The iPads we bought today don’t have 3G guts, so we really need to know: How good is the Wi-Fi reception? Turns out that it’s pretty decent, but not quite as good as what the iPhone 3GS gets.
I purchased my iPad at the International Plaza Apple Store in Tampa, Florida and as soon as I left the store I plopped down into a comfy chair, flipped open my MacBook Pro, glanced at my iPhone 3GS and let my iPad check for nearby Wi-Fi networks.
I found that – for whatever reason – the iPad and iPhone detected fewer access points than the MacBook Pro as neither of the smaller devices detected some of the barely-within-reach access points. As I distanced myself from the Apple store’s access point the iPad was the first to lose the signal at roughly 35 metres while the iPhone lost the signal about three metres later.
Results at a local restaurant and at my home were roughly the same. The iPad would consistently lose the Wi-Fi signal a metre or two before the iPhone. As far as maintaining a connection while in one location, the iPad showed no difficulties and performed as well as its Apple siblings.