Should I get a 3g tablet or non 3g tablet

That is the question?

I recently had a person in my office, who was looking into getting a personal tablet (the iPad to be specific), ask me for some advice. They wanted to know if it was worth paying the extra bucks for the 3g models, or if they should stick with the basic WiFi only version… He thought if he spent the extra bucks of the 3G model he would have it forever, even if he didn’t need it, he would at least have it in case he did…

I told him in my opinion, the answer is easy, and basically depends on what type of phone you have?

He didn’t understand, but told me he had the droid incredible… I then asked if he like paying twice for the same thing??
Obviously not…

You see… most people get these smart phones and don’t even realize how smart they are… In case you don’t own a smart phone, when you get your monthly bill there are two basic charges on it…
1. The phone charges (which is the minutes or plan minutes you used)
2. The data charges (which is not only the internet, which is a type of data, but your email and any other communication that utilizes your phone companies data network.

Now… back up to the iPad again… It, and any other tablet you might get, can use the internet. When you are at your house or office it utilizes the built in WiFi to connect to your wireless router to access data on the internet… if you were to get the 3G model you could still access the internet even without a Wifi connection (like when you walk far enough away from your wireless router, or if you took it in vacation) However if you did, you would have to pay for the data it uses just like you do with your smart phone.

Here is where what type of phone you have is important…
He had the droid incredible… so… that has a built in feature called mobile hot spot… which basically means it can act like your “wireless router” and give internet and data access to other devices… So if you got the Non-3G model and it only had WiFi, you could still take it on vacation and use your phone as a wireless hot spot. Not only would you save the couple hundred bucks by getting the non-3g iPad model, but you would also be paying only once for data costs (on your phone bill) rather than paying for data cost on your phone and your iPad or other tablet.

Even cooler news for those apple friendly consumers that have an iPhone that dies not have a mobile hotspot feature… yet… is to wait… because in the next software update it should… which means one bill rather than two for you as well…

although if you don’t have a smartphone that support mobile hotspots for other devices (or tethering as its sometimes called) you still might want to consider getting the 3G model if you ever “need to have internet access” when your out and about… although if you did “need” this access… you should probably get a smart phone with this feature first… as it will fit in your pocket unlike a larger tablet… unless you have big pockets.

as always, everyone feel free to ask questions in the comments below.

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