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back to article Apple iPad 3G 32GB

The problem of choice when buying an iPad is compounded not just by the size of the storage, but the issue of whether or not to shell out an additional hundred quid for the 3G version. It's not as simple as the choice between an iPod Touch and an iPhone, since the iPad 3G doesn't include phone capabilities: it all depends on …

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Bronze badge
Stop

How much!!!!

* cough *

* splutter *

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Troll

HOW MUCH!!!!!!

You've got to be fucking kidding!

Why would anyone spend £700 on an ipad when they can get a more versatile netbook for 25% of the price.

What's the advert going to be this time?

"Hi, I'm a Mac.

Hi I'm a PC.

Hi I'm an iPad and I'm a complete waste of money, my wireless reception is crappy to make you use your 3G usage allowance and I can't have flash installed - wooo"

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Anonymous Coward

+1

completely agree - one of the chap at work has one - we were all very excited for about 5 minutes - when the wireless kept going in an out despite bing 10 yards away, we kinda got board and went back to work... it quickly became a very expensive......... i don't know what...

And to say in the article, the ipads wireless reception in my bedroom was so poor, i switched to 3G!!!!! I really want one now NOT!

3G!... for 99% of the country its rubbish!

its a shame, apple make some beautiful toys, i love my iphone 3GS despite being a crap phone.

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Troll

Hey, troll!

Hey, I'm a troll and if you don't think exactly what I do then you're an idiot. What am I talking about, I know you're an idiot already because you're not me, or just like me. Hey, is that a mirror over there? Scuse me, I've got some admiring to do.

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Seems good value for me, given the use I get out of mine.

I did consider writing a long review of my own, but meh. Nobody would read it. So here's the executive summary version:

The iPad is *not* competing with netbooks. It's competing with *Tablet PCs*, which have never been all that cheap, nor, frankly, any bloody good. Microsoft's umpteen attempts at creating a successful Tablet PC market have flopped miserably outside of a few niche markets.

The netbook is a compromise: a reinvention of Psion's netbook and the old Toshiba Librettos. (And possibly the Jornada.) It's an underpowered, very small, toytown "My First Laptop".

I bought an iPad in late April. It is pretty good. (I bought the top-of-the-line 64GB 3G version. This was the only model the shop had left in stock. For most people, I'd recommend the 16GB 3G version, but I can't say I'm feeling ripped-off with this one. At least all my music and other media fits on it with some room to spare.)

Pros:

- The UI is a much better fit for the form-factor than any of Microsoft's WIMP-derived efforts over the years. (To be fair though, MS haven't been targeting the consumer sector.)

- Great media player.

- Great virtual keyboard—I'm actually using my iPad for writing work.

- Some seriously good applications. (Omnigraffle. Pages. Numbers. Even Keynote are bloody impressive examples of UI design.)

- iOS 4 is coming. And no, I won't have to wait until the mobile operator deigns to give me permission to install it either.

- Staggeringly good battery life. (No, seriously. Even I'm impressed, and I've been working in IT since the '80s. Only my original Psion netBook, and the older Z88, can match it.)

But the killer feature? It's an industrial-strength, UNIX-based OS with *instant-on*! I cannot stress enough how important this is. It makes a *huge* difference to the iPad's usefulness. I can be making notes within two *seconds* of switching it on—the time it takes me to enter my PIN—which is a bloody sight quicker than any damned netbook or Tablet PC, no matter which Windows or Linux flavour they're running.

Apps load *very* quickly too. Usually quicker than the human mind can react. How long does OpenOffice take to load? Firefox? Try Pages on iPad—you'll be using it within, again, *two seconds* of switching the device on.

Now *that* is what I call a damned useful feature. The last time I could get into an office suite's app that quickly was on my ten-year-old Psion netbook, which ran Symbian's predecessor, EPOC32.

By the time any ordinary laptop, modern "netbook" (sorry, but I still think Psion are the only company to get that form-factor right) or Tablet PC has gotten its sorry arse out of bed and started paying attention to me, I've already forgotten what it was I switched the damned thing on for.

Cons:

- The iOS version currently installed on iPads feels a bit underwhelming if you've used iOS4.

- It does feel like a v1.0 release occasionally. Especially the iBook stuff, which is eclipsed by Amazon's own Kindle app.

- File synchronisation is messy.

- iTunes.

iTunes is in a sorry state. It desperately needs to be split up into separate apps: iSync*, iTunes, iVideo and iStore. Apple should be ashamed that they let iTunes get into this state in the first place; it's a hell of a dropped ball.

* (Yes, I know that app already exists, but it doesn't get to do all that much. This is its chance to shine, by also adding wireless sync support for Apple's iDevices. Though I suspect Apple is moving towards making each device standalone, rather than tethered to a laptop or desktop.)

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Anonymous Coward

Odd desire to criticise...

Well, the amount of use I've had from mine, gaming, taking or referencing my notes in Evernote, watching movies on flights, updating presentations in Documents to Go, all synced up to my dropbox account, watching TVCatchup in hotel rooms, playing some pretty good games (Angry Birds, PvZ, Slayer Pinball(!)), managing my Salesforce data on the go, browsing my photos with friends, reading books in Stanza, referencing and reading PDFs in Goodreader.....you could say it's not been a waste of money.

I guess your personal opinion matters more though, and so you feel the odd need to criticise others for their grown up purchasing decisions. Oh well.

I've had a Dell Mini 9, Samsung N10 and a few tablet PCs (Toshiba M200, 400 and HP TC1100) and now an iPad. Guess which gave me the most enjoyment with huge versatility for life on the road, with huge battery life, silent operation, terrific IPS screen quality and instant on. Go on, see if you can guess.

Clue. it was the iPad.

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Linux

To each is his own

Don't get me wrong iPad is a beautiful device. However, it's too expensive, and the OS is not based on laptop -- it's based on iPhone/iPod. This mean Mr. Job gets to control what you put in the device.

Also iPad doesn't support Advanced Wireless Services, also known as AWS-1 or UMTS band IV, so you can't use it with any new provider (specially here in North America).

Oh, and let's not forget -- this device is cross between mobile phone & computer, and yet it does have been 100gig of space...

I'll reiterate, Laptop/PC base osx would have been better, more option for what we can install.

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Silver badge
Linux

It gets even worse...

Nevermind the netbook. The more expensive iPads are nearly as expensive as a Mac laptop. If you've got that kind of money to waste on a tech toy, you might as well go all the way.

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Operators

A couple of operators, such as O2, also offer day-to-day options. Rather amusingly, O2's day package still offers unlimited use of The Cloud and BT Openzone for that day, but at a price that us lower than either provider's minimum PAYG package. So it's also good for sitting in a train station.

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why pay £100 more...

....when you can buy a 3 MiFi for £30 or so, with £15 on it, cancel the rolling contract, and use it as a PAYG. You still get the 3G access, but for up to 5 devices, and the positioning works darned well through it too, or you can jailbreak and use a Bluetooth GPS with any of the Satnav options (or you can just tether to your phone).

Other than that, the iPag is a great piece of kit, IF you have a use for it.

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Silver badge

Took the words out my mouth

"If you bought a WiFi-only iPad and, in six months' time, someone offered you 3G functionality for an extra £100, the chances are you'd jump at it. Best to make that choice now, while the deal is still on the table."

As fatgit implies, the deal will most certainly be in the table in six months. True it may not be as elegant, but by far more versatile.

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uses for photographer

I opted for a wifi model and decided a mifi was a more cost effective solution. I rarely want to use it on the move, its a bit big to carry about without a specific use for it and I have my phone if I really need to browse or read email on the move.

Admittedly I purchased it for photography reasons, browsing is a bonus. Loading raw images and video live at a wedding and showing clients a slideshow. It has already paid for itself in increased sales and bookings.

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Anonymous Coward

Convenience?

Agreed, the MiFi is wonderful. i bought the original from Expansys and it is used constantly by me. However, it needs to be on (obviously) and the battery life is less than half the iPad's battery. Using a SIM in the iPad allows for the benefit of push email, push notifications from Apps, instant on and quicker positioning. This might be enough to sway someone's decision.

A pre pay sim might be a good idea to avoid multiple contracts for data, using the MiFi for heavier data sessions.

'Other than that, the iPag is a great piece of kit, IF you have a use for it.' What an odd thing to say. A netbook is a great piece of kit if you have a use for it, a toaster is a great piece of kit if you have a use for it....

BTW, why do blokes say 'great piece of kit' all the time?

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Coat

Wi-fi Signal Dropping Off

Are you holding it correctly?

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GPS speed

Would that be quicker than a Tom Tom or Garmin because it can get a head start by triangulating from the phone towers or is that only used as an assist after the fact?

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Boffin

A-GPS

In short, yes. Knowing approximately (and quickly) where you are fom the phone towers is an advantage as the orbital data should be known - i.e. it know which satelites it's looking for. Also can glean more accurate position by using the network's timing signals.

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MJI
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WTF?

£100 more and get Sony Vaio P netbook (last NB test)

Your recent tests did this one and said too expensive. But you can actually use it as a computer, cannot see why anyone would pay £700 for something they can't use as a computer.

Yet you give the Ipad a high mark - very odd

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gdreha346

"cannot see why anyone would pay £700 for something they can't use as a computer"

I know, I bought a bike for more than that it wasn't a computer. What a rip off. Some guy I know paid way more than that for a car and it wasn't a computer either. This other guy spent £200,000 on a house and even for that it wasn't a computer!

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MiFi

A MiFi runs its battery dry in no time, you have *another* gadget to keep charged, and the process of getting the thing online and the iPad connected to it is not exactly blazingly fast. In fact, apart from it being a bit cheaper and being usable with other devices it's a pain in the rear compared to a 3G iPad.

This thing is a luxury anyway, so just pay a bit more and be done with it. I don't have an iPad but if I would buy one I wouldn't want to bother with another gadget for 3G.

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MrT
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Megaphone

Satnav, that's interesting...

... just waiting for a strong enough screen mount and car charger.

Then wait to see if anyone mounts it right in the middle of the screen. At night. On full brightness.

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Both already available ..

£2.50 (yes that's 2 pounds and 50 pence) for a car charger on eBay (5v @ 2.1amp output - works brill)

Plus car mounts for ipad are ten a penny .. well okay going from £5 to £30 8-)

Anyway, the iPad is terrific and I use 3G from Three with SIM only "unlimited" Internet (i.e. 2Gig) data for £5 (yes just five pounds a month) and so far not run out.

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MrT
Bronze badge
Go

Well that's sorted then!

Just now waiting for the first iPadnav user to get 'featured' on 'Road Wars' or 'Police, Camera, Action' et al. Hopefully folks won't be tempted to obstruct their forward view by blocking out more of their windscreen than lots seem to do with regular satnavs parked right in the middle, in line under the rear view mirror and in the way of seeing things like pedestrians, cyclists, cars at junctions etc...

iPad is light, but probably too heavy for a screen mount to hold whilst negotiating the ruts and furrows of the typical British road (my Becker nav demounts occasionally, especially in the sccreen is hot)... Mind you, a dashboard-mounted iPad on a suitable car (Vectra, BMW 5 or 3 series, Volvo V50 etc) might look the part if someone fancies mimicking an unmarked police car ;-)

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Gold badge

I thought long and hard about it

And I'm still not sure I made the right choice, but I decided that £100 was too much and bought the 32GB WiFi only The problem is that a new one of these is going to come out in 12 month's time, and then I'm going to be severely tempted to upgrade, so I didn't want to spend too much more. Alternatively someone's going to bring out the perfect WebOS or Android tablet, and the iPad is going to look like the limited, locked-down device that it is - and I'm going to want to jump ship.

I'd like Sat Nav, but is it really practical on a larger device? You can't exactly strap it to your dashboard, and it's a bit big, obvious and stealable to want to pull out when you're walking. Fun to play with though.

For the 3G I decided to go with a 3 mobile MiFi (if I decide I can't live without it). That can be used in the office if our Broadband dies, makes my laptop 3G as well, allows me to buy an iPod touch to use as a glorified PDA if I want to and is just generally more flexible.

I'm not that mobile though, my commute is a ten minute walk, so I'd say my choice was correct. If you commute by public transport it's probably a no-brainer to have 3G.

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WTF?

WiFi? In Public? You are joking right?

Occasionally I whip mine out, hold it in my hand and carefully use my fingers to caress it as it springs to life. I try and be secretive about this and keep it secure in my left hand knowing I can slip it back in my pocket very quickly and discreetly ... I wouldn't want to lose my smartphone, it's too important to me.

But an iPad? Would you really want to get this out in the bus queue or waiting for a train? Would you really use one of these public places to consume information over the internet? You may as well hang a sign around your neck saying "MUG ME". After all, everyone will know you're an easy touch as Jesus Jobs and co have already tricked you into coughing up £££'s for a large iPod touch.

I've played with a couple of iPad's now and I can see why those with a) Money to burn or b) not clever enough to realise Jobs is wearing the Emporers New Clothes would want to have one but it realy is a very expensive toy. An iPad is not something you need, it's something you want. And thr trouble is there are some rather big and nasty people in the world that know that an iPad is going to make a very quick profit if they nick it off you. If you really must have an iPad, do the sensible thing and buy the WiFi version and leave it at home where it belongs.

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Hmmpff

"And thr trouble is there are some rather big and nasty people in the world that know that an iPad is going to make a very quick profit if they nick it off you. If you really must have an iPad, do the sensible thing and buy the WiFi version and leave it at home where it belongs."

Well, not everyone lives in the places you seem to thrive in, you know... Some of us even use their even more expensive laptops out in the open.

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Coat

If there ever was a case to wait for the next generation ...

... the iPad is it, particularly for one who already has an iPhone (and yes, a shiny new iPhone 4, too).

The screen in the iPhone 4 is such a revelation that I would be quite reluctant to sit and stare at an iPad all day with the decreased resolution. The extra RAM in the iPhone 4 also make operation a pleasure rather than the increasingly sluggish experience it was on my 3G.

I'll consider the iPad only with a that Retina Display and an extra 256MB (at least) of RAM. THEN the device will be truly magical.

Though I still would probably pick one up in the US - have to love that 20pc VAT soon!

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FAIL

The appletards are out

and they're frothing. Any slightly negative comment regardless of context seems to get a bucketload of thumbs downs. Oh dear!

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Thumbs down?

Stupid comments generally get voted down, regardless of whether they are pro- or anti-Apple. If you don't want downvotes, don't make stupid comments. By the way, being anti-Apple for the sake of being anti-Apple doesn't make you hip or clever or anything. There's legitimate complaints, and then there's trolling.

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FAIL

@AC re: appletards

I would like to point, kind sir, that you are completely wrong. The behaviour is blind downvoting, but the group to which you refer is the Fandroid clan, and it has to do with anyone not spewing venom at Apple.

Even non fans of Apple who don't attack, attack, attack get blindly downvoted, and the ones who do it run around yelling, "sheep, sheep." Utter irony.

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WTF?

Appletards

Yet you fail to see that you are exactly the same as those you seek to criticise, just on the other side of the fence.

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Troll

I know, funny isn't it?

They don't half get stroppy when anyone slags off their fondle pad.

Didn't you know you have to worship it or Jobs won't let you kiss his feet.

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Coat

Am I the only one lucky here?

No WiFi drops. No 3G drops.

3G in Belgium sucks but the iPad behaves as good as my PC modem, I commute every day and need connection on train. Moreover: WiFi it works in a very picky environment like the WiFi net of a financial customer I am at work now.

On the contrary, WiFi of my Acer portable looses periodically connection every 15 minutes at home and at work: almost impossible using remote desktop for example...

And for the use, in 700g, almost "always on" I have:

Presentations (30% of my work)

Idea processor for IT architectures

Note taking for meeting (keyboard on the iPad is really acceptable)

Remote server control (occasionally SSH or VNC)

Document reading (40GB of PDFs)

Mail and Internet everywhere

Music in the background (no need for external speakers)

It's not a PC but it delivers where an iPhone or Android cannot: screen size, speed and usability

Ok, blattered too much, mine is the one with WiFi antenna.

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Thumb Up

Mifi twist

Okay i splashed out on a 32G wifi only model with the thought of using this at home whilst lounging on the sofa suffering what the missus puts on the tele. Absolutely love it the speed at turning on just the fact that its so tactile it blows my net book away.

Love the mifi idea and 3 will release the new model early July with one button connection but until then I'm using an old nokia 5800 using Joiku as a wifi hotspot. Used a voda USB stick sim because the plan is better than you get on the phone and i use this for my iPhone net book and iPad.

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Pint

Not for you

If you don't have a desk or laptop computer.

Don't understand what proprietary means.

A Latte or Pint is a significant monetary investment of your personnel finances.

Not being allowed to change or remove the battery is scary.

Barring that:

It starts fast

Plays movies for the duration of most flights

Skype & headset for calls

Read El Reg during the dark hours of the commute

Email etc before getting to the casa

Slows way down when not on WiFi or 3G (Edge of Usability)

It's a nice to have for now that isn't tied to a hot spot. When is the LTE version coming?

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There is another way

A little bit of software called MyWi turns my phone into a mobile wifi base station.

With it, I can sit in the park and do a bit of email.

I have a net book too.

But it has not been turned on since the iPad arrived. Seems like most of the critics have not really figured out why using the iPad is preferable.

C.

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GPS

Worth pointing out that the Wi-Fi iPad doesn't have GPS (so no A-GPS either) according to www.apple.com/ipad/specs/ and uses Wi-Fi for positioning.

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Linux

Put OSX (Snow Lepard) on it

If big brother Job decided to put osx (the laptop version) on it, I'd buy it. Of course I'ld wait until I the misunderstanding have been cleared out. a la death grip of iPhone.

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Silver badge
Linux

Portability vs. 3G support.

On the one hand, 3G doesn't seem robust enough or well supported enough now to make it worth paying extra for those features on an iPad. On the other hand, once they do get sorted out and become generally useful, you might find they are useful on a device that is much more mobile (namely an iPhone).

I would rather have full netflix functionality or Hulu functionality on the device of convenience.

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FAIL

Connectivity?

Just so I understand. It is a great piece of kit if you can connect. However its wifi is so poor that you can be sitting right next to a base station and the performance is still lousy. In order then to ensure that you can use it as meant you have to shell out for the 3G version and then pay someone each month for the mobile broadband connection. Right, I shall of course rush out and buy one - on a very cold day in hell.

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