If I buy an iPad, it’ll have 3G

Okay, who am I kidding? I’m totally going to buy an iPad at some point. Maybe not right away, but I’d be lying if I claimed it would never happen. And when it does, I’ll be getting a 3G model.

Sparking this blog post is Gizmodo’s point-counterpoint on the two sides of the debate. The exchange is comical but there is some food for thought amid the silliness.

For me, the option of 3G connectivity is a matter of convenience. I wouldn’t use it every month, but when I would use it, I’d use it heavily. For that reason, I cannot justify a MiFi as an alternative. With a contract, a MiFi is $60 a month for unlimited data (and I wouldn’t use it every month). Without a contract, Verizon caps the data at 500MB for $50. Those options don’t work for me.

So when would I need 3G? Trips away from home mostly. My wife and I go out-of-town every now and then. I return home to Hawaii every few years. Maps and navigation are useful on the former (don’t really need maps when I’m back home). I practice mobile blogging during both and am regularly called upon to look up something on the Internet.

Adding to the convenience is the ability to sign up for usage from the device. That would enable me to decide after I get to my location if I need connectivity or if it’s not worth it, like when I was up at a mountain retreat last year with very limited connectivity. Likewise, I could go somewhere expecting to use wifi, only to find it’s not working and then opt for 3G. I could also choose to start off with the $15 250MB option and then add data or upgrade to unlimited if necessary, which could be useful for day trips. The ability to buy connectivity as needed works for how I’d use it. Give me that in a mobile hotspot device, then it’ll fit my budget.