Apple iPad 3G review

Now out in the UK, we look at the iPad Wi-Fi + 3G - is it worth the extra cash?

TODO alt text

ipad 3g

So, iPad. Much-awaited. Much-wanted. And, yep, it's terrific – a tablet experience like nothing else we've seen. But we know that more variants are coming. Android, Chrome, even Windows Phone 7 – we'll no doubt see more devices like the iPad. And very soon, too.

The great thing about the iPad ecosystem is the apps, of course, and as long as developers keep developing , the iPad will make for a tremendous device. Some of the iPad-enabled apps are absolutely cracking. Even something like AccuWeather really comes alive when used on such a great screen.

Even if you've used an iPhone, the iPad really is something you need to experience first-hand. And this iPad 3G version really opens up the possibilities for go-everywhere web surfing and tweeting.

Yep, so that's available on the iPhone, and whether you need this 3G variant really depends on if you think you'll need the 3G capability when you're out and about. After all, £100 is quite a premium for the iPad 3G capability. And that's before you get to the not-inconsequential cost of a data tariff.

We liked:

The iPad has all the great stuff from the iPhone, but really puts it on a device that makes the internet sing. And it's great for video. Really, really great for video. It's a terrific coffee table device, even if it's not immediately clear how you're meant to sit with it – you might want to invest in a case with a stand, for example.

The Apple A4 processor is speedy and graphics are crisp, but we wonder whether it will stand the test of time. You can just tell that it might not be too long before, like the iPhone 3G's chip – it's just no longer up to the task. The battery life is decent, too. We liked the data experience of the iPad 3G and being able to receive data when we were out and about, too.

We disliked:

It's not all good. The main problem with the iPad 3G is its extra price. As if £429-£599 wasn't enough of a price to pay for an iPad, you need to budget for an extra £100. And that's before you get to the iPad data deals.

Then, there's the keyboard. It's not quite good enough and needs more options. It's also no good for use for more than a little bit of data entry. The iPad is not a word processing or work device, despite what Apple might say with its iWork apps, available for £9.99 each on the App Store.

iPad 3g

Flash is also still a problem, but it's just one of those things – either you're with Apple, or you're not.


Chances are you've already made up your mind whether or not to get one, so if you have your choice is just whether to get an iPad 3G or just the iPad Wi-Fi. Whichever iPad you choose, it does many things very well.

There's no doubting it: the iPad 3G is a great device and it certainly lays down the gauntlet for tablet competitors. It's expensive – and through monthly costs far, far more so than the iPad Wi-Fi. We do think the iPad Wi-Fi is a more compelling option. Especially when you consider that despite the lack of 3G in that model, you can still get online using other means, such as 3's MiFi.

Now check out our iPad Wi-Fi review

Follow TechRadar Reviews on Twitter:


Tech Specs

Product TypeTablet
Hard Drive CapacityNo
Flash Memory Capacity64 GB
Processor ManufacturerApple
Wireless LANYes
Maximum Battery Run Time10 Hour
Backlight TechnologyLED
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyEDGE, HSDPA, UMTS
Product FamilyiPad
Cellular Network SupportedGSM
Operating System PlatformiOS
Operating SystemiPad OS
Brand NameApple
Form FactorSlate
Processor Speed1 GHz
Processor TypeA4
Screen Size24.6 cm (9.7")
Screen Resolution1024 x 768
Weight (Approximate)725.7 g
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
WWAN SupportedYes
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11n
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 2.1
Cellular Generation3G
Height12.7 mm
Width242.8 mm
Depth189.7 mm
Screen ModeXGA
ManufacturerApple, Inc
Product ModelMC497LL/A
Product NameiPad Tablet Computer
Product LineiPad
Aspect Ratio4:3
Manufacturer Part NumberMC497LL/A
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

The best way to experience the web, email, photos, and video. Hands down. All of the built-in apps on iPad were designed from the ground up to take advantage of the large Multi-Touch screen and advanced capabilities of iPad. And they work in any orientation. So you can do things with these apps that you can't do on any other device.