Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Consumer Reports Finds New iPad Gets Warm, Can't Charge Under Heavy Loads

from macrumors.com
Following up on reports from earlier today that the outer shell of the iPad 3 gets warmer than the iPad 2Consumer Reports found that their iPad 3 reached temperatures up to 116 degrees after running Infinity Blade II for 45 minutes. 

The piece did note that the iPad felt "very warm but not especially uncomfortable if held for a brief period" during the testing process. In a statement earlier today, Apple said that the iPad was "operating well within our thermal specifications." 

We ran our test while the new iPad was propped on the iPad Smart Cover, plugged in, and after it had run Infinity Blade II uninterrupted for about 45 minutes. The device's 4G connection was not turned on, though its Wi-fi link was. The ambient room temperature was about 72 degrees. (Apple recommends not using the iPad in environments over 95 degrees.)

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.
Potentially more interesting is Consumer Reports' note that their new iPad didn't charge at all when the game was running. In fact, the battery continued to drain slightly under the extremely heavy CPU and GPU load from Infinity Blade II. 

It's seems that under extremely heavy processor usage, the iPad is unable to draw sufficient power from its USB connection to both power the device and charge the battery simultaneously. 


  1. Alternate headline: New iPad runs a bit warmer than old iPad, but not uncomfortably so.

    The inability to charge while under heavy load is unfortunate. I guess that rules out the iPad for 24/7 gaming.

    I predict this news will have approximately 0% effect on the device's popularity.

  2. It really should charge regardless of the load it's under. I guess you could always bring an extra batter...wait, never mind.

  3. The limitation is probably due to the maximum current spec of the external power supply. When the processor is using all the current, there is none left to charge the battery. Perhaps this is a third party opportunity for a larger power supply.

    We'll see if this shortcoming is a significant issue for many people, but I suspect not. After all, ya gotta take a break some time. That's when it will charge.

    Make fun of the iPad's sealed battery if you like. But remember to do the same for the competing tablets with similar design. More and more, others are copying Apple's lead.