Home > Computers and Internet > I’m not going to buy a computer with a data plan

I’m not going to buy a computer with a data plan

In Steven Sinofsky’s Build Keynote address he announced that all of the attendees would get a developer preview Windows 8 tablet computer. To go along with the tablets Microsoft also purchased a one year contract with AT&T to provide 3G data for the tablets. I hope this isn’t a precedence, because I’m not going to buy a computer with a data plan. I’m not. I have a data plan with my Windows Phone 7, but that’s because I have to. They don’t sell them without. I do use the data, but not really. Most days I don’t even turn on the 3G antenna. Most of the time when I do have it on, I’ll only have it on for about five minutes in the day. Now I know what you’re thinking “You’re paying for it, why aren’t you using it?” The reason: battery life.

The battery on my phone lasts about twice as long if I don’t turn on data. The phone is designed to have the data 3G antenna be as frequently connected as the voice antenna, so that way it’s a “snappy” experience when you turn on the phone. What this means for me though is that while I’m not using my phone the antenna is telling the tower “I’m here, I’m here, I’m here” and killing the battery. The wi-fi antenna only turns on when the screen of the phone is activated. As a result it doesn’t unreasonably drain the battery. When I’m at home, I use the wi-fi and when I’m at work I use the wi-fi network they setup to allow devices internet access without network access. There’s rarely a time when I want an internet connection on my phone, and I’m not in either of those places.

Given that I hardly use my phones data connection I know I’ll never desire to use a data connection for a tablet computer. When I’m roaming I’ll have my phone. If the only model for selling a Windows 8 tablets is to have a data plan, I won’t be getting a tablet.

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