Subscribing for cellular service on your smartphone is a no-brainer, but having the option on your tablet can be just as useful and convenient. 4G tablet speeds are fast, if you live in available markets, but even if you don't you still have Web access.
We've gathered some of the best tablets with cellular service on the market. Some carriers offer options like shared data plans for multiple devices or long-term contracts that sometimes include discounts.
This post focuses on month-to-moth data plans. Some of the plans are prepaid, which help avoid pricey data overage fees, but most just offer the flexible commitment to a data plan without tying you down to a contract.
Pricing and availability depends on your location, so for more information on all data plans, visit your carrier's Web site or local store.
Google Nexus 7
The Google Nexus 7 tablet runs Android 4.2 and features a sharp screen, comfortable design, and great battery life for a low starting price. The HSPA+ speeds seem location-dependent, so you might want to check out T-Mobile or AT&T's coverage maps before deciding on a carrier. T-Mobile also offers a weekly option of 300MB for $15.
|Google Nexus 7; $299 (32GB)|
|Data plan (per month)||T-Mobile||AT&T|
Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9
The Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9 comes in a 4G LTE version that runs on AT&T's network. The tablet has a beautiful, high-definition, 8.9-inch screen; seamless streaming; and a great media ecosystem which is accentuated by the incredibly fast 4G LTE speeds.
Amazon and AT&T offer a special yearly deal that costs $50 for 250MB of data per month and includes 20GB of additional Cloud Drive storage and a $10 Amazon Appstore promotional credit. Otherwise you have the options of two monthly data plans.
|Amazon Kindle Fire 8.9; $399(32GB), $499(64GB) or |
w/o special offers; $414(32GB) or $514(64GB)
|Data plan (per month)||AT&T|
|250MB||$50 (yearly fee)|
Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1
The Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 is a 10.1-inch Android 4.1 tablet that features the useful S Pen stylus. The 4G tablet, which also comes in a Wi-Fi only model, uses Verizon's network and offers a large variety of monthly data plans. The tablet's features benefit artists and content creators, so the larger data plans are great options for on-the-go creative types. The tablet starts at $500 and Verizon charges a $10 fee on top of your monthly plan.
|Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1; $499(8GB) or $599(16GB)|
|Data plan (per month)||Verizon Wireless |
(+$10 monthly fee)
Apple iPad & iPad Mini
Since they are carried on three different networks, the iPads offer the most cellular service options. iPads prices vary by internal storage capacity and the three carriers offer similar, but different, data options. Verizon offers the largest selection of monthly data plans, ranging from 4GB to 50GB. We've ended the chart at 12GB to maximize the comparability between the three cellular networks.
|iPad (4th gen); $629 (16GB), $729 (32GB), $829 (64GB), & $929 (128GB) |
iPad Mini; $459 (16GB), $559 (32GB), & $659 (64GB)
|Data plan (per month)||AT&T||Sprint||Verizon|
|250MB||$15||Not available||Not available|
|300 MB||Not available||$15||Not available|
|4GB||Not available||Not available||$30|
|5GB||$50||Not available||Not available|