We've changed the way Wi-Fi performance is evaluated. For background information, check out page 10 of Acer Iconia Tab A500: A Tablet With Honeycomb 3.1. If you're not sure how throughput, latency, processing time, and response time all tie together, we go over that on page 10 of Apple's iPad 2 Review: Tom's Goes Down The Tablet Rabbit Hole.
Two scenarios are being tested here:
- Five feet, line-of-sight: The wireless device is set five feet from the router without any obstructions.
- 20 feet, no line-of-sight: The wireless device is set 20 feet from the router and there are three drywall obstructions in our testing environment that reflect the possible degradation you might see in an indoor environment.
All devices idle for two minutes before testing in order to prevent power-saving rules in the OS from affecting wireless performance.
The iPad, iPad 2, Xoom, and Iconia A500 all use the same 802.11a/b/g Wi-Fi + Bluetooth 2.1 controller (Broadcom's BCM4329), but the Android tablets place a processing priority on networking tasks, so they benefit from better response times and throughput.
The Eee Slate does well compared to the tablets, but it falls short of the Xoom's numbers when we're further away from the access point. Response times are excellent, but Asus' Eee Slate seems to prefer 802.11n to 802.11g.
The Eee Slate is a single-band device; it can't connect to 5 GHz networks. That's something to keep in mind if you own a dual-band router and prefer using the 5 GHz frequency range.