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iPad 3G near West Towne Mall

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iPad 3G near West Towne Mall

Postby tslats » Wed Jun 02, 2010 4:43 pm

We've been thinking of getting an iPad for our computer challenged folks who live out near West Town Mall. Nice product and I think it could be a winner.

However, what kind of luck have others had using ATT's 3G wireless service out there for internet browsing, downloading (like books) and email? Good? Bad enough that you'd rather have DSL or cable internet installed?

Any info appreciated.
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Re: iPad 3G near West Towne Mall

Postby fisticuffs » Wed Jun 02, 2010 4:48 pm

It's not very well suited to be their only computer otherwise it's great for the computer challenged. Kind of a catch 22. ATT reception in Madison has been great for me. The horror stories you hear mostly come out of NY where they simply can't handle all the extra unprecedented traffic the iPhone generated.
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Re: iPad 3G near West Towne Mall

Postby HeyZeus » Wed Jun 02, 2010 5:43 pm

One of my friends just posted on facebook the fact that she can't get full-bars in the AT&T store. :?

If 3g speed isn't a concern, I'd consider an iPad for the older folks.
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Re: iPad 3G near West Towne Mall

Postby TAsunder » Wed Jun 02, 2010 6:36 pm

West Town Mall is ok for AT&T service generally, but I do have spotty coverage in the Junction road area.
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Re: iPad 3G near West Towne Mall

Postby tslats » Wed Jun 02, 2010 7:59 pm

Appreciate the help so far. I also posted this in the 'west side' forum (just dicovered there was one) and invited folks to come over here to post as well.

I also appreciate the comment that the ipad is not a computer per se. It did take me a while to get my brain around that and can see where using it as your only document generator, for instance, would be an issue. Plus, there's the printing matter. Maybe next-gen, eh?

But it is great for using it out of box regardless of skill and it seems perfect for email and internet.

I'm getting the impression that there is pretty steady 3G service out there with the usual complications. I just don't want them to get discouraged surfing or downloading, say, a music video and watching the 'waiting' or 'buffering' message scroll on for a while. However, from posts so far, it seems that ATT 3G is probably sufficient for them but there's nothing like real user experience. I note that all the stores I've visited so far have the ipad joining the internet via their in house hi speed router with no pure 3G demos. Bummer.
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Re: iPad 3G near West Towne Mall

Postby Athena » Thu Jun 03, 2010 9:07 am

You should be able to test the 3G in the Apple store in West Towne if their demo models let you into the settings menu. You can turn off the wifi connection and tell it to only do 3G.

You might want to have your parents try it out in the store to see if they like it. I found the virtual keyboard on my iPhone very difficult to get use and that might kill the appeal for them if they don't think they'll get used to it.

If they like it but think the 3G is too slow, the AT&T U-verse comes with wireless built into their modem. It isn't nearly as complicated as setting up a router and AT&T does everything for you.
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Re: iPad 3G near West Towne Mall

Postby fisticuffs » Thu Jun 03, 2010 9:13 am

If they like it but think the 3G is too slow, the AT&T U-verse comes with wireless built into their modem. It isn't nearly as complicated as setting up a router and AT&T does everything for you.


As do most other internet providers. This would be just as good a way to go. The reception in the Mall isn't going to be as nice as the reception right outside the mall on account of the walls, steel beams etc. The good thing about wifi is that it will be way faster, and save you some money on the 3G plan/iPad itself. The downside is it will only work on WiFi and you have to pay for that service too. Connecting it to a computer probably isn't a major concern for your parents. They most likely won't be adding tons of content like music and vids to it and you can also purchase those things or 3G. You may want to snag it from them from time to time thought to back it up and update software. That cannot be done over 3G.
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Re: iPad 3G near West Towne Mall

Postby tslats » Thu Jun 03, 2010 10:42 pm

Thanks all.

I know they have a DSL line to the home but not connected at moment. Not sure what cable TV service they have but like ATT uverse, assume they can choose what they would if they find the 3G service lacking.

I was hoping to go the 3G route to give them greater portability without the added cost of charging up the DSL line or buying internet service from Comcast, ATT ... whatever.

Thus the question .. will 3G do it for you/them.

I don't live near Madison so I'm hoping to get them a working solution right out of the box if possible. For instance, I use Verizon wireless broadband on my cell (don't recall what they call it). It' s ok but I don't think I'd like it to be my sole inet provider for the home or office. Is ATT 3G 'quicker' than Verizon wireless broadband?
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Re: iPad 3G near West Towne Mall

Postby fisticuffs » Fri Jun 04, 2010 8:46 am

I think ATT's network bests Verizon in most markets. At least smaller ones like ours for data. If I have mostly full 3G signal the iPhone is just fine for web etc without WiFi. If I'm somewhere without strong 3G it's useless. Strong Edge service (what you're on when there isn't any 3G) is pretty awful as well.
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Re: iPad 3G near West Towne Mall

Postby tslats » Fri Jun 04, 2010 10:53 pm

Thanks fisticuffs.

According to ATTs website, the area the parents live in is in the strong-signal footprint for 3G.
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Re: iPad 3G near West Towne Mall

Postby towanda » Sat Jun 05, 2010 10:05 pm

AT&T just announced that they will no longer have an unlimited wireless data plan. You might want to investigate that before deciding on an iPad.
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Re: iPad 3G near West Towne Mall

Postby tslats » Sun Jun 06, 2010 8:40 am

Well, as my folks have never had a computer, if they blow through their allotted ATT data plan limits .. I'll know I found the perfect gift(!!).
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Re: iPad 3G near West Towne Mall

Postby fisticuffs » Sun Jun 06, 2010 9:05 am

About ATTa new data plans. I checked my stats. In a full year I've used 2GB of data. The plan they have now that is 5$ cheaper than unlimited is for that amount in a month. We are switching our 2 phones to the 15$ plan and saving $360/year. It might suck for 2% of the population that somehow uses more than 2GB a month but for a lot of people it will save them money.
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Re: iPad 3G near West Towne Mall

Postby Dust Mite Rodeo » Sun Jun 06, 2010 10:47 am

And they should be trained to conserve data anyways. If only they knew of the abhorrent labor conditions in the byte mines of Numibia.
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