Feeds

Can't fit slab AND mobe in your tight pockets? 10 tablets with built-in 3G/4G

Fondle the web wherever you are without Wi-Fi or a clingy phone

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Product Round-up If you want a tablet that is always connected to the internet, there are several options to consider.

One that involves no extra hardware expense is simply to use your smartphone as a wireless hotspot, routing connections over 3 or 4G - if your chosen mobile network lets you. Another option, which has the advantage of not hammering your phone’s data tariff and battery into the ground up their ears, is to buy a 3G or 4G pocket Wi-Fi router.

The third path, which involves no extra gadgetry, is to buy a tablet with built-in hardware for 3G or 4G connections. That way you aren’t dipping into your smartphone’s data transfer allowance and you don’t have to buy, charge or carry an extra bit of kit.

Or, of course, you could just buy a Very Large Phone (VLP™) and move on from this oh-so-2012 idea of having two touchscreen devices when most of the time something like a Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3, Sony Xperia Ultra or Asus FonePad will do the job of both smartphone and tablet quite well enough, all in one rather large device.

But assuming you don’t want a VLP or a pocket Wi-Fi router and would rather not drain your smartphone of juice and data, here’s a quick shufti at the 3G and LTE (4G) tablets currently available, soon to be available and sort-of available on the grey market, here in Blighty.

Acer Iconia W700

Reg Hardware retro numbers

With an 11.6-inch screen, a 1.7GHz Intel Core i5 chip and 4GB of RAM, the W700 with 128GB of flash storage and an LTE modem is the pick of the current crop of Acer tablets, though I suspect you will need deep pockets. At the time of writing Acer couldn’t confirm a price nor an expected UK shipping date. Still, with those components the W700 is undoubtedly an impressively powerful machine for a tablet and can function as a genuine laptop/desktop replacement. Combine those features with a 1920 x 1080 resolution screen and 64-bit Windows 8, a high sticker price can be partly excused.

Acer Iconia W700

As well as a traditional keyboard-cum-cover-cum-stand, the W700 can be ordered with a rather odd but also rather clever standy-uppy plastic cradle: this has an additional three USB ports (the W700 itself only has one), HDMI connector and stereo speakers, and turns the W700 into a mini all-in-one desktop PC.

With such a large screen to illuminate, battery life is reasonable rather than spectacular - a full charge will get you to around the five hour mark. At 950g it’s not quite as heavy a lump as you might expect. Putting the unknown price to one side, the LTE W700 may well be worth a look if you are after one device to serve all your desktop, laptop, tablet and mobile data needs.

Price TBC
More Info Acer

Apple iPad 4

Reg Hardware retro numbers

Buying an iPad with a cellular radio brings a significant benefit above and beyond the standard wireless connectivity: you get a GPS radio, too. That alone makes the 3G/LTE iPad the one to buy in my book. But it’s getting harder and harder to argue that Apple is leading the tablet revolution these days what with the competition getting better and cheaper - though admittedly not always at the same time.

To my eyes, the iPad is starting a look just a little old hat. The UI certainly is, though iOS 7 will remedy this to some extent. The absence of storage expansion still irks. Perhaps Apple will fix this in the iPad 5, expected imminently, but I suspect not.

Apple iPad with Retina Display

Of course, all of Apple’s traditional strengths are still in evidence: the excellent build quality, the impressive selection of tablet-optimised apps, the class-leading battery life and the tip-top levels of support from the shamans at your nearest Apple Store. All these continue to attract the punters and understandably so. If you have taken leave of your senses, or are simply £130 short of the iPad’s asking price, you can go for the wholly inferior if also slightly smaller and lighter cellular iPad Mini though I can’t think good reason why you would decide to do that. At £370, the iPad Mini isn’t actually a bad device just a woefully overpriced one.

Price From £499
More Info Apple

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Next page: Asus FonePad

More from The Register

next story
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
Premier League wants to PURGE ALL FOOTIE GIFs from social media
Not paying Murdoch? You're gonna get a right LEGALLING - thanks to automated software
Online tat bazaar eBay coughs to YET ANOTHER outage
Web-based flea market struck dumb by size and scale of fail
Amazon takes swipe at PayPal, Square with card reader for mobes
Etailer plans to undercut rivals with low transaction fee offer
US regulators OK sale of IBM's x86 server biz to Lenovo
Now all that remains is for gov't offices to ban the boxes
XBOX One will learn to play media from USB and DLNA sources
Hang on? Aren't those file formats you hardly ever see outside torrents?
Class war! Wikipedia's workers revolt again
Bourgeois paper-shufflers have 'suspended democracy', sniff unpaid proles
'Aaaah FFS, 'amazeballs' has made it into the OXFORD DICTIONARY'
Plus: 'EE, how shocking, ANOTHER problem I face with your service'
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.