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3's iPad data tariffs are the cheapest yet

3's iPad data plans are looking surprisingly cheap, with contracts undercutting Vodafone, O2 and Orange by a considerable amount

Remember 3? It's that 'other' network provider, you know, the one currently running that peculiar ad campaign? Well, it may have taken a little while, but 3 has finally laid its cards on the table and revealed its iPad data tariffs. And we're seriously impressed. Check out our fantabulous comparison chart to see how the other networks' offerings compare with the new plans.

First off, there's a light-use plan, which nets you 1GB of data for £7.50 per month. Not bad, considering Vodafone and O2 charge £10 for the same amount of data.

If you're a heavy-duty data-user (and if you're a regular CNET UK reader, chances are you number among those fine specimens), you can also get 10GB of data for £15 per month. Orange is currently the only other provider offering 10GB of data (for a stonking £25 per month, no less), and Vodafone offers a maximum of 5GB per month, also for £25. 

We think you'll agree that's a pretty massive undercut. Now, it's not all good news -- 3 isn't including any Wi-Fi hotspot access in these plans, whereas O2 and Orange offer that service on the more expensive tariffs thanks to their alliance with BT Openzone, plus The Cloud in O2's case. That means 3's data is 3G only -- perfect if you're on the move, but you won't get super-speedy Wi-Fi if you happen to break out your iPad when you stop for a coffee.

What do you think? Has 3 got it right, or are all of these data plans still far too expensive for your tastes? Let us know in the comments.