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3G or not 3G: which iPad 2 should you buy?

Is an iPad 2 3G worth the extra £100?

With the Apple iPad 2 set to go on sale tomorrow, you may be wondering whether to spend the extra £100 to get an an iPad 2 with 3G. Is an iPad 3G necessary now that the iPhone has the Personal Hotspot feature?

Allow us to help you decide which version of the Apple iPad 2 to buy.

Many smartphones - including the iPhone 4 with its new Personal Hotspot feature - let you share their internet connections with other devices. For example, if you're signed up for Three's 'The One Plan' (£25) you get access to Data Tethering at no extra cost, including unlimited data.

Creating a Personal Hotspot with your iPhone could save you money compared to the iPad 3G plans, and you won't have to pay extra upfront for the 3G iPad.

On the other hand, if you spend the extra £100 for a 3G model, there's no contract to sign and you're not required to buy a data plan - so the extra cost of the 3G iPad might not be too much to spend if you want to keep your options open.

One final wrinkle to the 3G buying decision: only 3G iPad models come with GPS capabilities. There's a good reason for this - iOS devices use something called assisted GPS to dramatically decrease the amount of time it takes for the devices to determine their location. In any event, if you dream of using your iPad as a jumbo GPS navigation console, you'll absolutely need a 3G model.

The following tables will help you compare the current pricing plans for Personal Hotspot on the iPhone and the monthly cost to run a 3G iPad.

Apple iPad 2 Personal Hotspot pricing

Apple iPad 2 3G pricing

See also:

Apple iPad 2 review

Apple iPad 2 video review

Poll: 25% plan to buy Apple iPad 2

Apple iPad Smart Cover review

Visit Macworld for news and reviews of Apple proucts

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