Every single thing about the new iPad is more power hungry than the iPad 2. The Retina Display requires more power to drive its double resolution display. The LTE capability requires more battery to suck in faster mobile data speeds. Even the doubled RAM capacity uses more electricity.
Despite all of this, though, the new iPad has the same great battery life as the iPad 2: 10 hours of battery using 3G, 9 hours battery using LTE. Apple’s achieved this extraordinary feat by packing almost twice the battery capacity into the same space.
That’s great news when you’re around town. But it comes at a cost: charging the new iPad to full is a total bitch.
We were worried about how long the new iPad would take to charge before, and it looks like we were right to worry, as early iPad reviewer M.G. Siegler confirms over at Techcrunch.
So how was Apple able to keep the battery life the same while adding LTE and without drastically changing the design? It appears that they’ve had a fairly major breakthrough in their battery technology. While the new battery clearly isn’t much bigger than the old one, it can hold much more juice (42 watt-hours versus 25-watt-hours). The downside of this is that I’ve found it takes quite a bit longer to charge the new iPad. As in several hours — you’ll probably want to do it overnight.
I plug in my iPad overnight for charging anyway, but if you find yourself without much charge in your new iPad and only an hour before you leave the house for the day, this is going to be a bummer. But it’s simple physics for right now: you simply can’t charge twice the battery in half the time. At least right now. If anyone can eventually figure out how to do it, it’s Apple.