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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.



  1. HildyJ

    03/20/2012 at 1:10 pm

     I will point out that some sous vide recipes cook fish at that temperature and it’s only a few degrees less than the 120 degree setting recommended for your hot water heater.

    Also, while Consumer Reports may be saying what everyone who follows the tech blogosphere already knows, it is news to the aging generation that still follows newspapers and network news shows.

    I’m not planning on an iPad myself (as a tablet it’s too big and as an ecosystem it’s too confined) but it would have been nice if Apple had said something a bit more comprehensive than “it meets our specs”. It’s just a bit too reminiscent of “you’re holding it wrong”.

  2. No

    03/20/2012 at 1:50 pm

    Fan boy much? “Someone pointed out a flaw, what idiots!”

    • WarnerCrocker

      03/20/2012 at 8:29 pm

       Guess you didn’t read my Toughts on the new iPad post.

  3. Fog5bank

    03/20/2012 at 5:43 pm

    Gee, Warner, you usually aren’t that snarky in your writing. Don’t flame on Consumer Reports.

    • WarnerCrocker

      03/20/2012 at 8:29 pm

       You’re right. I’m usually not that snarky. But I have to say that when you read the report and then go back and read the headline of the report this is pretty hilarious reporting by CR. They offer nothing new that hasn’t already been reported by many sources, and don’t provide any real context. This after saying initially about the new iPad that it was “looking good.” I long ago gave up on Consumer Reports as the consumer watchdog they used to be.

  4. ChrisRS

    03/20/2012 at 11:56 pm

    You are talking about an iPad. Whatever tremperature if runs at is the de facto perfect temperture. If it seem too warm, your nerve endings are out of spec. Bad Consumer Reports.

  5. Access_denied79

    03/21/2012 at 2:58 am

    obviously the people complaining about a warm iPad doesn’t know anything about quad core processors, li-ion batteries, and radios in devices.  Tell me what computer laptop or desktop runs cold to the touch?  Maybe one that is unplugged?  Get real people and quit trying to find problems with everything.  If it was burning your hand then that is a different story.  Hell you don’t have to worry about your hands getting cold in the winter, if we still have those.

  6. julialynch

    03/21/2012 at 9:44 am

    The new iPad is a great match for kikin Browser, an iPad-exclusive browser that is available for download in the App Store:  kikin Browser aims to deliver a fast, easy, and streamlined browsing experience to its users through the use of unique, touch-based features.  kikin Browser’s most notable feature is its focus on ‘touch to go,’ which prompts users to press and hold specific terms on a Web page so kikin Browser can pull up search and image results about those terms within the page.  This saves users time and energy, as they are no longer forced to venture to another page or tab to view search results.  Learn more about kikin Browser at:

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