ipad 2 3g

You might be thinking that you'll only really use your iPad at home or work, so you'll always be in range of a Wi-Fi connection, but from our experience you only really notice what a limited approach to owning an iPad that is once you go back to a Wi-Fi-only version.

Once you get used to the freedom that 3G brings, it's hard to go back.

We liked:

Being able to fire-up your iPad whenever you are and check your email makes it a truly portable device. The iPad needs to be fed data, and the more you can give it, the happier it is.

There's also the show-off value of having the most expensive version of the iPad. You can feel smugly superior to your Wi-Fi-only iPad-using friends.

Finally, there's plenty of choice and flexibility when it comes to data plans -shop around and find the right one that suits you.

We disliked:

Losing connection is an issue. On a train from Bath to London we were connected more often than not, but dipping in and out of areas of 3G signal is frustrating. And of course, if you head through a tunnel you lose your connection completely.

Like most people we don't like spending more money than we think we should either. Making the 3G version of the iPad £100 more expensive is hard to justify, since the 3G components themselves won't cost that much to add into an iPad. Then there's the cost of your data plan on top as well.

Verdict:

Don't forget that the original iPad 3G can still be found on Apple's Refurb Store, starting at £389. It's still a perfectly good iPad, and as our tests show, it isn't slower at browsing the net than Apple's latest iPad 2 on the 3G network, it's just not quite as thin and doesn't have a camera.

And if you can live with that then you can save yourself a lot of cash.