How to Test an iPad

by Eirik Ott

The Apple iPad is a personal computing device that is equal parts personal assistant and portal to the Web. Functionality is delivered using small programs called apps that can be downloaded from the Apple iTunes stores, and the Internet can be accessed with a wi-fi signal. There are so many applications and utilities that should be checked before deciding to purchase an iPad, especially a used one, that it would be challenging to do so in one sitting. However, there are three very simple elements to check that can verify the overall operation of the iPad.

Charge the iPod and turn it on.


Connect the iPad to its USB power adapter using the dock connector (each are standard accessories). Allow the iPad to fully charge before using it to ensure the built-in battery can hold a charge. Monitor the battery image until it shows the charging status as fully charged, then unplug the dock connector from the iPad.


Press the "sleep/wake" button at the top edge of the iPad and drag it to the "wake" setting to unlock the iPad. Press the "home" button at the bottom of the face of the iPad to turn it on to make sure the iPad is ready to be used.


Rotate the iPad slowly back and forth between portrait and landscape orientation to make sure the screen view automatically adjusts, to ensure the movement sensors are working properly.

Open an App


Click the round "home" button at the bottom of the iPad's face, which will reveal the apps loaded onto the iPad.


Tap an icon to launch its application and make sure it is working properly. For instance, tap the "calendar" icon to launch the "calendar" app. Tap the "+" icon on the screen to enter an event to the calendar, then enter information such as title, location, starting and ending times, repeat times and alert time. Tap "done" when complete. Tap "list view" to scroll through appointments, including the event you just created. Tap "day," week," or "month" to change the calendar view.


Tap all available icons and peruse them to make sure they appear to be working properly, tapping buttons and changing the orientation of the iPad to make sure each application automatically changes from portrait to landscape and back again.

Surf the Web


Make sure you are in an area that offers wireless Internet access. Tap the "settings" app along the bottom of the iPad screen, then tap "wi-fi" to enable wi-fi access. Select from the list of automatically detected networks, enter a password if necessary, then tap "join."


Check the wi-fi status icon at the top of the screen to make sure connection strength is registering at least one bar.


Tap the "Safari" icon along the bottom of the iPad screen to launch the Safari Web browser. Tap the URL window and use the virtual keyboard to enter the address of a website you would like to visit, then tap "go."


View the website and tap links on it to navigate through it to make sure Safari is in working order. Hold down your finger to a point on any page and drag your finger along the iPad surface to make sure you can move around each Web page. Press your pinched thumb and forefinger against the surface and spread them apart while keeping them pressed against the surface to zoom in on a particular area of the website. Zoom in and out by pinching and unpinching your thumb and forefinger together to test the zoom-in and zoom-out features.


Re-orientate the iPad between portrait and landscape to make sure the Safari window automatically adjusts to fill the screen.


  • check Test the many features available on the iPad by downloading the free 150-page users guide available at the Apple Computer website. Work your way step by step through all the functions and features, apps and utilities, until you are satisfied that everything is in perfect working order.

Items you will need

About the Author

Eirik Ott is a professional performance poet, freelance writer, graphic designer, Apple Computer enthusiast and photographer. Since graduating from Chico State University with a degree in journalism in 2000, he has written for newspapers and magazines such as "The Reno Gazette-Journal," "The Austin American-Statesman," "Bust Magazine" and "Poets & Writers Magazine." He is based in Austin, Texas.

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