Say "NO" to 3g/4g for your tablet
Sometimes being cheap works out for the best. Actually I'm not cheap. I'm poor, which is sort of the same thing. In any case, when I was in the market for a tablet, I was shopping based on price first.
Enter the Toshiba Thrive. The 32GB Thrive is one of the more inexpensive Android tablets. Even better Bestbuy had an open box unit with no documentation or packaging. Someone had returned it when they discovered that Honeycomb 3.1 couldn't handle Skype video (yet). Fair enough. The price was great, mostly I think, because it seemed to be covered in honey and cat hair. Gross. But i was pretty sure I could clean it up and there was a generous return policy. Based on price, and the fact that I knew the Toshiba Thrive has an full size USB and a full size SD card reader, I took the plunge.
I DID research the competition. I won't go into it here but suffice it to say that I believe the Thrive stacks up favorably against the current front runners in all areas except size and weight. It is comparatively heavy and thick. FOR A TABLET. It's still much smaller and lighter than even a small netbook.
Being cheap meant that I couldn't afford a tablet with 3g/4g capability. This didn't bother me because I have an HTC smartphone with tethering capabilities and I hoped fervently that using my smartphone as a hotspot would be an option. As it turns out, it works like a dream. Activating the hotspot takes seconds. The Thrive tablet's WiFi finds that hotspot quickly and seamlessly. If there is a decent 3g signal, then I am online in seconds. Wow!
Now being cheap starts to pay off. Not only was my tablet cheaper, but I don't need a dedicated tablet plan with my phone provider (Bell in my case). My smartphone plan gives me 1 gig of bandwidth. Given the abundant availability of WiFi hotspots around town, I have yet to come close to exceeding my monthly quota.
Which begs the question...why buy a tablet with 3g/4g? Even if it means a phone upgrade, it still makes more sense to use your phone as a hotspot when you need it. And who goes anywhere without their cell phone these days?
The WiFi tablet / smartphone combo is a no brainer.