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Old 06-25-2012, 12:25 PM   #61
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Who needs 3G when my phone is a 4G "wi-fi" access point...
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Old 06-25-2012, 04:51 PM   #62
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Old 06-25-2012, 05:52 PM   #63
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So very true
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Old 06-25-2012, 06:34 PM   #64
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So very true
Yep! How very, very true.
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Old 06-26-2012, 12:26 AM   #65
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You are in the minority. There was a report in the last month or so that estimated only ~10% of tablets sold are 3g, so it's clearly not a deal breaker for the vast majority (says me posting from my wifi only tablet).
I don't say it's a deal breaker, just that it reduces the capability of the machine for many users and that Microsoft needs to come up with a machine that truly competes. Particularly if they want to appeal to business travelers.

And while 90 percent of tablets are sold with wifi only according to your article, I submit that this is probably related to purchase price more than a lack of interest in 3G capability. Given smaller price difference I think the numbers would change. Those I know with wifi only versions here bought it based on price considerations.

It may also be the case in America that lack of 3G is not a big deal, given the way the various 3g plans are structured; however in these parts where 3G service is a much cheaper proposition, a tablet not equipped with full mobile capability generates less interest. I remember that cell plans in America were (are?) generally cumbersome and expensive, with long term contracts and high prices compared to the European model, which basically charges you a nominal monthly fee plus a fixed fee per minute of talk time/data unit, or all inclusive data packages with no talk time.

as an example: I have an unlimited 3G data policy within the Nordics for 8 euros a month for the ipad. Unlimited streaming, for example, 24 hours a day for about 10 American dollars per billing cycle. It's cheaper than buying wifi to the house! Outside the nordics it gets more expensive but still reasonable. I don't know what the going rate is in america but based on my relative's reports, it's not this cheap?

The problem is that with wifi only the tablet doesn't help you when there is no hotspot. You can of course get around this these days with apps that turn your smart phone into a local hotspot, but generally the tablet cannot fulfill its complete possibilities unless it has both options.

In the end, I think that if you want your tablet to be a competent companion for international business travel, which is what I do, the 3G is important.

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Old 06-26-2012, 12:28 AM   #66
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That's pretty good.
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Old 06-26-2012, 01:04 AM   #67
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I would not consider an ipad without 4g. I previously had an ipad with wifi only, and it is much more useful for me with cellular.

The primary benefit of a tablet is the small portable form factor, long battery life, and large touch interface. The easy portability lends it to be used in many situations. Instant cellular capability increases the any time usefulness significantly. It is a big fucking world and much more of it is covered with cellular than easily accessible wifi. Tethering to a celphone is inconvenient and sucks batteries. Further, the ability to remotely use my home or work computer nearly anywhere magnifies the functionality of the tablet.

For those that say a tablet is not a business tool, they are simply closed minded. Like any tool, it has areas where it excels, and areas where it is weak. There are effective solutions from Citrix and Vmware that provide extensive traditional desktop functionality to tablets.

As for the Microsoft Surface, it looks like a killer product. I'm interested, but it depends on how it is executed. 4g connectivity and a high resolution screen will be precursors for me to consider it at all.
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Old 06-26-2012, 01:22 AM   #68
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Originally Posted by FinlandThumper View Post
I don't say it's a deal breaker, just that it reduces the capability of the machine for many users and that Microsoft needs to come up with a machine that truly competes. Particularly if they want to appeal to business travelers.
sure, it's more capable with 3g. but given the purchase patterns, i don't think they need it to "truly compete." i'm also not sure that they really need it to appeal to business travelers per se- i travel a lot and i have a lot of people trying to connect to my phone's hotspot to tether their wifi only ipads - what would be nice for business travelers is if they supported the use of an aircard...

Quote:
And while 90 percent of tablets are sold with wifi only according to your article, I submit that this is probably related to purchase price more than a lack of interest in 3G capability. Given smaller price difference I think the numbers would change. Those I know with wifi only versions here bought it based on price considerations.
sure, and if the higher memory versions were cheaper, they'd sell more too, etc. everyone does a price / benefit comparison, and most have decided that ponying up for the 3g version isn't worth it. ms stated that the price would be comparable to other tablets, so there's no reason to expect that if they had a 3g version it wouldn't have a similar price premium, and similarly poor sales.

Quote:
It may also be the case in America that lack of 3G is not a big deal, given the way the various 3g plans are structured; however in these parts where 3G service is a much cheaper proposition, a tablet not equipped with full mobile capability generates less interest. I remember that cell plans in America were (are?) generally cumbersome and expensive, with long term contracts and high prices compared to the European model, which basically charges you a nominal monthly fee plus a fixed fee per minute of talk time/data unit, or all inclusive data packages with no talk time.
interesting theory about less interest in wifi tablets in europe. i wonder if it's true.

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as an example: I have an unlimited 3G data policy within the Nordics for 8 euros a month for the ipad. Unlimited streaming, for example, 24 hours a day for about 10 American dollars per billing cycle. It's cheaper than buying wifi to the house! Outside the nordics it gets more expensive but still reasonable. I don't know what the going rate is in america but based on my relative's reports, it's not this cheap?
nope, not that cheap. the best deal for a prepaid sim with a decent data package is probably tmobile's $30 prepaid plan (100min talk, unlimited text, and "unlimited" data (5gb hspa+ (which is surprisingly fast- i get 16MBps at my house), then throttled to 2g speeds).

Quote:
The problem is that with wifi only the tablet doesn't help you when there is no hotspot. You can of course get around this these days with apps that turn your smart phone into a local hotspot, but generally the tablet cannot fulfill its complete possibilities unless it has both options.

In the end, I think that if you want your tablet to be a competent companion for international business travel, which is what I do, the 3G is important.
i think the "international business travel" market isn't going to be driving the design of any tablet for a while.
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Old 06-26-2012, 01:59 AM   #69
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Think that will eventually change or is this as good as it will ever get?
Oh, it'll definitely change, for sure. You have lots of attention on it these days, because of the market saturation on the consumer side. It's just a bit slow, since there're so many moving parts, and they don't all reside in the control of the manufacturer. You've got to convince alot of people to buy into your perspective on how security should be implemented, what is sufficient, etc. It's highly debatable between the "commerce is king" types, and the "belts-'n-suspenders types." They each have legitimate concerns & points. IMO, at the end of the day if the belts 'n suspenders types can't get their concerns met, consumer-type tablets use will always be limited to the customer-side play--in other words, catering to those who don't really give a rat's ass how their info is managed, so long as they're productive. I've mostly been involved in the analysis with service providers--folks that run your communications services, and federal agencies...people who're responsible for alot of other people's important info. IMO, it's a good thing that they don't say "wtf, just slap a citrix client on there, and be done with it."

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Old 06-26-2012, 02:33 AM   #70
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Integrated data plans on a tablet form factor is a niche product, bcs it will never be your primary personal comm device, nor will it be your primary data computing device. It's most likely going to be your 3rd data service--following your smartphone, and whatever you've got your laptop/pc/home network running on.

For international travel, the best pairing of hardware is to sever your hotspot from your handset/tablet; get a mifi type device, and run your 3G or 4G from there. Personally, I prefer this, even over the option of tethering to a smartphone. There are several reasons why this is advantageous. You get the benefits of tethering, which means you can run your service to serve your smartphone, your laptop, and your tablet, and whomever else you want to share your hotspot with. Meanwhile you can run your phone all day w/o killing its battery. Speaking of battery life, you also don't have to be sitting within a power-cable's length from an outlet to use your phone when it's tethered. Plug your mifi device in across the room, and act like a normal human being, not some borg. The fact that you can tether to your phone, is imo, a nice backup plan. But it's lousy for a primary mode of operating, because it *really* kills battery life.
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Old 07-01-2012, 06:35 AM   #71
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Originally Posted by DriveShaft View Post
Integrated data plans on a tablet form factor is a niche product, bcs it will never be your primary personal comm device, nor will it be your primary data computing device. It's most likely going to be your 3rd data service--following your smartphone, and whatever you've got your laptop/pc/home network running on.
Speak for yourself. If I buy a surface (waiting to see actual shipping hardware), it will be my primary computer at home (I need a proper UNIX workstation and ~30" display at the office, so that's out the window).

Quote:
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For international travel, the best pairing of hardware is to sever your hotspot from your handset/tablet; get a mifi type device, and run your 3G or 4G from there. Personally, I prefer this, even over the option of tethering to a smartphone. There are several reasons why this is advantageous. You get the benefits of tethering, which means you can run your service to serve your smartphone, your laptop, and your tablet, and whomever else you want to share your hotspot with. Meanwhile you can run your phone all day w/o killing its battery. Speaking of battery life, you also don't have to be sitting within a power-cable's length from an outlet to use your phone when it's tethered. Plug your mifi device in across the room, and act like a normal human being, not some borg. The fact that you can tether to your phone, is imo, a nice backup plan. But it's lousy for a primary mode of operating, because it *really* kills battery life.
As far as I can tell, most mifi devices get a lot less battery life than my iPhone*, which can tether via WiFi or Bluetooth or USB and is perfectly capable of having multiple devices connected to it at once. I've been using my iPad tethered to my iPhone for years with none of the problems you describe.

In truth though, I don't understand why anyone would want 3G/4G in a tablet. I use my tablet at home. I don't use it while in town or travelling... my smartphone has all the same apps, and it fits in my pocket. Why would anyone, especially motorcycle riders, drag a tablet around the place them when a smartphone is almost as good? All my experience with tethering is at home - I cancelled by DSL a while ago.

* 5 to 8 hours with WiFi tethering, and I've seen reports of 15+ hours using bluetooth. I imagine it depends how intensive your browsing is. I've never seen my battery drop bellow half full, any time I need more than an hour or two there is power nearby.
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Old 07-01-2012, 11:04 AM   #72
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In truth though, I don't understand why anyone would want 3G/4G in a tablet. I use my tablet at home. I don't use it while in town or travelling... my smartphone has all the same apps, and it fits in my pocket. Why would anyone, especially motorcycle riders, drag a tablet around the place them when a smartphone is almost as good? ...
That's exactly my point, except you're happy with tethering to your phone. To each his/her own on that. But the bottom line is that a 4G tablet is going to be yet another data plan, for no good reason, bcs it's certainly not portable enough to be your primary data plan.
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Old 10-16-2012, 04:02 PM   #73
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Least now we have some prices. Still waiting to see the Pro model.
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Old 10-16-2012, 04:36 PM   #74
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Least now we have some prices. Still waiting to see the Pro model.
we pretty much knew the prices before- they said it be comparable to leading tablets (read: ipads), and they're priced exactly at those points.

as for the pro model, iirc, they're going to be priced in ultrabook territory (think $1k or so).
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Old 10-16-2012, 06:15 PM   #75
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The Surface and iPad Mini will be released the same week this month. I guess we'll see who wins.
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