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iPad Air Coming To AT&T, Sprint on November 1

Foaming at the mouth for a new iPad? If you want a 4G model of Apple's newest tablets, you'll have to wait a little longer. The iPad Air (also known as iPad 5 or fifth generation) will hit AT&T and Sprint stores November 1, while the iPad mini with Retina display will be available later in the month. On either carrier, you can get the 16GB iPad Air for $629 up front (32GB: $729, 64GB: $829, 128GB: $929) on either carrier, or for zero down with AT&T Next. The iPad mini with Retina display will retail for $529 (16GB), $629 (32GB), $729 (64GB) or $829 (128GB). AT&T has yet to finalize pricing details for its early upgrade payment plan. 

AT&T offers several data packages, including a new pay-per-use plan announced on Thursday. Tablet users who don't need ongoing service can pay $5 a day for 250MB or $30 for a 5GB 30-day pass. The new payment option can be an affordable alternative for travelers who don't want to shell out for expensive hotel Wi-Fi.

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Existing AT&T Mobile Share customers can add the new iPads to their bucket of data for an additional $10 a month. You can also purchase the DataConnect monthly plan for full-time data for your tablet. AT&T also offers $100 off on every tablet purchased with a two-year contract, which can shave off a fraction of the iPad's price. 

Sprint's 4G LTE footprint is currently just 185 markets-strong and the carrier continues to expand its 4G coverage. With tablet plans starting at $5 per month, Sprint's attractively-priced data packages may appeal to customers who don't see themselves traveling much. Those who want to use 4G on their iPads everywhere should consider AT&T, as the carrier's LTE network reaches some 437 markets nationwide.

Other carriers like Verizon and T-Mobile will no doubt announce the same news in the days to come, and the jury is still out on the best iPad package.

Cherlynn joined the Laptopmag team in June 2013 and has since been writing about all things tech and digital with a focus on mobile and Internet software development. She also edits and reports occasionally on video. She graduated with a M.S. in Journalism (Broadcast) from Columbia University in May 2013 and has been designing personal websites since 2001.