PadGadget have conducted a series of tests on the quality of WiFi dell’iPad, obtaining results that infuses the tablet bearing on average compared to other electronic devices.
The data showed that while the iPad did ok, its performance was sub-par when compared to other WiFi-enabled devices, such as netbooks and notebooks.
Since the recent iPad 3.2.1 update claims WiFi improvements, we ran another series of tests to check whether Apple’s claims are accurate, or not.
6 tests were performed (repeated 10 times each) with 2 different iPad, by reference to the connection speed obtained by downloading content from the network and the speed test with speedtest.net.
* iPad #1: WiFi/3G, 32GB Flash, WiFi via Broadcom BCM4329XKUBG, iOS 3.2 / 3.2.1
* iPad #2: WiFi-only, 16GB Flash, WiFi via Broadcom BCM4329XKUBG, iOS 3.2 / 3.2.1
* Router: NetGear WNDR3700, firmware 188.8.131.52NA, 2.4GHz / 5.0GHz
* Test 1: Open field, iPads 20ft away from the router
* Test 2: Open field, iPads 40ft away from the router
* Test 3: Open field, iPads 60ft away from the router
* Test 4: Router inside a house, iPads 20ft away from the router (1 wall between the routers and the devices)
* Test 5: Router inside a house, iPads 40ft away from the router (2 walls between the routers and the devices)
* Test 6: Router inside a house, iPads 60ft away from the router (backyard, more than 3 walls between the routers and the devices)
In order to keep things simple, we focused on speed. The test is a mix of content download as well as raw http performance tests via speedtest.net, repeated 10 times for each test, and averaged out (normalized to a scale going from 0 to 100, 100 representing the best throughput we could measure).
Simply put, it is clear that Apple and its partner Broadcom worked hard at improving the iPad’s WiFi performance, as overall, the raw throughput we measured improved by more than 20% (note that we obtained similar results from both WiFi-only and WiFi/3G versions of the iPad).
The most impressive improvement is with test #6, as the throughput doubled after the update from 3.2 to 3.2.1. Since test #6 involved a lot of interference and obstacles, it is clear that Apple seems to have worked on improving the iPad’s WiFi range as well – this should help folks who experienced WiFi “blind spots” with their iPads while at home.
So, if you have not yet upgraded to 3.2.1, you should seriously consider doing so.