The New iPad Takes Much Longer To Charge Than The iPad 2


Your new iPad will be spending a lot more time with its battery charger than the iPad 2.

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.

  • tornacious

    I don’t care. I just plug it in when I go to sleep and unplug it before I even get out of bed to check email, stocks, CoM, etc. At work, it’s almost always plugged in on my desk. I’ll gladly sacrifice charge time for battery life.

  • 5aga

    really not a big deal, especially with the long battery life. Its not like we will be charging every night.

  • Guest

    No way?! thats weird… I mean, it’s almost like it packs more battery capacity than the iPad 2?!…   I have no idea why your posts still amazes me.

  • steffenjobbs

    Won’t this also be the case with Android or Windows tablets if they need to get longer life from their batteries?  If it’s just a matter of physics, why complain about it.  It’s like complaining about gravity or momentum.  I guess there’s always a reason to nitpick about everything.  The tech-heads were asking for more resolution and 4G.  They get it and still find something else to complain about.  Extra weight, extra thickness, longer charging time.  It just a matter of compromising one thing for another.

  • David Hemming

    If it had a 5 hour battery life this would be a problem, but 10 hours realtime use means 99% of users will have no problem using it all day and charging overnight, Well done Apple.

  • Kenton Presbrey

    I really don’t think that this will be an issue in my case. I usually only use my iPad in 5-45 min spurts throughout the day to do some quick browsing, play a game or inputing some data real quick. Anyone who complains about this needs to stop using their iPad 10 hours a day LOL. 1 more day and I’ll be the proud owner of one of these Modern Marvels.

  • Pharod

    So theoretically they can do iPad 2.5 with new battery from iPad 3 that will hold for 20 hours on a single charge??!!! iPad PRO? )

  • Adrian Caiado Caiado

    It seems like you don’t even need a battery, seeing as your always connected to a power point

  • RadTech5000

    I see this as a Non-Issue, I think most people would agree.

  • imajoebob

    My concern wouldn’t be charging time – even a partial charge will get you 5 or 6 hours, but what about battery life?  Don’t these batteries last a LOT longer if you do a nearly full discharge and then a full recharge, versus constant partial recharges?  That’ll be a real bummer if the battery craps out after a year or two.  Good argument for AppleCare.

  • Dean Morris

    portable battery backup:

  • j

    That would be true with a NiMi or a NiCad battery not a Lithium, A Lithium battery will go bad if you let it go dead over and over again.

  • Cold_dead_fingers

    Some of us actually use our computers as a laptop replacement.

  • Cold_dead_fingers

    By computers I mean iPads.

  • Cold_dead_fingers

    I have a slight issues with this, though it was kind of expected. Had Apple upgraded the charging port to something that excepts more power at a time, this wouldn’t be a problem. The thing is, Apple saves the innovations for the odd releases. The next iPad will probably have a much better charging option and probably the touch based home butting too.

  • AngryOldMan

    John: Headline for article says The new iPad takes much longer to charge than the iPad 2.
    It might be nice to tell your readers EXACTLY how long it takes instead of just overnight. Perhaps including a charge time for the iPad 2 to compare it to might be interesting too. Please give me the facts!

  • Dilbert A

    You’re using it wrong.

  • Nicholas Koeppel

    one percent every 7 minutes, thus 700 minutes or a little under 12 hours for a full charge

  • CharliK

    Nope. Lithium based batteries don’t need to be fully discharged every time. Once a month perhaps but that’s it. And even then it’s bad to let it go all the way out. Down say 2-5% is as dead as it should get. 
    That Lithium batteries can be used in this way is part of why Apple switched to them. 

  • CharliK

    Nope. Using it as a cutting board would be using it wrong. 

    But in fact, Apple is all for the notion of the iPad replacing mobile PCs. It’s part of their ‘post pc’ movement. 

  • CharliK

    Keeping it plugged in all the time actually kills the battery

  • Dilbert A

    That’s wrong as well.

  • johnbis

    Howsabout a mini DC generator hooked up to each key. Makes the cells happy, makes the boss unhappy.