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The physical differences between the two versions of the Apple iPad — the standard Apple iPad and Apple iPad 3G — aren't many, but CNET.com's Donald Bell guides us through what 3G buyers can expect.
One of the tell-tale signs that you're holding a 3G version of the iPad is the matt black plastic strip that runs across the back and wraps up around the top edge. This plastic panel makes it easier for the iPad's internal 3G antenna to grab a signal.
You're not required to establish a 3G data plan for the iPad 3G to work, but an initial pop-up window will remind you that the option is available.
The iPad 3G's settings menu includes two additional options not found on the standard iPad. An airplane mode switch at the top of the menu will temporarily disable the iPad's 3G capabilities. A menu selection for cellular data allows you to set up and manage your 3G data plan.
The iPad 3G comes with one little accessory not included with the standard model: a glorified paperclip. This little poker tool can be used to eject the micro-SIM card embedded in the side of the iPad 3G.
The cellular data menu option on the iPad 3G allows you to create and manage your 3G data plan. You also have options for blocking data roaming, and viewing APN and SIM information.
In the US, users can subscribe to a 3G data plan directly on the iPad 3G. Credit card and cardholder information is relayed directly to AT&T, cutting out Apple as a middleman. We're yet to see the UK's options.
Another unique feature of the iPad 3G not found on the standard model is an internal assisted-GPS chip, which allows for a more accurate gauge of your location.
The iPad 3G includes a barely noticeable micro SIM card tray midway up the left side. Using the included poker tool, you can eject the tray and access the SIM.
You could be barbaric and use a paper clip to eject the iPad 3G's micro SIM card tray, but the included poker tool is far more elegant.
As the name suggests, the micro SIM card used on the iPad 3G (shown right) is considerably smaller than a traditional SIM card (shown left).
The box containing the iPad 3G is identical to the standard iPad, with the exception of a '3G' designation found on a sticker on the back of the box.