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Quick Look: Apple iPad 3G

Fast, Stable and a Tool for Fun and Work

Check out James Pikover’s April 5threview of the WiFi-only iPad for details omitted here.

I’ve had my iPad WiFi + 3G for less than two days and I absolutely love it. The iTablet is fast, stable and a great tool for fun and, very importantly for me, work.

The main external difference between the iPad WiFi and WiFi + 3G is the 3G signal port at the top of the middle image above. Internally, the major differences are the 3G modem and a GPS. Yes, I verified that there is a very effective GPS using two iPhone apps that ported just fine over to my iPad.

Let’s get the speeds and feeds stuff out of the way first. I used an iPhone/iPad app, iNetwork Test 3.0, to check out the performance of my iPhone and iPad on both AT&T’s 3G network and my home 802.11g WiFi network. I did all testing in the span of 10 minutes, under normal conditions. That is, I made no effort to quell activity on my generally already quiet WiFi network. The numbers below are the average of the results of six tests on each network.

TEST
iPad
iPhone
3G
Download Speed (kbps)22782233
Upload Speed (kbps)50
47
Latency (ms)185
235

WiFi
Download Speed (kbps)
14321239
Upload Speed (kbps)
96
91
Latency (ms)
148
149

Though most of the test results are fairly close, things generally felt faster on the iPad on 3G than WiFi. And, generally, my experience on the iPad felt significantly faster than on the iPhone. I think the performance of the iPad’s faster CPU is probably more responsible for the iPad’s sense of speed than the networks. Oh yea, before someone comments, my WiFi network isn’t the most modern and, my connection to the Internet, though a highly stable and expensive Verizon business link, isn’t the fastest in the world.