New iPad Runs Hot Says Consumer Reports


Apple’s iPad is turning up the heat by operating at temperatures as high as 45°C, significantly higher than the iPad 2

Apple’s new iPad operates at higher temperatures than the iPad 2 when running a processor-intensive game, according to a test by Consumer Reports.

The watchdog group aimed a thermal imaging camera at a new iPad playing Infinity Blade II, and recorded temperatures “as high as 116°F (45°C)”, while ambient temperature in the room was 72°F (22°C). The testers played the game uninterrupted for about 45 minutes before using the camera.

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Consumer Reports tested the new iPad both unplugged and plugged to its charger, and activated the Wi-Fi but not the 4G connection. “When unplugged, the back of the new iPad reached temperatures as high as 113°F (45°C),” read the group’s research note. “It was only when plugged in that it hit 116 degrees.”

Nor were the hot zones evenly distributed across the back of the device, but clustered in a specific area to the left side.

“When it was at its hottest, [the new iPad] felt very warm but not especially uncomfortable if held for a brief period,” the note continued. “We also noticed that the new iPad wasn’t charging while the game was running and it was plugged in.” Only when the testers stopped playing the game did normal charging recommence.

The iPad 2, subjected to the same tests, ran between 12 and 13 degrees (6-7°C) cooler than the new iPad.

This is not the first time Consumer Reports has picked apart an Apple device; the group once refused to endorse the iPhone 4 over its much-publicised antenna issues. But it is likely that the new iPad will attract high marks from them, with a report noting that the device “is shaping up to be the best tablet we’ve ever tested, whether from Apple or any other manufacturer”.

The iPad 3rd Generation features a high-resolution Retina Display, an improved camera and processor, and comparable battery life to its predecessors.

Apple claims it sold some three million of these latest iPads in the first weekend of release. By comparison, it took the first iPad some 28 days to sell one million units. One analyst believes that the company could end up selling around 66 million iPads this year.

“Due to the strong launch we are raising our [calendar year 2012] iPad estimates from 60 [million] to 66 [million],” Gene Munster, an analyst with Piper Jaffray, wrote in a research note. “We believe the unprecedented ramp of the iPad over the past year is evidence that the tablet market will be measurably larger than the PC market.” By 2015, he suggested, the iPad market will expand to some 176 million units.

Certainly the new iPad is more expensive for Apple to make. According to IHS iSuppli, the third-generation 16GB iPad with WiFi costs the company $306 (£193) in materials; with 4G support, that rises to $348 (£220); manufacturing expenses add another $10 (£6). That is a fair bit above the same model of iPad 2, which cost $271 (£171) to make between materials and manufacturing. However, Apple has kept the same pricing scheme for the latest iPad as it did for the iPad 2, meaning, at least in theory, that it is taking less profit per device.

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