The Cellular MacBook

David Chartier loves the MacBook Air’s battery life but thinks the laptop is an incomplete mobility solution.

For all the incredibleness of the MacBook Air’s new battery, the device is still dependent on WiFi hotspots and, let’s face it, the internet is an essential ingredient these days for getting most things done.David

I think Stephen Hackett agrees with David’s point but he sees some downsides to including an LTE radio in the Air.

Notebooks often are used longer than iOS devices. While cell phone contracts suck, every two years, we get to start over. If my MacBook Air is “stuck on Verizon” for the entire time I own it, that might be weird. In short, I don’t want carrier-specific hardware in my laptop.512 Pixels

When the first iPad was announced I ordered one immediately. And I got one with AT&T 3G. It made sense. I didn’t have a smart phone at the time. The iPhone 3G and 3GS were still AT&T only and AT&T voice service was terrible in my area. We had Verizon for cellular voice service and wanted to wait for the Verizon iPhone.

I took my iPad with me almost every where. The library , cafes, the office. I soon discovered that most most of these places had free Wi-Fi. Xfinity was putting up Wi-Fi hotspots over most the neighborhood. My cellular data usage was low.

When I finally got my first iPhone1 I analyzed my data usage and realized that I hardly used the cellular data plan on my iPad. The iPad 2 was also released and I made the decision to use my iPhone as a personal hotspot instead of buying another cellular iPad. I’ve never regretted it.

I just can’t justify the budget for another laptop specific data plan when I’ve already got a Wi-Fi hotspot in my pocket.

  1. The AT&T iPhone 4 was my first. A few months later Apple announced a Verizon version. 

The Cellular MacBook was originally published on Island in the Net


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