Recommended: iLounge Reviews the iPad 3G, Says AT&T Is Letting Down The Side

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iLounge has done a great, detailed review of the new iPad WiFi + 3G.  Although they give the device an overall rating of B+ and recommend it, they make it clear that AT&T is letting down the side, or as the label of one section of the review reads:

Harsh Reality: AT&T Still Sucks, And Its $15 Data Plan Is Awful

They are not impressed with the 3G speeds they saw in testing in four separate US states, which they found did not live up to their ‘superfast’ billing. 

The reviewers were even less impressed with the $15 data plan for the iPad 3G.  Here’s a slice of there reasons why:

At first, this $15 plan sounds appealing; one might guess that it offers just enough data to let most users safely wander off of their home or office networks. But in our testing, the 250MB cap felt like a bait-and-switch that was offered to create the impression of an affordable option—with the potential for a subsequent upcharge—rather than to actually provide something most customers would want to use on the iPad. If you sign up for the $15 plan, you’ll either find yourself nervously watching the iPad’s “Usage” meter all the time, or unexpectedly receiving “AT&T Plan Nearly Out of Data” notices well before the end of your billing cycle. Because we didn’t know for sure how much data we’d be using, we started by testing the 250MB plan, only to be stunned by how much data the iPad was consuming for common tasks; here are just a handful of examples.

Load a single Facebook page, one time, without clicking on anything: 0.4MB.
Use Tweetdeck to automatically check 3 Twitter accounts, one time: 1.1MB.
Briefly consult the Maps application for a cross-country trip, looking only at the directions for the first three turns: 7.2MB.
Send one e-mail with four pictures or one video attached: 4.9-5.5MB.
Watch a 30-second iTunes Store preview of a TV show, one time: 5MB.
Watch a 5-minute, radically downscaled YouTube video, one time: 10MB.
Download an app, song, or video from one of Apple’s stores at the maximum permissible size over 3G: 20MB.
Watch a 3-minute trailer for Avatar in the iTunes Store, one time: 40MB.

That doesn’t sound good at all – though given AT&T’s track record with the iPhone platform it’s hardly a shocker I guess. I’ve been debating about getting the 3G model – and hearing about the 3G performance is not making me lean towards it.

The full iLounge review is an excellent read.  Check it out here:

For those of you who bought an iPad 3G over the weekend, how are you finding it?  Happy with the 3G performance?  Tried out the $15 plan at all?

Patrick Jordan

Founder and Editor in Chief of iPad Insight. Husband, father to a lovely daughter, Commander of the Armies of the North, dog lover (especially Labs), Austinite, former Londoner, IT consultant, huge sports nut, iPad and mobile tech blogger, mobile apps junkie.

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2 thoughts on “Recommended: iLounge Reviews the iPad 3G, Says AT&T Is Letting Down The Side”

  1. I don't think people understand, the maps you are downloading are 4x the size of the iPhone. Also even though the maps app is in list view it's still download maps in the background. I don't understand how this is AT&T's fault. Sure there $15 plan dosesnt give you much data, but any one with half a brain can figure it out. The $30 unlimited plan is said to be truly unlimited. There's a blogger who is recording how much data he has download an so far he's at 30 gig. So it think that's a great deal. I love my 3G and I can see my self buying the unlimited plan every once in a while, while on vacation or when I need data for work.

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