Picking the right new iPad for you is a challenge, especially if you need one with 3G or 4G connectivity.
The new iPad comes a 4G LTE from Verizon and AT&T. Picking the right model for you, it’s more challenging than just figuring out where you have the best 4G LTE coverage.
The AT&T iPad can connect to AT&T’s “4G” network, which is HPSA+. This network is faster than Verizon’s 3G network and AT&T’s 3G network but it’s not 4G LTE.
(Read: New iPad Review)
It can be difficult to figure out where you can get this “4G” coverage from AT&T, but we have an easy solution.
Coverage? is a $2 iPad app, that makes it simple to compare coverage of options in your neighborhood and across the country. Below, you can see AT&T’s “4G” network coverage versus Verizon 4G LTE coverage.
As Kevin noted in his review of the 3G and “4G” speeds on the new iPad, if you live in an area with AT&T “4G” coverage and no Verizon 4G LTE coverage, you might be better off picking up the new iPad on AT&T, though it is worth noting that you can use an AT&T SIM in the Verizon iPad.
Coverage? shares a sample of how to use the app in this video below.
AT&T’s fake 4G might be confusing, but the one thing that isn’t confusing is that it is faster than Verizon 3G.
In multiple speed test run by GottaBeMobile.com, we found that AT&T’s HSPA+ “4G” network is many times faster than Verizon’s 3G network, though it still can’t hold a candle to 4G LTE — which is where Verizon has an edge.
In the video below you can see the new iPad 4G LTE Speed Tests, pitting A&T against Verizon.
If you need extra help figuring out which new iPad to buy and which carrier to choose, check out our New iPad Buyer’s Guide.
This is one time where I do not recommend purchasing a new iPad based on which carrier you have a cell phone with.
Just because you have an iPhone through AT&T doesn’t mean the AT&T iPad will be your best choice, and the same goes for Verizon iPhone owners.
In fact, having multiple modes of connectivity, especially with the ability to use the Verizon iPad as a personal hotspot, could come in handy during network outages and while traveling.