When The Apple iPad was released in April I thought about being among the first buyers. I didn't see a real need for the 3G model which was not yet available and the $499 price point was an attractive one for my budget considering the accessories I also desired to purchase.
I'm not one to buy personal digital devices and leave myself wanting for the accessories that enhance productivity and usefulness. I waited over three months from the April release date and purchased my iPad in early July. I'm glad I waited for the 3G model. Readers of my Posts At Eventide blog are familiar with My $1,000 iPad Purchase Odyssey.
Along with the Apple iPad with 3G, I purchased the Apple keyboard dock, the Apple iPad case and the 6-foot auxiliary power adapter. The auxiliary power adapter was purchased principally to allow for better positioning of the keyboard dock on my work desk. Each of these accessories have proven to be necessities.
I knew the additional $130 for the 3G model would blow my budget, but the 3G capability has proven to be essential for using the Apple iPad as a business tool. About two weeks ago I attended a four day professional conference and activated the 3G service for the first time. While the convention center where the conference was held offered Wi-Fi in the open areas and exhibit halls, the service was non-existent in the conference rooms. The 3G service allowed me to keep working throughout the day.
This morning when I arrived at my office Internet service wasn't available. The Internet service provider for the organization had a regional service outage and it took over three hours to correct the problem. Although outages of this duration aren't common, they are too common when they happen. I pulled the Apple iPad out of my backpack, downloaded, read and responded to the work emails over 3G that otherwise would have stacked up until early afternoon when Internet service at the office was reestablished. If I lose a morning due to a lack of Internet access, I've lost virtually all productivity for the day.
The Apple iPad with 3G activated searches first for available Wi-Fi networks before using 3G. This saves on 3G data use under the AT&T monthly service that has a 250MB quote for the first tier of the pricing plan. The importance of being able to be connected to be connected anywhere and under virtually all conditions can not be overstated if one desires to use the Apple iPad as a home and business tool.
When I purchased the Apple iPad in July I was aware I'd be spending, accessories included, more than what most people would invest in a netbook or notebook PC. After almost three months of very active use, I've come to the conclusion the Apple iPad isn't a replacement for a netbook or notebook PC. Rather, it's a device that transcends the PC paradigm completely.
I'm pleasantly surprised how comfortable it is to position the Apple iPad in my lap to compose or respond to emails. As a resource to find and consume news it's beyond compare. The app environment is a superbly efficient means to get at the news I need and do so quickly. Productivity apps such as Pages and Keynote are as intuitive on the iPad and they are on the Mac.
If you're contemplating the purchase an Apple iPad and deciding between models, I recommend the Apple iPad with Wi-Fi + 3G. It's worth the additional dollars for anyone desiring to use this amazing device at work or anywhere away from home.
Robert Paul Leitao
Robert Paul Leitao