Yep I've got a unlocked mifi and a selection of sim cards and it works really, really well. I use the vodaphone one at the mo where there is no time limit on the data you buy so my 1gb won't expire after 1 month :)
  16. ScottNWDW macrumors 65816


    Jul 10, 2008
    Orlando, Florida
    I bought a 32GB WiFiiPad and I use it with the Verizon MyFi. It has been great to use. Most places that I go with my iPad have free WiFi, but occasionally the signal is not great so I pull out the MyFi and my problem is solved. I have never had an issue with the battery draining on the MyFi, but then again I can't use it on my commute since I am the one driving.

    At home the MyFi is used to sync my iPad with programs that have WiFi Sync like Pocket Money, Pocket Informant, SplashID, and I use the MyFi for my Windows laptop to connect to the internet.

    The MyFi is small enough to fit in my pocket, or in the pocket in the bag that I carry my iPad in. I have been using this set up for about a month and a half now, and couldn't be happier. I have a few thousand pictures on the iPad, about 600 songs, a few TV episodes, and a movie, plus roughly 70 apps and I still have over 20GB free on my 32GB iPad.
  17. random person macrumors 6502a

    Feb 28, 2008
    Well maybe I'm not the best person to give advice about storage size since my 64 gig iPad has only 5 gigs free! I'd say storage is important, but I have a ton of music and I have found that videos can take up an enormous amount of space.

    As for wifi vs 3G -- go for the 3G. I started with the wifi only and frankly the 3G is absolutely worth it, even for me, where most of the time I have access to wifi just about everywhere I go. In the US the mifi for me was a non-starter due to the expense of the service and the fact that I would use it just for the iPad. Therer is also the convenience factor of having to charge and carry yet another device.

    I think the form factor of the iPad and the promise of almost ubiquitous access makes the 3G version the way to go vs a mifi unless you already had one or are using it for multiple devices.

    So go 16 gig with 3G and you'd probably be just fine. But if it were me I'd go for the 32 because I think you wills find that you will want to store more than you think on the device,
  18. ri0ku thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mar 11, 2009
    I lined up yesterday at the launch and got myself a 32GB 3G, thanks for the advice guys!

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