Consumer Reports: New iPad Runs “Significantly Hotter” than iPad 2

| Analysis

Consumer Reports (CR) has released a report finding that Apple’s new iPad ran “significantly hotter” than the iPad 2. While that makes for a fine headline, the magazine buried the key part of its report, which was that, “at its hottest, [the new iPad] felt very warm but not especially uncomfortable if held for a brief period.”

“Using a thermal imaging camera,” the magazine wrote, “Consumer Reports engineers recorded temperatures as high as 116 degrees Fahrenheit on the front and rear of the new iPad while playing Infinity Blade II.”

“That’s within one degree of the 117-degree average temperature recorded at Furnace Creek Station in Death Valley, CA in July, Consumer Reports added dramatically.

The image below was published by the magazine to demonstrate the heat differences between the iPad 2 and the new iPad.

Consumer Reports Thermal Image

Source: Consumer Reports

CR said that it tested the device plugged in and propped up on Apple’s Smart Cover. The measurements were taken after running Infinity Blade II, a popular game on the App Store, for 45 minutes uninterrupted. The ambient room temperature was 72 degrees (Fahrenheit).

When measured in this configuration, the back of the device reached temperatures as high as 116 degrees, with the hottest section the upper left corner. That’s 12 degrees hotter than the iPad 2 tested by the magazine. When unplugged, it reached temperatures of 113 degrees, or nine degrees hotter than the iPad 2

Battery Charge?

Interesting, the report also claimed that the new iPad didn’t charge while the game was running, even though it was plugged in. According to the report, “In fact, the battery continued to drain. It charged normally, however, when we weren’t running a game.”

Our use at TMO since the device was released on Friday is that this isn’t the case, at least not when using the wall charger that came with the new iPad. When playing Kingdom Rush—a game that is not as graphically intense as Infinity Blade II—the new iPad charged just fine during gameplay.

Consumer Reports was not specific on how it was charging its new iPad, and it’s possible its results were related to the USB port into which it was plugged. Either way, we call balderdash on the claim that the new iPad won’t charge when playing a game.

History

Consumer Reports has a history of poopooing Apple’s popular iOS products, most significantly when it declined to recommend Apple’s iPhone 4 do to attenuation issues experienced by some users. Apple haters latched on to the report as proof that Apple’s devices were for idiots, while many Apple fan boys (and girls) decided that its stance eliminated the magazine’s credibility. Apple still sold as many iPhone 4 units as it could make.

The magazine also recommended Android smartphones over the iPhone 4S.

That said, the magazine has consistently rated Apple’s Macs, tech support, and warranty program very highly. That suggests there isn’t a blanket bias against Apple, and we’ll also point out that Consumer Reports gave the iPad 2 the nod over competing Android devices.

Complaints

We should also note that there are complaints from users on Apple’s support forums who said their new iPads ran hot. The largest of the two threads has 318 replies, but many of those are from users who say that their devices don’t run hot. If this was a widespread concern, we’d expect many more complaints on Apple’s site, especially with the attention being brought to the issue by CR.

We’ll add that no one on TMO’s staff has yet to complain internally about our iPads running hot.

Still, the new iPad is just that, new. There are concerns about color on the device’s display, and there could well be a heating issue with the device. Apple is pushing a lot of pixels on the new iPad with a dual core processor that has a four-core GPU. It will take more time and more testing to know if there is truly an issue with the device, but from our perspective we doubt this will be the case.

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13 Comments Leave Your Own

andystac

oh the humanity!!!

Peter

It reminds me of the “laptops” that ran too hot to put them in your lap.  Solution:  Change the name to “Notebook” and put a little note in the user’s manual: “Don’t use in lap.”

I have no doubts that the the new iPad gets hotter than the old one. The question is, does it matter?  Does it cause the new iPad to fail faster?  That’s what I’d like to see them investigate.

As for the charging?  Well, the obvious answer is:  “You’re charging it wrong.”

BurmaYank

”... we call balderdash on the claim that the new iPad won?t charge when playing a game.”

As one usually near the front of the ”... many Apple fan boys (and girls) (who) decided that its stance eliminated the magazine?s credibility”, I immediately chortled in gleeful agreement with your “balderdash” call here.

Then, perversely, my devil’s advocate daemon emerged in my thoughts, and to my dismay, I found myself thinking that it might be possible that, just this once, CR might actually NOT be completely guilty of balderdash, if there actually is a bug in some new iPads which causes them to intermittently fail to charge. 

So, if this charging failure happened by chance to occur in the defective iPad which CR was playing the GPU current-hog Kingdom Rush on during its “test”, the battery would have needed to be discharging at a furious rate to run that game all by itself, and of course the iPad would have become unusually hot around the battery.

CR, of course, didn’t say that, and instead claimed that the hoofbeats it heard in the streets of Manhattan were definitely from zebras; that the failure to charge was caused by game-playing.  Which is, of course, typical CR slipshod overgeneralized indefensible balderdash, even if their report of hoofbeats (i.e. failure to charge & consequent overheating) was factual.

Lee Dronick

Consumer Reports headlines run significantly oversensational than respected reviewers.

furbies

oh the humanity!!!

Oh the Vogonity!!!

badlemon

I think consumer reports made it pretty clear with the handling iPhone 4 from start to finish…  They don’t care about reality, they want to draw attention to themselves.  We’ve all seen this so many times that it is pretty clear that they’re full of it.  Of course, other media outlets hoping to achieve the same objective will run with the story as well.  If it confirms anything, it’s less about Apple, and more about the garbage we get that’s dressed up as information.  It’s a sad joke that those who don’t pay attention to will easily believe and give credit to…

Steve

daydrmr

I jumped reluctantly from the 1st gen iPad to the New one and have been regretting it since day 1.I really didn’t wanted to change it since it worked perfectly but my hubby insisted so I relented. First it took me 2 days to get it to open ANY app, and 3 days to open ANY book. I use it mainly for reading and own a lot of books, and despite that the books “appeared” in iBooks I couldn’t open any. Actually the apps and the books appeared like they were “downloading”.
  Now, my iPad WON’T charge while browsing, or reading, or playing. The only way it will charge is on sleep mode. It gets really hot and on top of that a lot of apps crash all the time and the iPad itself have crashed a couple of times.It’s REALLY slow when I can get it to download a new app because it it kicks me out of the app store a few times before letting me buy something. And I have a GREAT internet connection. I have called Apple and done everything they tell me (even though we know the drill since we own all the Apple gadgets in the market) but I keep experiencing the same problems. And btw, my sister is experiencing the same problems too,except hers crashes way more than mine.
  The only thing left for me is wait for the weekend when I will be able to go to exchange it for an iPad 2 to end all my suffering.

furbies

I jumped reluctantly from the 1st gen iPad to the New one and have been regretting it since day

Sorry to hear you’ve had a bad experience with the iPad v3.

Me, I’m still on the iPad v1 (iOS 5.1) and I can’t justify upgrading yet.
Sure I’d like “a faster screen” for FileMaker Go but I’m more likely to get the next iteration of the MacBook Air. And maybe sell off my MacBook Pro to help fund the purchase….

Just my AU$00.02 cents worth…

Lee Dronick

I am calling BS on that one

BurmaYank

“Now, my iPad WON?T charge while browsing, or reading, or playing. The only way it will charge is on sleep mode. It gets really hot… And btw, my sister is experiencing the same problems too,except hers crashes way more than mine.”

Doesn’t all this strongly suggest that must be some kind of charging bug in quite a few of the new iPads (i.e., in daydrmr‘s, her sister’s and CR’s) associated with overvigorous battery drainage & consequent overheating?

Maybe it’s time to shortsell on Apple.

Lee Dronick

No

furbies

Regarding the charging issue(s)

It would be interesting to find out just which charger in particular folks are using ?

Maybe there’s a dodgy batch of chargers ?

Lee Dronick

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