Consumer Reports States Obvious: new iPad Can Heat Up

Yes, the new iPad runs warmer than the iPad 2. Anyone not know this yet? Well, as expected, Consumer Reports will fill you in if you’ve had your head in the sand since Friday.  CR is out with a report that states what many have already said. The new iPad can get hotter to the touch, certainly more so than previous versions of the iPad. I can verify this in my own testing (as have other members of the GBM team), but that was with one heck of a strenuous load that I wouldn’t use everyday. (See this article for what I mean by strenuous.)

Here’s the relevant excerpt from

When unplugged, the back of the new iPad reached temperatures as high as 113 degrees Fahrenheit. It was only when plugged in that it hit 116 degrees. The hottest areas weren’t evenly distributed throughout the iPad’s back, but were concentrated near one corner of the display as shown in the images taken from the rear of the device above.

So, when plugged in, the back of the new iPad became as much as 12 degrees hotter than the iPad 2 did in the same tests; while unplugged the difference was 13 degrees.

iPad heat testNote that the headline of the Consumer Reports article says this: Our test finds new iPad hits 116 degrees while running games. Perhaps some folks use their iPad with it plugged in to play games, but I’m guessing they are in the minority. (Let me know if you think I’m wrong here.)


I’m not faulting Consumer Reports for confirming what we already know. I am laughing a bit at that headline though. I’m also not faulting the new iPad for running hotter than it’s predecessors, especially when pushing graphic heavy games through the processor onto the high res display. In normal usage after that testing situation I mentioned, I hardly notice any increase in heat. I’m thinking this is going to be one of those situations where it depends on the user and the Apps they are running as to how severe an issue this may or may not turn out to be. The CR report will probably slow down new iPad sales as much as the antenna gate non recommendation did for the iPhone 4. (That’s sarcasm there.) I wonder if Apple will start testing App submissions to see how much heat they generate? (That’s not sarcasm.)

Apple has already said that the device runs warmer within its thermal specifications. Other testing from other sources report a big difference in the temperatures they are seeing as this post from Shawn indicates. I guess we’ll hear more about this from a variety of different sources and with a variety of different temperatures. In the mean time, let’s start speculating about the next new iPad and how cool it may or may not run.