AT&T brings Wi-Fi iPads into the 4G fold with new cases

While cellular connected tablets have been around since the launch of the first iPad, many buyers opt for Wi-Fi-only slates for the simple reason of cost. 4G radios make tablet hardware more expensive, and connecting a slate to a mobile network comes with a monthly data bill.

But [company]AT&T[/company] is hoping that people who skipped LTE when they bought their iPads have now changed their minds. At the Consumer Electronics Show Tuesday, Ma Bell announced it will soon start selling smart cases that connect Wi-Fi-only iPads to 4G networks. Though AT&T didn’t reveal availability or pricing, it said it will first sell these new Modio cases for the iPad mini, mini 2 and mini 3, followed by versions for the iPad Air and iPad Air 2.

These sleeves won’t just contain radios. They have independent 4,600mAh battery backs, which AT&T says will support 10 hours of continuous surfing. They also come with embedded microSD card slots supporting up to 32GB of additional storage.

Of course, you’ll still be on the hook for data fees, but if you’re already an AT&T customer on a Mobile Share plan, you can add the case to your plan for $10 a month.