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There are numerous Twitter clients as well, from plain but functional free offerings to high-spec, attractive options such as Osfoora. Do we need beauty to use Twitter? If we're using an iPad 3G, then the answer is yes. Because to many, beauty is what the iPad is all about and the decision to buy an iPad comes from the heart more than the head.

Apple iPad 3G

Big screen satnav anyone? Besides Google Maps there are plenty of iPad-friendly satnav apps available

All the major phone companies offer a range of data plans, from 3's £15 for 10Gb to O2's £15 for 3Gb - but the O2 deal does include free Wi-Fi from The Cloud and BT Openzone as part of the package. Few of us have any real idea of how much data we’re likely to use. The iPad 3G does provide good feedback on the data consumption, delivered from the service provider’s pane in the General Preferences menu; some, like O2, allow an additional 500MB top up, as required.

As always, 3G reception varies considerably from supplier to supplier. In deepest Suffolk, where I spend a lot of my leisure time, the O2 reception is excellent - but there’s no Vodafone coverage in that nook. The good news is that you don’t not locked into a long-term contract: on a 30-day rollover, it's quite feasible to try different micro Sims from different suppliers until you find the service that provides the best 3G coverage in your area. And, of course, the 30-day contract means you can easily vary your data purchasing to suit your needs.

The iPad 3G has a built-in GPS receiver, so it can act as a satellite navigation device when you're on the move. Using Google Maps, it operates as a reasonable satnav, with the ability to plan routes and – thanks to the recent Maps update – a turn-by-turn function as well.

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