Most people who have decided that they will buy an iPad will ask themselves which option is better: There is the 4G New iPad and the iPad with Wi-Fi alone. Both may seem like good choices but it really depends on how much you want to spend and which one fits you better. However, if you simply have no idea, then there are a few things that you can consider to help make the decision easier.
What's The Difference Between The 4G iPad and the Wi-Fi iPad?
The 4G New iPad (aka iPad3) will allow you to hook up to the AT&T or Verizon's 4G data network and simply access the internet wherever you are. This is perfect for those that are always on the road and it is virtually like the iPhone, minus the calling capabilities. The biggest benefit of the iPad with built-in is that it will give you access to the internet all the time but you will have to pay more. The 4G iPad will also give you an A-GPS chip that will make finding your location much easier. The WiFi iPad will only have internet when you are able to connect to wireless internet and this can be a problem for a lot of people.
The Price Difference
The 4G iPad will cost you about $130 more than the WiFi iPad with the same amount of memory storage. Some people have complained about this price difference and it certainly is pretty big. The main question is simply trying to figure out if the extra $130 is worth it. Not only will you be paying an extra $130, but you will also need to consider your monthly dues because you will be a minimum of $20 a month to accommodate the data.
Is The Extra Money Worth It?
For the people that are always on the road, it might be a good idea to think about the 4G option just because it is very convenient and you do not have to worry about finding a WiFi network. For a family that will be using the iPad at home or will rarely go on long trips, the WiFi iPad is the best option. This will help you save money and simply not have to worry about monthly charges. Basically, the 4G is for those that are rarely home and would need internet access wherever they go. Businessmen, tourists and "rich" people would greatly benefit from the 4G.
The GPS feature is also a plus for those that are always on the road and can be used for their car. This is really just a bonus for the 4G and not exactly a feature that will persuade people to go with the 4G. There are plenty of GPS devices and smartphones that can be sold for less than a $100 and you will be paying way more if you bought it just for the GPS capabilities.
The iPad is certainly not a phone and it is bigger than the Touch and so it will more of a mini laptop. This is why it is crucial that you find a way to get internet wherever you are. This is why the 4G is the most practical option if the money is not a problem.
A Great Solution the Your Whole Family Will Love
As one of the most practical and actually cost-effective solutions is the 4G Mobile Hotspot, well known as a MiFi. This stands for "My WiFi" and it may be the answer to your problems. You will be able to connect to your own wireless internet and it will cost you a lot less compared to the 4G. You can share your connection with five, and sometimes as many as eight other devices and so your whole family will be able to connect as well. If you have a family that has their own iPads, then you will need to understand that this is the solution to your problems. You can download an app that will be a GPS device for you and you will have everything that the 4G provides. This is a practical and money saving idea that will prove to be very popular soon. You can choose your wireless internet provider but most of them are the same.
Another factor to consider when pairing a mobile hotspot to an Apple iPad is that you'll be able to choose a wireless provider other than the current two "official" companies, Verizon and AT&T. Not that there's anything wrong with AT&T and Verizon, it's just that having the freedom to choose any provider ranging from the new aggressive prepaid mobile broadband providers like DataJack or NetZero offers iPad owners the most choice.
The fact that mobile hotspots provide high-speed wireless Internet for at least four of your other devices or users is a great selling point. while the cost of mobile hotspot itself is comparable to the extra cost associated with the 4G iPad, you'll get a number of additional benefits.
Advantages of the "Separate Mobile Hotspot + iPad" solution:
- Mobile hotspots are totally self-contained, no extra drain on the battery of your iPad or other mobile devices
- Will greatly reduce the "extremely warm" rear panel of the New iPad, since the iPads internal LTE chip will be turned off
- Simply glance at the hotspot to see connection status and other vital information, easy to get a "running tab" on the data consumed during month
- Provides wireless Internet for any Wi-Fi enabled device, from a 10 year old laptop to the new Wi-Fi enabled printers
- Mobile hotspots can easily be upgraded or replaced as technology improves, something not likely to happen with built-in 4G hardware on the iPad
- Possible to obtain data service for much less money than the offered plans from Verizon and AT&T.
There are some disadvantages nonetheless:
- Need to carry around a separate device; added risk of loss or theft of device
- Mobile Hotspot requires it own power charge - will need to be mindful of it's battery status
- (sometimes) Separate and additional cost for the mobile hotspot device itself.
If you are looking to buy the iPad but you are confused about which one to choose, the best decision might be to take the WiFi iPad and then pay a little extra for the a good quality, highly rated 4G mobile hotspot like the Verizon Jetpack 4620L or the AT&T Elevate. If you take this route, you will be able to get the best of both worlds at a same, and possibly lower overall price.