In the long list of Apple's accolades, the iPad 2 is perhaps the definitive next generation tablet PC. The in-hand device for Apple fans, tech geeks, corporates and families, the iPad 2 has an immense success rate of being sold out on its release in any store. In fact, the demand for one increases day by day but stocks remain elusive. And no wonder, the Pad 2 is a tablet designed to please, from its impressive feature set and classy, smooth design to its compactness and cutting-edge hardware specs. But nothing is perfect and even the mighty iPad 2 has its shortcomings. In this article, a list of most common problems with the iPad 2 is outlined. This list should not be viewed as a case of Apple-bashing but rather, a frank assessment of the device's defects from an unbiased view.
The Big Picture
The beautiful and oh-so sparkly 9.7 inch screen of the iPad 2 is not problem-free and here are some common issues:
► LED or Backlight Bleeding
The LED or backlight screen of the iPad 2 suffers from "bleeding" of light at its edges. The edges or corners of the display, where the screen meets the black or white border or near the Home button, will show uneven or splotchy light patches. In some iPad 2 models, this is very obvious, even when the iPad 2 is switched off. Otherwise while playing media or running an application, where the screen turns black or dark in color, you can see little white leaks at the edge. This is a really undesired attribute in any type of screen, be it a tablet or a laptop. Adjusting the brightness ratio of the screen or the image seems to reduce the effect.
► Dead Pixels
All the pixels on a screen have to be on at the same time to display an image in its correct color and shape. A dead pixel will appear as a spot or a dot on the screen. You may think it's a piece of dirt and go on a rubbing rampage but if there are dead pixels on your iPad 2's screen, there is not much you can do. Dead pixels do occur with most device screens. To see if your device has any, set different colored images (green, red, black) as your iPad 2's wallpaper to notice any spots.
Yellow or white spots appear on the iPad 2's screen. These spots seem to be permanent. Playing anything on the tablet does not make them flicker or change color. The occurrence of this issue in some unfortunate iPad 2s can be called a manufacturing defect, where it seems the fixing of the glass screen to the device was not done properly. A popular opinion rotating around the tech blogs is the adhesive used for binding was not allowed to dry properly. Some owners have reported the blotches disappearing after a few days.
What about the working of the tablet, running programs and media etc? Problems in this department include:
► Frozen Facetime
You can indulge in live interactive video chat or calling with any iPhone, iPad or Mac that supports the Facetime application. The 2 cameras allow for 2 different views, one of your face and the other of the environment facing your iPad 2. But this application seems to freeze or hang, while running after first use. So you could be chatting with someone and their on-screen image will freeze. On holding down the power button, the iPad 2 restarts and then you can start Facetime again. But this is not a solution, rather it is an irritating go-around. Is this a device or an OS problem? No answers to this issue.
► Camera Quality
There are 2 cameras on the iPad 2, the front being a VGA model, the rear being an HD recording 5x zoom camera. But video recording is reportedly poor with off-colors and missing frames. Images are captured at a less-than-1 megapixel factor. The image and media capturing of this tablet is disappointing, especially since some tablets feature impressive camera specs.
► Sound Bytes
With different devices, one can expect different quality in various features. But what if a device has different models, one with Wi-Fi enabled, one with 3G enabled and no difference in feature set? The issue here is with the quality of voice recordings on the iPad 2 3G model. It is distinctly poorer than the recording quality of the iPad 2 Wi-Fi model. This could be due to the plastic casing and the presence of an antenna in the 3G iPad 2, which could be muffling the microphone.
The speaker on the iPad 2 is located on its rear or back side. While playing music out loud, no issues. But with some iPad 2s, the speaker can get stuck in headphone mode, even if no headphones are plugged in. Which means you can unplug the headphones and audio will not come out loud from the speakers. This quirky feature requires you to replug the headphones, then take them out and try again. If still not fixed, then you should hard reset your iPad 2 by pressing the home and sleep buttons together and waiting for the Apple logo to appear on screen.
Tablets are supposed to bring the Internet to your fingertips. Well, some iPad 2s have finicky networking abilities.
► Verizon 3G Connection
3G network connectivity is one of the strongest perks of the iPad 2. That being said, facing connectivity problems, while paying through the nose for 3G carrier service is a definite rip-off. A large number of Verizon customers, opting for 3G usage through the iPad 2, cannot connect to the network once they log off. To fix this, they must restart the iPad 2 or reboot (press home and power buttons together for 10 secs) and then try reconnecting.
► Wi-Fi Woes
The infamous iPhone 4 problem of poor signal strength due to a faulty antenna, returns with the iPad 2's Wi-Fi model. Once connected to a wireless network, the connection is not stable or uniform, breaking up in the middle or disconnecting from the network randomly. Some owners reported, proximity to the router must be maintained, others say picking up even a strong signal is troublesome. A firmware update could solve the issue but so far, there is no official or known solution.
For those who shelled out a pretty penny to buy this gadget, it can be very frustrating to face such defects and issues, especially with networking. Some issues can be fixed with a visit to the Apple Store and meeting a Genius, who may replace or change the device. Some issues have no answers... at least not now. Such issues are a part and parcel of any electronic gadget and unfortunately seem to be in the "IT" gadget of the year, the iPad 2.