Over the weekend I read a couple of blog posts with information about the iPad 3G that is interesting. The first is that apparently the iPad 3G is not SIM locked, which means that it will work on other GSM cellular data networks. While the data radio only supports the 3G frequency that AT&T uses, meaning that 3G data service is only available on AT&T, the slower Edge version of wireless data communication is more standard across carriers. Gear Diary has information about how to use the iPad 3G on T-Mobile’s network. The process does involve cutting down the size of a T-Mobile SIM card to fit the Micro SIM slot in the iPad, which may render the card unusable in phones so you will lose the ability to make phone calls with the SIM.
A big question on my mind is about the battery life of the iPad 3G when using it strictly on the 3G network, because wireless cellular data connections tend to drain batteries pretty fast. The iLounge web site tested battery life by refreshing a large web page every minute. Apple says the iPad 3G has 9 hours of battery life when surfing the web using the 3G network and iLounge’s tests showed 8 hours, 38 minutes of battery life, which is close enough to Apple’s claims for me. One caveat is that if you use an iPad in an area with low enough signal strength that the connection is frequently lost, expect the battery to drain faster because reconnecting to cellular networks consumes more power.