The iPad 3G Is Here: First Impressions And Notes

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iPad_3G

The iPad 3G is the iPad everyone’s been waiting for. Let’s face it: the 3G data connection and GPS makes this the iPad you don’t want to to leave at home.

  • There’s almost no physical difference between the iPad 3G and the Wi-Fi only iPad, except for the strip of black plastic on the back covering the 3G antenna, and the microSIM slot on the left-hand side.
  • The contents of the box are the same (iPad, charging brick and sync cable). The only difference is a pin tool to pop the microSIM slot.
  • Like the WiFi iPad, you must connect it to iTunes before it powers up. It will not switch on out of the box. There is no software update at present. The iPad doesn’t register itself with AT&T you call up the Settings menu and hit Cellular Data option.
  • Signing up for a data plan wasn’t too bad. You type in username, password, and credit card details. You have to create a new account, which seems to be linked to an AT&T account if you have one (it pulled up my address that it had on file). The sucky AT&T connection in this part of San Francisco made it slower than it should submiiting the data and waiting for a response. However, the activation of the data plan took only a couple of minutes.
  • Be warned: monthly data fees are ongoing unless you cancel. This is going to be easy to forget at the end of the month. If you cancel and want to re-enroll, you have to go thorough the entire enrollment process again. Kinda painful.
  • Web surfing is pretty slow — but that’s because AT&T is overloaded and the signal weak here at my office. It’s not really a fair test. I’ll conduct more tests later at home.

Here is what the iPad looks like close up: