Did The Verge get a defective Wii U?
"The addition of a web browser is nice in theory, but I'd bet good money you won't use the Wii U's browser more than a couple of times. It's actually surprisingly fast, but it often renders pages wrong, it has two omnipresent toolbars that take up a lot of the already-precious screen real estate on the GamePad, and it's incredibly basic. For a quick search, it's fine (and for that reason alone I'm glad it exists), but between the sub-par experience and the terrible on-screen keyboard, you won't want to use this much."
This incredibly vague paragraph makes two specific statements: that the Wii U browser often renders pages wrong, and that it has two omnipresent toolbars. Guess what: every browser a toolbar at the top, and even when adding the lower toolbar, the Gamepad has more screen real estate than any smartphone.
The other two knocks are that the browser "incredibly basic" (thanks for the detailed description, I'll take it into consideration) and that it has a "terrible on-screen keyboard". How is it terrible exactly? The vagueness of the whole review is maddening. Is it because it's not accurate enough? For a fast-paced game like ZombiU, using the stylus in a session is a non-starter, but for the browser, using the stylus is what you're supposed to do. Hey, you can leave it on the table if taking it out is too much of a hassle. I have been following the console on NeoGAF and other places and I've never heard anybody talking like this about the browser. If anything, it's been the greatest surprise of the console.
So, in fact, the main fault of the browser seems to be that "it often renders pages wrong". Again, I have never seen anybody claiming this. There are already videos uploaded by sites as well as users, and I just don't see it. Could the reviewer be more specific? Looking at these videos, can he identify what is rendered wrong?
Honestly, the review reads like it was entirely done in a morning. The TV remote capabilities have been there from the start, but they were described in one sentence. Wii U Chat was described in zero sentences. At one point he states that the console can't run games off external hard drives, when that feature was confirmed ages ago. And don't even get me started on the A button nonsense.