Android Tablets – Should I Get the Wi-Fi Only Model?

So you’re on the market for a new tablet and you don’t know what model to get… you’re obviously going for an android device (dah) – but you’re confused as to whether you want the 3/4G enabled version, or if you’re going to stick to the Wi-Fi only. Is it really worth paying the extra hundred bucks for 4G connectivity? We think not and here’s why.

google-nexus-wifi

The Google Nexus 7 16GB Wi-Fi starts at US $299 at the Google Play store (Note – 16GB does not have a 3/4G option) while the 32GB Wi-Fi model will set you back US $339. However, if you opt for the mobile broadband enabled Nexus you’re looking at US $439 at the Google Play store (32GB Model).

That may not seem like much at first, but for someone who will only use their table for light media consumption, internet browsing and emails – 16GB is more than enough storage to get you by – however if you want mobile connectivity, you have to for out US $140 more just for that privilege.

It doesn’t end there! Mobile broadband isn’t free – you need to pay for the cost of connection. There are various carries such as Optus who have data-only plans which start at $5 (500MB data) and can go all the way up to the range topping $60 plan (10GB data). There are similar plans available through other carriers – such as Telstra and iiNet – however the cost remains pretty much the same.

In this day and age, most of us own smartphones which are constantly connected to the internet. We more than likely have a plan that offers you a significant amount of data per month. Why let it go to waste – if you’re anything like me you barely scrape the tip of the iceberg.

Turn your phone into a Wi-Fi hotspot

Depending on the make and model of your handset, your carrier and plan – you can set up your handset to act as a wireless hotspot. This means you can connect any Wi-Fi enabled device – such as your new android tablet – to the hotspot and use that mobile data – Simple!

This is only a good option if you have a large amount of data on your phone plan. It may be worthwhile to upgrade your data pack (this usually costs a lot less than having a separate data only sim) and using the Wi-Fi hotspot when you’re out and about. Also, make sure you keep a charger on hand. Using your mobile device at a Wi-Fi hotspot may drain your battery faster than usual. It’s always a good idea to keep a charger on hand in cause you run out of power.

Reasons to get a 3/4G enabled android tablet?

Using a wireless hot spot can be really handy; however there may be times that a 3/4G enabled device may be the way to go. If you constantly use your tablet away from Wi-Fi hot spots at home or work, or if you travel frequently – it is advisable to get a separate data-only sim as you may find you dig away at your phone data way to quick.

Check out iiNet’s mobile broadband page to see what options are available to you.

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