Millions of iPad 2 units are already in the hands of consumers, and Apple's tablet is set to launch in several additional countries starting tomorrow. As with any product, sometimes users face manufacturing issues or other problems.
Here's a list of the problems and complaints surrounding the iPad 2 since launch:
Canceled orders. Apple spontaneously emailed many iPad 2 buyers to let them know a glitch in their system resulted in canceled orders. For those who had a shipping date 2-3 days out and are now facing 3-4 weeks before getting an iPad 2 this is a major bummer. Thankfully, most of the kinks in the system are probably worked out by now.
Backlight bleeding. Some iPad 2 displays have light leaks around the edge, or light patches in other places on the screen. These light leaks are not normal and are most obvious when viewing a dark image. You can check your iPad 2 display for defects including light leaks and dead pixels before contacting the Apple Genius Bar for an inspection.
Yellowing on screen. Discoloration has also been seen on some iPad 2 displays. Typically this disappears in a few days of use as bonding glue dries after production. Normally devices are not shipped so quickly after manufacturing, so the glue dries before you receive the iPad. Similar problems were seen on the iPhone 4 last year.
Wi-Fi issues. Similar to the connection problems experienced by original iPad owners last year, some iPad 2 owners are having problems staying connected to Wi-Fi networks. Firmware updates fixed the issue for most original iPad owners. Unfortunately, iPad 2 units that have dropped Wi-Fi connections already have the latest iOS firmware version 4.3 installed.
FaceTime freezing. Apple's video chat software reportedly is prone to freezing up. iPad 2 owners have experienced the app working properly, but then later not taking live video until the iPad is rebooted. An image of the last frame appears frozen in the app when this bug hits.
Microphone distortion. There are microphone sound quality differences between iPad 2 models. The 3G + Wi-Fi models feature a mic opening in plastic, while on Wi-Fi only models the mic is surrounded by aluminum. This has been shown to negatively affect sound quality on the 3G-enabled iPad 2.
Speaker quirks. A new speaker grille made its way onto the iPad 2, but audio quality is unchanged from the original iPad. Some have complained that the volume is lower, but keep in mind the new speaker design faces slightly backward, not just down. In any case, sometimes the iPad 2 doesn't register when headphones are removed and pipe sound to the speaker. Plugging them back in and unplugging again might help, but if the problem persists see Apple.
Mysterious heat. The iPad 2 is a computer, and heavy processing such as video gaming will produce heat in the circuitry and battery. Some warmth is normal, but an excessive amount could indicate a visit to Apple is in order. Thanks to its slimmer design and faster processor, some who have compared the iPad 2 to the original iPad have noted an increase in heat on the new tablet.
Poor quality camera. Sure, the front facing camera is expected to be low resolution for FaceTime. But the iPad 2 has a main camera that pales in comparison to current smartphone cameras. Sure it records HD video at 720p, but it snaps still photos at only 960 x 720 resolution. This clocks in at under one megapixel.
No improvement in screen resolution. Those looking for a Retina display or any improvement in the clarity of the iPad screen will be disappointed. The iPad 2 sports the exact same resolution as the original iPad.
If you're in the market for an iPad 2, be aware of these concerns now that the initial US launch is complete. As manufacturing problems are corrected less defects should arise. Rest assured that a visit to the Apple Store will resolve any warranty-related issues. For the rest, we'll have to look forward to new specs on the next generation iPad 3.