To iPad or not to iPad

When I found out the iPad with 3G came out on Friday, I was trying to figure out a subtle way to let my parents know that that would be a perfect gift for a graduate (me). But first I needed to do some research so that I would have a well formed case to present. Mashable recently outlined some pros and cons for the iPad 3G and how it compares to the Wi-Fi only iPad, and here is what I came up with.

First of all, the new iPad with 3G is $130 more than the Wi-Fi only version, and that is just for the device. In order to use the 3G you need to sign-up for a data plan with AT&T. An unlimited plan (the default) is $29.99, but you can also opt to pay for the $14.99 250 MB plan. The upside is that there is no contract with AT&T needed, however the downside is that you have to use AT&T’s 3G (which most people know is less than great).

One thing the Wi-Fi only version can’t do is provide turn-by-turn directions while you are driving. Imagine installing an iPad in your car–that’s 9.7 inches of GPS navigation. On the other hand, you can’t watch LOST (from by using 3G; you would have to be in Wi-Fi range. You can, however, watch videos from Netflix and YouTube.

After finding this all out I was trying to figure out if the extra $130 for 3G was worth it, and it really depends on what your needs are. I am always on the go and I would use my iPad for navigation in my car and for internet access on the light rail, as well as normal Wi-Fi access at my house. Because of this, the perks would be worth the extra cash. I will be sure to let the parents know.

What are your thoughts?

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