iPads With Cellular Connectivity: Pros And Cons- 2024 Guide

iPads With Cellular Connectivity

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Ben Scott

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Anyone looking into buying a new gadget will relate to me; there are just too many choices. 

Every brand out there is introducing newer, more modified versions of its products to keep up with the competition in the market. Now some may say this is an excellent advantage for the customers, and it is, you have to make a final choice on which products what version to choose for yourself. From my experience and expertise I would say iPads with cellular connectivity are great options available in the market.

Cellphones and laptops have occupied our day-to-day function to the core, whether work-related or not, and there’s a dependency established with these devices.

Another device that’s slowly capturing our interest is the tablet. The very portable, convenient, versatile devices make a sizable addition to your gadget collection. There is so much that can be done on the go with the help of a tablet. All this with more convenience than laptops can offer here.

ipad charging

These versatile devices caught my interest when my work started to become more on-the-go type than sitting-on-the-desk type, and what better option to go for than Apple’s iPads, right?

Wrong, cause it doesn’t just end there. You have many more choices to make before finalizing the one for yourself.

First comes the model variation; you get the Pro and Air versions. There’s a choice for the size of an iPad, screen dimensions, amount of storage for the device, etc., and there are all the standard options you consider while purchasing any new gadget. The other pressing factor in the final decision is whether the iPad has a cellular data plan attached to it or not.

All the newer versions of the iPad series, whether Pro, Air, or Mini, have now included cellular connectivity. This new addition had also added to the cost, making these iPads pricer than the wifi models, which gets us to the question.

Is Cellular Connectivity Of iPads Worth The Extra Cost?

I’ve got you covered if you are also searching for an answer to this question. Read through this article, where I clear your queries about cellular data and iPads.

iPads With Cellular Data, What Does It Mean?

Before we delve into the pros and cons of owning an iPad with cellular connectivity attached, let us first understand what it means.

To put it simply, iPads with cellular means it has a sim slot, through which, with the help of a sim card and appropriate data plan, you can have cellular connectivity on the go, all day long. 

The difference here from the wifi models is that with them, you are required to have an active wifi connection to use the internet and browse anything. This indeed limits the probability that comes with an iPad.

With this cellular connection that’s present almost everywhere, your iPad becomes a portable computer system. But to keep things clear, even with a working SIM card, your iPad won’t function as a cellphone, i.e., you won’t be able to make or receive calls and send text messages through your iPad.

There are always alternatives for making calls, like facetime skype or WhatsApp. However, you can send and receive notifications using iMessages on the iPad.

You can also check out our another article which is about WhatsApp on iPad.

Aside from the fact that you can stay connected on the go using cellular day, these iPads also include a GPS antenna which you’ll not find in the WiFi-only models. With the GPS feature, you can use your iPad to navigate the city, or on the plane anywhere you wish to take it.

All these iPad features with cellular connectivity make it a fantastic companion for any business person, as they require robust data connectivity everywhere to keep the workflow.

Now that we have a clear perception of what iPads with cellular connectivity means let’s proceed to the pros and cons of these iPads.

Pros Of iPads With Cellular Data

As we have already mentioned, cellular connectivity is an added feature in iPads besides wifi connection, which also comes with an added cost.

Now we all know that Apple products are on the pricey side, to begin with, anyway, so why go for the costlier option?

Let me list some of the pros, and you decide if they are worth the cost.

1. Portability, On The Go Usage

Expecting to find a good wifi connection everywhere you go is not possible. There are always incidences of internet outages and in such conditions having an iPad equipped with cellular data is a great advantage.

iPad with cellular data is more useful when traveling or in remote areas with no chance of getting a wifi connection. With cellular data, you can browse the internet, check your emails, watch a movie, surf through YouTube, and get your work done without worrying about connectivity issues. 

You also can connect a wireless keyboard and get a full-blown laptop experience out of your iPad. With the newer versions of iPads, supporting 5G networks, you can have an improvised experience with faster internet access.

2. GPS Connectivity

The iPads with wifi and cellular compatibility come with assisted GPS chips, making navigation much easier using your iPad. With the help of GPS chips, your iPad can access GPS coordinates, even without an internet connection.

This feature works great with many navigation apps like Google Maps and keeps an update of your location that you can share with your friends. iPad with Cellular has a GPS antenna, and this connectivity only enhances the iPad-owning experience, especially in the outdoors.

You can now use your iPad as your tour guide around the city exploring or on the boats navigating around, be on the safe side and use waterproof covering if you take your iPad in the sea.

3. Entertainment Access

Regarding iPads with cellular connectivity, you can handle internet access issues while traveling. You can always have something to pass the time with during unexpected traffic jams or long commutes to and from work.

If you wish to listen to a podcast or complete a pending series while on the go, you can easily do so. Stream videos, scroll through social media, or jam to your favorite music on your iPad with the help of cellular connectivity.

4. Information Security 

An ever-present, secure internet access is the feature you’ll only find in iPads with cellular models and not the wifi models. There are no chances of connecting to some unsafe source and risking access to your personal information.

Using a public network is essential, especially if you often work or gain access to private or delicate documents while traveling or on the go. There’s no guarantee about who can access your sensitive documents or information in that period.

 Also, if you are someone working on your business, using such a network can cost you all of your work, and that’s a risk not worth taking, especially when you can be at peace using a private cellular connection.

5. Office Work Benefits

I have already stated in this article once about how the portability and versatility of the iPad with Cellular make them a fantastic companion for businesspeople.

There is no telling when you can have an internet outage or just a slow wifi connection while working on something important; having a cellular connection in such cases makes work life more manageable. Also, having a private internet connection can be a lifesaver if you are someone like me and have to do most of the work in between places.

Having an iPad with a cellular connection also makes working on the go more accessible; you do not have to carry your heavy laptop around, and you get stable internet access.

6. Connectivity With Others 

For an iPad with cellular connectivity, you can also use the iPad hotspot feature to provide internet to other devices. This can be of great help in cases where there’s no wifi connection, and you need to use your laptop for some work. All you have to do is, turn on the Personal Hotspot in the setting and allow others to join.


7. Extra Storage And Battery Life

A long battery life allows you to stay connected all day long, getting your work done without worry. Now when you get an iPad with a cellular connection, you get an extra functional device that can be used to stay connected anywhere and work with, so your cellphone no longer needs to take the load all day long.

Hence you conserve your device’s battery life by making lesser use of it. iPads with Cellular also provide vast storage space to store data, videos, music, or whatever you please.

Cons Of iPads With Cellular Data

The cellular feature of an iPad comes with many benefits, but it also comes with an added cost to the device. There are many advantageous features that make it a good purchase but before you finalize on that, look through the cons of iPad with Cellular.

1. It is Pricey

The iPad models with cellular + wifi connection are among the most expensive ones that Apple has launched till now. This cost of purchase, coupled with the extra charges of data plans, makes iPad with Cellular quite a costly device to own.

Also, if you need to use the data connection all day long, these data prices might run higher than usual.

So, if you are under a budget, a wifi only iPad model might make for a better choice.

2. Network Issues

While the ever-present data connection makes for a selling point for iPad with Cellular, it’s not the case everywhere. There is no guarantee that you’ll be able to have a steady internet connection at all times, anywhere. Based on the area or due to some other external factors, users can still experience network issues.

Why should you choose iPad cellular over wi-fi in our other article?

Alternative Options

 Not all of us find the need to spend extra bucks to get one additional feature in our device, and for such cases, there are some alternative options that you can try:

1. Phone’s hotspot

When in dire need, you can always connect your iPad to your phone’s hotspot and use the private cellular connection anywhere without an issue.

2. Wifi Dongle

You can connect your iPad to the wifi dongle and use the internet. This device works as a wifi network after connecting to your network carrier. This works similarly to the hotspot of your phone.



iPads are a great invention, and with the introduction of the cellular feature, Apple just added to its appeal; sure, it comes at a price of its own. For me, it all came down to how I would use my iPad before finalizing the model and deciding whether to spend that extra cost on it. 

I have listed all the essential details that can be of use to you before you purchase, so make good use of them.

Ben Scott is a prominent technology journalist and reviewer, specializing in tablet devices. He is known for his comprehensive and unbiased reviews of tablets from various manufacturers.
With a deep understanding of tablet technology, including hardware components, operating systems, and software applications, Scott provides clear and informative reviews accessible to readers of all levels of technical expertise.
His attention to detail and in-depth analysis have earned him a loyal following of readers.

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