If you are comfortable using a knife to downsize a SIM card into a microSIM, then you might want to have a look at a little known offer from 3 UK which could slash the cost of using your Apple iPad to around £5.33 a month per GB.
The smallest independent mobile network operator in the UK is the only one in the business to sell a "starter kit", one which offers a USB modem pre-loaded with data that can last for a significant amount of time.
For example, you can get a 12GB pack, which is basically 12 months at 1GB, for a mere £80 from Argos, Maplin and Very (part of Littlewoods), a price that includes a 3G modem that can be used as a memory stick and the knowledge that you won't need to sign for an expensive contract.
What's more, Very has a "£30 off £60" promotional code (ZZ450), valid for first time customers, that brings the price of the dongle to a mere £49 excluding delivery.
Get two for £128 and type XV188 in the code section at checkout to delay the payment till May 2011.
Therefore, you get 24 months worth of 1GB broadband for £128 at £5.33 a month; that's roughly half what you'd pay at O2 for the same data allowance although you get unlimited WiFi from the latter.
That said, you won't be charged extra if you go over the 1GB limit per month and you can carry forward anything what you haven't consumed in the past month; just bear in mind that there's a one-year limit on the package.