Overall, my experience with the iPad has been pretty good, but like all products, it has its faults. Yesterday, TechCrunch outlined what many of us iPad early adopters had noticed. Wifi range was significantly less than our Macs and even less than iPhones and iPod touch.
Two reasons for this might be the antenna placement and power consumption.
There are two Wifi antennas on the iPad. One behind the glass on the lower bezel and one behind the Apple logo in the back. The rest of the iPad ‘s aluminum is basically a wireless shield. Compared to an iPhone whose backing is plastic, iPads are at a disadvantage right from the begining.
Also, there is the issue of power savings. Apple touts 10 hours of video playback and they’re right. The iPad has insanely long battery life, especially with that bright, beautiful display. But Apple might have lowered the power to the Wifi cards in order to get those results. The good news, if that is the case, is that a software/firmware update could add more power to the Wifi cards and increase range. I’d like to see a manual/automatic setting which allows you to toggle between the iPad choosing its Wifi strength vs. users picking a power setting manually