5 Reasons Not To Buy An Embedded 3G Tablet

If I had to put my money on a tablet device, I think I would not buy a 3G embed­ded device, but I would go for a WiFi only device. Sure, I will need some sort of mobile broad­band con­nec­tiv­ity and for that rea­son I think I would put on the tablet side a MiFi device.

A MiFi device is a slimmed down ver­sion of a WiFi/​3G router.

I had the oppor­tu­nity to play with a few of these devices in the past and I think they are great prod­ucts. In the recent eight months the User Inter­face and the usabil­ity of these kind of prod­ucts become bet­ter and bet­ter, and they are much eas­ier to set up and use than most cur­rent WiFi/​3G routers. Most of those devices will offer con­nec­tion to some­thing like 5 WiFi devices that will share a mobile broad­band connection.

1 — For my per­sonal use I think I would use the tablet more in a home environment.

Yes, that’s my per­sonal judge­ment. In the near future I will def­i­nitely buy one of these devices. When I am at home today I already find myself using the iPhone to check my social net­works, browse the net, check news, and read news­pa­pers (well, at least those who are still free). Often I do not even fire up my lap­top at home since I find that for con­sum­ing con­tent at home an iPhone is almost enough. And a table would be even better.

I think of the tablet sit­ting on a cra­dle in my liv­ing room and I pick it up as soon as I need to check something.

For those occa­sions where I will need to bring the tablet with me while hit­ting the road I think I may find more effi­cient a MiFi device instead of a 3G embed­ded device.

2 — It will be cheaper

Let’s take a look at the iPad. Well, ok, I am going to talk about Apple, again, but for the time being it is the only device with pub­lic pricing.

The WiFi only ver­sion will cost 499 USD for the 16Gb ver­sion, 599 USD for the 32 Gb ver­sion, and 699 for the 64 Gb ver­sion. If you want embed­ded 3G you will have to add 130 USD.

Since Apple is prob­a­bly going to use the AUSD (Apple United States Dol­lar) cur­rency instead of USD (United States Dol­lar) prices may trans­late into 499, 599, 699 EUR in my coun­try, Italy. And I will need to add another 130 EUR to each for the 3g embed­ded version.

For 130 EUR I will be able to buy a very good MiFi device such as the Nova­tel Wire­less MiFi 2532 or the Huawei E5 maybe spend­ing a lot less if I will buy it from an oper­a­tor with an attached contract.

3 — It will be a more flex­i­ble solution

Hav­ing a MiFi device will help me to con­nect all of my WiFi devices when I will need mobile broad­band con­nec­tiv­ity. IPod touch, Nin­tendo DS, Playsta­tion Portable, and even my Mac­Book Pro that does not have a 3G embed­ded card.

Today I make use of a 3G USB don­gle for my pc, and it has a con­tract attached. The same would hap­pen with an embed­ded 3G tablet device. Yes, another USIM, another con­tract, and addi­tional money to be put on the table.

With a MiFi device I will have one con­tract for all my WiFi devices that I will need to con­nect to the inter­net. Eas­ier and cheaper.

4 — MiFi will pre­serve my investment

If I will change the tablet in the future I will not be forced to review my broad­band con­tract. Maybe some oper­a­tors will lock the USIM with the device to pre­serve their sub­sidy invest­ment on the cus­tomer. I do not want this.

If I have a MiFi device I will still keep my con­tract and just change the device itself. Noth­ing will change.

5 — I will be able to change the device easily

Let’s say I will buy a 3G embed­ded iPad. We have read that it is going to use Micro USIMs.

If I will change the iPad with another device, pos­si­bly using a stan­dard USIM, I will need to go and visit my oper­a­tor store, change the iPad MicroSIM with a stan­dard one and, prob­a­bly, spend some money in the process.

With the MiFi solu­tion I will not have to do any­thing. Just change the device and go.

More­over I think this may also be a great strat­egy for the operator.

Offer­ing a MiFi device instead of the 3G embed­ded tablet will allow the oper­a­tor to focus on the data plan itself instead of find­ing a way to sub­si­dize and expen­sive device, and mak­ing me pay the cost of that.

Are there dis­ad­van­tages in the MiFi approach?

Yes there are and the most impor­tant is that you will have to bring with you yet another power sup­ply to charge your MiFi device, even if most of the devices I have seen can be charged using a stan­dard USB cable con­nected to your PC. Bat­tery life may be another con­cern. Nowa­days these device can hardly last more than 56 hours and that may be an issue.

As I said I do no see myself using a tablet device on the go for more than 56 hours so a MiFi device will per­fectly fit my requirements.

Stan­dard dis­claimer applies here: this is my per­sonal opin­ion and is not endorsed or rec­om­mended in any way by the Com­pany where I am work­ing. This does not reflect the strat­egy, vision or mis­sion of my Com­pany either.

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  • http://www.sriraj.org Sri­raj

    How is Apple USD dif­fer­ent from USD?

    PS. Those bread­crumbs are look­ing wayward.

  • http://www.blogliterature.com/ Blog Lit­er­a­ture

    I ‘ll try to pur­chase my own 3G. I need it for my home usage. But how­ever thanks for shar­ing such a valu­able info. I ‘ll try to fol­low your tips.

  • http://www.resumecvtemplate.com/ Resume Exam­ples

    That is very infor­ma­tive post and efforts worth appre­ci­a­tion. Thanks for updat­ing us on the said matter.

  • http://www.laptopwithinternet.net/ inter­nal 3g notebook

    The only prob­lem is the 3G embed­ded devices are more expensive.

  • http://www.howtoforipad.com/ Siri for iPad

    The one thing that many peo­ple don’t con­sider is that although the 3G enabled iPads cost more upfront, they can be sold for more down the road. Over­all they will still end up cost­ing more than the WiFi equiv­a­lent, but being able to sell it for more helps to offset.