Cellular-ready slates aren't new -- even the original iPad had a 3G option -- but tablet buyers overwhelmingly have preferred Wi-Fi-only models, at least so far. According to new research from NPD Connected Intelligence, just 12% of tablets in the U.S use cellular. However, cell connections for tablets were up 48% in the first quarter of 2013 -- so things might be changing.
For organizations, cellular-enabled tablets open the door to uses that aren't feasible with Wi-Fi-only slates. As long as there's cell coverage, the slate has Internet access. Take, for example, insurance adjusters filing reports from disaster scenes. Samsung offers several cellular-ready tablets, including members of its 7- and 10-inch Galaxy Note and Galaxy Tab family. Other options include the iPad, of course, as well as the 4G LTE version of the Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9" and the Google Nexus 7 with HSPA+ (3G).