iPad 3G Speed Test; It’s All About Networks And Usage Pattern

by Ferman Aziz

Apple’s iPad 3G has shown record breaking sales around the world from consumers who were not sure of the new device’s purpose and functions but wanted the hot new Apple product any way. Needless to say, a lot of inquiries hit the web regarding a lot of functions, connectivity to the net in the version without built in 3G and many more. Consumers still thinking about buying an iPad also want to know which version is a better option in terms of speed, native or with built in 3G which costs $ 130 more for the device and $ 15-30 for the service.

Reviewers at tipb.com have released their results and verdict after running a few tests to see how the iPad would perform, both natively and when tethered to a Nexus One running Android 2.2 Froyo, and a Palm Pre Plus. First all three were put through the Speed Test app, and then a web page was loaded on each to get a feel for real-world performance.

The results have shown that it all comes down to your network speed and usage preferences and patterns. iPad 3G showed HSDPA (download) between 2500 and 4500 kbps down on a 7.2 mbps connection, but since the iPad doesn’t have an HSUPA (upload) radio, it only gives you between 150 and 300kbps up. Website loading speed was found out to be good and consumers are advised to stick to their trusted service providers like AT&T in the US or any local carrier with a good HSPA network.

Tethered to Nexus One or a Froyo Mobile Hotspot, the iPad showed poor uploading performance, from a pathetic 530 to decent 2818 kbps and back again. Websites loaded fine though. Users with an unlocked Nexus One running Froyo whose carrier hasn’t blocked tethering their account, should enjoy the free service. Alternative networks recommended for the iPad are Verizon and Sprint MiFi devices and Android phones like the HTC EVO 4G and Motorola’s Droid X.

More or less same results were seen when the iPad was tethered to Palm Pre Plus Mobile Hotspot. Testing a Verizon Palm Pre Plus roaming on Bell’s CDMA EVDO Rev A network showed poor downloading speed- hovering around 100 kbps. Upload was better than the built-in radio, however, often between 400 and 450kbps and graphics took longer to load then the text while loading a website. Verizon Palm Pre Plus offers the Mobile HotSpot for free so subscribers should continue to enjoy the service as it offers a lot of flexibility— you can choose between more networks and tether more than just your iPad — with typically 5 to 8 Wi-Fi devices.

In terms of the built-in iPad 3G, you get the convenience of not having to setup (and often pay for) an additional device just to get it on the internet when you’re away from a Wi-Fi connection. So it’s not about your device as much as it’s about service provider and your own choices based on budget and product preferences. Choose the one that suits you best.

[via Tipb]

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