One of the most remarkable things about the iPad is that its 10 hours of battery life as a tablet translates into 24 hours of battery life a Wi-Fi hotspot. With the screen on doing things, it lasted almost half a day. With the screen off simply feeding data to a tethered computer, it lasts a day with room to spare. Not surprisingly, the iPad Air, which despite being considerably thinner and lighter, enjoys the same 10 hours of tablet battery life, also enjoys the same 24 hours of tethered Wi-Fi hotspot battery life. And lest there be any doubt, Anand Lal Shimpi, has proved it. AnandTech:
A total of 24.08 hours and over 8GB of transfers later, the iPad Air finally died. Just like last time, you'll likely burn through your monthly data allotment before you run out of power.
I've used an iPad as my main LTE hotspot warrior for years now, most recently the iPad mini. It's impossible to beat that form-factor for travel or tethering. I'm currently using the iPad Air and getting the same great results. I'd expect nothing less at this point. I still suffer from occasional, annoying connection glitches over Wi-Fi which require toggling the service or Airplane mode on and off, and sometimes rebooting. USB is bullet-proof, however, and when combined with a 2013 Haswell Retina MacBook Pro, I can close a coffee shop down. I'd argue its the best combo in mobile computing today.
To see the torture tests Anand put his iPad Air through, hit the link below. Then come back and let know how well it's been working for you as a personal hotspot.