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April 22nd, 2010 at 01:09 pm

It's Apple's latest gizmo. It's like an ultraportable laptop, minus the physical keyboard.

Why am I considering one?
They have a 3G model coming out that you can subscribe to AT&T's 3G internet. The cost is $15 a month for up to 200 mbs of download, or $30 a month for unlimited download.

How is that financially-beneficial?
I'm currently paying $50 a month for broadband, and it's only available at home. The 3G gives me internet access anywhere, on a portable device, all the while saving me as much as $35 a month on my internet bill.

Of course, to make it financially worthwhile means that I would have to cut off my regular broadband internet, and yes, that's what I'm considering.

* I've already cut off my cable TV in favor of Redbox and the internet.

* I've already cut off landline phone in favor of a cheap cellphone.

* And now, I'm thinking maybe I can cut off normal broadband internet as well, in favor of mobile broadband for as little as $15 a month.

Is there a better deal out there?
Not that I am aware of. Even if I cut down my regular internet speed, it's still hard to compete with $15 a month for 3G.

Dial-ups may be only $10 a month dial-up connection, it requires that I have a landline, which would be an extra $28 a month. That's basically the same price as the 3G I am considering now, except it's portable and with a faster speed.

What about other 3G services? Most of them are for smartphones (for now), and not only do they require signing a contract, but the same 3G service costs $50 to $60 a month, and that's not including another $30 a month for the voice plan that I don't need.

Any downside risks to this plan?
Yes. First and foremost, the upfront cost for this thing is $600, but it's really more like $800 if you throw in the needed accessories and software to make this a primary computing machine. That's not exactly cheap....

Also, the iPad isn't a full-blown PC, and its functionality would be limited. I've considered that, but given my everyday computing habits, I don't think this is going to be a huge problem. Also, I will still have access to a desktop PC. It just won't have internet access.

Also, the 3G rate plan may change somewhere down the road. On the other hand, the price may lower even more, or it may not change at all. I don't know. I would think that as 4G/WiMax services start to displace the current 3G network, it should get cheaper and cheaper, but only time will tell for sure.

Last but not least, the 3G signal could become slow and unreliable at times. However, I think reception is typically a local issue, and the people I know around me who has iPhones and AT&T 3G don't seem to have too many problems with their reception. Admittedly, that's still no guarantee that I would not have reception problems.

So, that's what I'm thinking of doing right now. Do you see any flaws in the plan, or do you think this is a viable option?

7 Responses to “iPad”

  1. ceejay74 Says:

    Interesting plan. Here are the potential drawbacks that I see:

    1. Typing on a smaller keyboard is harder than with a regular keyboard, so I assume typing on a small screen could be even harder.

    2. My family's an Apple family, and even though their stuff is super user-friendly, stylish and a joy to use, the lifespan of their products can be short, and the potential for problems large. Figure in the cost of an extended warranty on this thing.

    3. Make sure you haven't been brainwashed by that friend who was obsessing over them! Big Grin

  2. Tabs Says:

    1. Yeah, I've tried the virtual keyboard and did not like it. That's why the budgeted amount was expanded, so that it would include accessories such as an external keyboard.

    2. That's true, although I'm not after the latest shiny. I'm just after the best deal possible. So, chances are good I would be using this for a long time.

    3. Well, yeah I have to admit he's been working on me really hard and for a very long time now. But I think the numbers are basically sound.

    Nevertheless, I also recognize that this is an iffy proposition. With my Tracfone, that was literally a no-brainer so long as you didn't care about getting the latest phones or having the latest features, which I didn't. Like the product itself though, this plan is more controversial.

    But yeah, seriously, if this is a bad idea or there is a much better deal, I'm all ears.

  3. ceejay74 Says:

    I'm not saying it's a bad idea...It might turn out to be a big money-saver or at least a break-even. And the Internet-everywhere thing is super-tempting. But what I meant by #2 is that I find Apple stuff breaks after not too long. Not sure if it's worse than other technology, but it seems like it breaks sooner than I'd like considering what we pay for it.

  4. -Jerry- Says:

    That's interesting, because I have had really good luck with my Apple products... and I also spring for the AppleCare insurance so it is covered in the event that something DOES go wrong. I think it's a decent plan, as long as you have good wireless coverage in your area. I still haven't seen one in real life, since the aren't selling over here yet, so I can't comment on the machine in and of itself... but it looks pretty cool!

  5. frugaltexan75 Says:

    If you don't have internet access for your desktop computer at home, how will you update the operating system on the iPad? It can only be updated through iTunes, which has to be downloaded on a "real" computer, and updated every so often.

  6. Tabs Says:

    Well, actually, it can be done in the Apple Store. All iPads require initial sync anyways with iTunes upon activation, and some people have opted to let the Apple employees activate it for them.

    Regardless, I asked a co-worker who knows me well enough, and he made a really good point. That right now, my current internet access has been the only source of entertainment and information for the whole family. So, while an iPad alone might work for myself, it would not when the kids are with me.

    As such, he convinced me that cutting the main internet isn't practical. So, the question has since changed to mostly whether I think a regular iPad (minus 3G) is worth it or not.

    In the meantime, iPads are literally sold out everywhere. I am utterly shocked at the level of frenzy surrounding this thing. Good job, Apple!

  7. Amanda Says:

    Gra├žas a www.tvdigitalnopc.com.br a Sky nunca mais vai ver a cor do meu dinheiro

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