My wife just got an iPad – the first tablet in our house. It wasn’t easy to get it away from her, but last night I managed to take our new iPad to bed. I was expecting an insanely great experience, but my first impression was that network access was slow and flaky.
To test my impressions, I ran it up against a Dell Precision laptop.
First, I pinged UCLA, a nearby university, 100 times each with the laptop and the iPad.
The average ping time for iPad was 63.7 milliseconds, over twice that of the Dell, and the standard deviation four times as great. No wonder it seemed flaky.
Next I tested file transfer times (Mb/s), and the laptop was faster.
That was no surprise given the variability in ping times. It doesn’t look like I’ll be making a lot of Skype calls or watching movies in bed.
My bedroom is at the back of the house, so I checked the signal strength. As shown below, it dropped to around -65 db as I walked from the office, where the WiFi access point is located, to the bedroom.
The laptop is not ideal in my home’s back bedroom, either. It does better when it is near the access point, but its radio is clearly more sensitive than that of the iPad. iPad Wifi is more like that of a netbook than a laptop.
So far, Apple reps have not returned calls for content. Have you seen this issue with your iPad?