03/08/2012 04:27 pm ET Updated May 08, 2012

Gone In 4 Minutes

When Apple launched the iPhone 4S without 4G, competitors such as Samsung mocked its lack of a modern, whiz-bang broadband network. It was no surprise, then, that Wednesday's launch of the new iPad focused on what was underneath the hood of the top-of-the-line version: a high-octane 4G LTE data connection. Translated from mobile-ese, that means really fast Internet, available on the go--not just in Wi-Fi hot spots. "The performance is amazing, and you're going to love using it on these new high-speed networks," company marketing honcho Philip Schiller promised.

Before you throw your iPad 2 out the window, you should know one thing about the mobile information superhighway: Life in the fast lane ain't cheap. With an advertised top download speed of up to 73 megabits per second, the top-of-the-line iPad could theoretically burn through a basic 2-gigabyte-per-month data plan in about four minutes. But oh, how delicious those four minutes would be!

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