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Three tots up iPad subsidy

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Three has matched Orange's iPad discount, offering today the 16GB 3G-enabled tablet for £199 if you pick it up with a two-year, £25-a-month data contract.

That's a better deal than Orange touted last week. You'll cough up £848 in total to Orange, but only £800 to Three, which gives you a monthly data transfer allowance of 15GB to Orange's 2GB.

Three's monthly sub is the same whatever 3G iPad you select, but the up-front cost increase to £249 for the 32GB model and to £349 for the 64GB tablet.

Prices direct from Apple are £529, £599 and £699, but then you're free to buy as much or as little data as you need.

Three will sell you 10GB of data a month for £15 on a 30-day rolling contract. That's £360 for two years, which comes to a total of £889 with the 16GB iPad. So the subsidised deal is better value over the 24-month period, and gives you more data.

Still, it's a lot if all you need is occasional data access that can't be served by your home or work Wi-Fi network. ®

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