Just back from yet another long road trip for my company. I got to stay in my favorite Marriott again (see my frustrations from the last trip here). There's been a slight change to the way WiFi works at the Marriott – now on check-in they give you a passcode. In my case I got one good for 7 days, which was unfortunate because I was there for 8. Fortunately, the last day was a travel day, so I was able to get by with the 3G card for my laptop and 3G service on my iPhone and iPad.
Unfortunately, the code was only good for one device, so it wouldn't work on my iPhone or iPad. That's probably for the best, since I then could use unlimited data with those devices as opposed to the secret limit from the hotel's WiFi provider.
Speaking of limits – I had my iPad signed up for the 250 MB/month 3G data plan, which was working out nicely while I was still here at home – I was right on target to use around 240 MB for the month. But when I got to Texas, I was out of the MLB At Bat blackout area for Detroit Tiger games, so I thought I'd try watching one over 3G. It was pretty clear, but would cut out at random times – sometimes 1 minute in, other times 10 or 15 minutes would go by before I had to restart the video. (I tried it at the work site on their WiFi connection and it did the same thing, so I don't think it's a 3G issue.) About 10 minutes into the first game I watched, up popped a warning that I only had 4% of my data plan left! I wasn't really surprised – I wondered how long it would be before video ate it up. So I signed up for the unlimited plan and went back to the game. Every once in a while I would get some very pixelated video, but for the most part it came in great over 3G.
I was hoping to watch the Tigers-White Sox game on the plane on my way back, because for the very first time I was on a flight with WiFi! However, for some reason, GoGo (the provider) wouldn't take my credit card (which had a lot of room left on it) so I didn't get to try it out. (Yes, I have more than one card, but you try and pull out your wallet while trapped in an airline seat – I had pulled this one out before the flight and before anyone sat down next to me.) I suspect I might have been disappointed anyway, because I checked their web site (via 3G just before take off) and it said they make audio/video streaming a low priority, and that it may not work at all. So I might not have been able to even hear the radio broadcast (probably just as well, as the Tigers lost 6-2).
Instead I watched some of the 24 hours worth of DVDs I had ripped before leaving (thanks to Handbrake, a great piece of free software). Even with all my music and all that video, I still had 24 GB of space available. If you think you'll be loading up with video, get the 64 GB model. I was able to watch a lot of video in my room (rather than shell out $14 a pop for movies that didn't always work, or so my fellow workers told me, or watch the free stuff on the hotel TV) during downtime on the job.
I did try out my remote software while away, and while I preferred working on the laptop, if I had to remote into work and only had my iPad, I could manage. I don't think I'd try that with the iPhone because there just isn't enough screen real estate. I think that if I had to, though, I could take a trip without my laptop(or work without it should the laptop break down). I was very happy to have my iPad with me. A couple of the other guys also had iPads, but they were WiFi only and a lot less useful to them on the trip.