Apple iPads combine a touchscreen interface with laptop and e-reader functionality. Incredible screens and thousands of applications and games mean they're also brilliant when it comes to on the go entertainment too.
But if you're going to make the most of owning an iPad, you're going to need a mobile broadband allowance, whether it's 3G or 4G, so you can get online wherever you are. Here we take a look at some of the mobile broadband contracts that networks are offering for Apple's wonder-tablet to help you find the right carrier and deal for your needs.
What makes iPads so in-demand?
As with the iPhone, one of the most compelling reasons to get an iPad is the sheer breadth and range of specially made tablet apps that are available. But that's only part of the story.
iPads stand out from the tablet rivals for their high-density retina displays, powerful processors, premium build quality and impressive design. 4G support for the newer models means that you'll also be able to take advantage of providers' fastest mobile broadband services too.
Why get a new iPad deal? How do I find the best iPad deals?
Because iPad users are likely to want to get online on-the-go to send emails, surf the web and download movies and music, bundling the device with mobile broadband contracts makes sense.
What’s more, with only an upfront payment required, mobile broadband with iPad deals are a brilliant way of spreading payments for Apple’s tablets. This makes them a great choice for anyone who may not have a large sum of cash to hand.
Choosing an iPad 3G, 4G, WiFi or broadband deal?
Obviously price will be one of your chief considerations. However, another key factor should be data allowances and service that a provider offers. Below we look at each iPad mobile broadband supplier in turn to give you a good idea of the strength of their offering.
Contract deals that combine an iPad with mobile broadband access are available from a range of UK broadband providers, including Orange, T-Mobile, Vodafone and Three.
iPad mobile broadband deals work in the same way as laptop offers, whereby a one-off charge is payable initially, with the remaining cost of the device spread over the course of the contract.
You are then required to pay a monthly charge which will entitle you to a set amount of anytime, anywhere web usage via your provider’s 4G or 3G mobile broadband network.
iPad 2? iPad 3? iPad 4? Or iPad mini? Which iPad should I choose?
As you might expect, earlier versions of the iPad aren't 4G compatible. So super-fast mobile internet is a priority for you, you'll need invest in one of the newer models.
If you demand a more compact device that could fit snugly in smaller bags or handbags, maybe an iPad mini is worth considering. These are also cheaper than standard-sized iPads.
Earlier-generation iPads are also more affordable. Of course you won't get the most cutting-edge specifications if you choose an older edition. But you'll still benefit from Apple's massive app library. And even older iPads are better than many newer models from rivals.
Orange iPad deals
Orange iPad customers benefit from competitive price points, plus a network rated as among the best in the UK. Customers who sign up get generous anytime web access, additional quiet time access at non-peak times from midnight until 4pm and unlimited Wi-Fi use via BT Openzone.
Pick Orange and you’ll also benefit from the great Orange Wednesdays promotion, which gets you two for one entry at cinemas every Wednesday and cheap pizzas, as well as a new film from iTunes every Thursday with Orange Film to Go.
T-Mobile iPad deals
T-Mobile shares a network with Orange, so also offers some of the best 3G coverage around, as well as an extra allowance to use between midnight and 10am on its pay monthly and SIM only iPad plans.
To sweeten the deal, T-Mobile also offers a free online account management area that gives subscribers around the clock access to free online billing and itemisation, topping up and upgrades.
Three iPad deals
Three iPad SIM only and device-bundled contracts are keenly priced with generous monthly allowances. Other benefits for choosing Three include its award-winning network and highly rated customer service channels.
Vodafone iPad deals
Vodafone offers SIM only and bundled iPad deals for business and consumer users. On top of a 3G allowance, the network offers iPad pay monthly customers use of 3,000 BT Wi-Fi hotspots are no extra cost.
Subscribers can also opt in to the Vodafone VIP scheme and get access to a host of promotions as well as the chance to win tickets to exclusive sports, fashion, music and retail events.
O2 iPad deals
O2 does not offer users the chance to sign up for bundled iPad deals. But does offer SIM only deals for customers who've already bought an iPad, with rolling contracts available for maximum flexibility.
Wi-Fi access via The Cloud and BT Openzone at thousands of hotspots in the UK is also included at no extra charge.
Not sure an iPad is right for you? Compare broadband and free laptop deals here: Broadband and Free Laptops