As of this writing, used 3G enabled iPads cost on average $88 more than their Wi-Fi only counterparts. While $88 could score you a really nice dinner out, here’s a few reasons why you should splurge on that 3G enabled iPad instead:
- You’ll always be connected. There will be no ducking into a coffee house just to send off an e-mail. And, if you are taking a long road trip, you can pass the time by surfing the web or streaming a movie via Netflix (only if you are the passenger, of course). There is also the added benefit of being able to pass the time at the airport without having to pay for costly Wi-Fi service (free Wi-Fi at the airport is not a given). When you are waiting at the doctor’s office, you don’t have to read the germ infested magazines they provide—you can download magazines on the fly. There are countless ways to use your iPad on the go when you have 3G service.
- The 3G service gives you GPS functionality. You can plot your route using Google Maps or find the nearest spa deal with Yelp. There are GPS enabled apps for the golf course (Golfshot), movies (Flixster), search (Google), amateur astronomers (Starwalk) and more. Some of these applications are free while others are paid, but all of them offer extra features when coupled with GPS technology.
- Wi-Fi hotspots are a security risk. Some estimates put the number of encrypted wi-fi hotspots at only 5%. So that means that 95% of hotspot locations leave your iPad vulnerable! With 3G service, you minimize the risk and still get to browse the web and check your e-mail from anywhere in the US.
- No contract required!! The monthly rates for 3G service start at $14.99 for AT&T and $20 for Verizon, but you don't have to sign a lengthy contract. Billing is month-to-month, so if at any point you find you aren't using the service enough to warrant the monthly fee or you simply change just change your mind, you can cancel without penalty. You just have to finish out your 30-day billing cycle.
Of course, deciding to spend the extra money on a 3G enabled iPad is a personal decision dictated by how it fits within your lifestyle and budget, but we love the extra functionality it provides.