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by Michael Shapiro | April 8, 2010

The much-hyped iPad has hit the street -- to the tune of 300,000 units sold on the first day of sale, according to Apple. That was Saturday. As of Wednesday, some reports are estimating that a half-million 'Pads have been sold. Interestingly, Boingo Wireless reported Wednesday that in its first four days on the market, the iPad became the second most popular non-laptop device to access Boingo's Wi-Fi networks in airports. Boingo offers Wi-Fi service in 58 airports internationally, so while this isn't an enormous sample size, it's certainly worth noting. Apple's iPhone represents 90 percent of the non-laptop devices to access Boingo's airport networks, and the new iPad is a (distant) second at 5.4 percent. What's impressive is that the iPad surpassed Android (2.5 percent), BlackBerry, iPod touch (less than 2 percent each) and Windows Mobile (less than 1 percent) devices so quickly. With all those ‘Pads in the paws of so many travelers, word of mouth should soon reveal some of the gizmo's biggest pros and cons. Cons already being aired include the iPad's Wi-Fi capabilities. Apple has acknowledged some issues on its support site, including cases in which the iPad won't automatically rejoin known networks, and/or a weak Wi-Fi signal strength that appears much stronger on other devices. Noteworthy pros, on the other hand, include very snappy performance -- particularly when reading PDF files. That bodes well for the iPad's future as a reading/research device for use on the road, or at meetings.