Consumer Reports Measures Their New iPad Running At 116 Degrees



In most regards, Consumer Reports do great work, but when it comes to Apple’s mobile devices, they’ve historically tended to act like bozos. Quickly jumping upon the Antennagate bandwagon when the iPhone 4 came out, Consumer Reports refused to recommend Apple’s latest handset for over a year. When the iPhone 4S came out, Consumer Reports grudgingly said it was worth buying, but not as good as Android phones. Are you for real?

Anyway, yesterday, in response to reports that the new iPad ran hotter than its predecessor, Consumer Reports eagerly promised to investigate, sniffing another scandal. They’ve now published some preliminary results, though, and surprise! They’re surprisingly sensible.

The first thing Consumer Reports discovered was that while the new iPad “can run significantly hotter than the earlier iPad 2”, “at its hottest, it felt very warm but not especially uncomfortable if held for a brief period.”

That said, Consumer Reports has found that when pushed to the max, the new iPad is significantly hotter than Apple’s operational guidelines suggest. In fact, Consumer Reports was able to get the new iPad up to 116 degrees by playing Infinity Blade II on it for 45 minutes while it was plugged in. That’s a graphically intensive game, and plugging in the iPad always causes it to get hotter, but even so, that’s with LTE off, and 116 degrees is 21 degrees north of Apple’s stated upper limit of 95 degrees.

Also interesting was this:

We also noticed that the new iPad wasn’t charging while the game was running and it was plugged in. In fact, the battery continued to drain. It charged normally, however, when we weren’t running a game.

This rings true. I’ve noticed that the new iPad charges much more slowly when the display is active than the iPad 2 did. In fact, I’ve seen the display only tick up one percent in an entire hour when charging during constant usage. The bottom line is that it seems that while the new Retina Display is cutting edge, battery and charging technology hasn’t caught up with it: the only way to get it to work for 10 hours straight was for Apple to cram as much battery in as possible, not through the adoption of more advanced battery tech. This is where Sharp’s IGZO process is sorely missed: it would have cut down on the power being drawn from the new iPad’s display significantly. If Apple had, as it hoped, shipped the new iPad with an IGZO display, it’s possible the new iPad would have had better battery life than its predecessor, and been less thick and heavy to boot.

It’ll be interesting to see if Consumer Reports‘ heat tests influence their final review of the device.

  • Jdsonice

    Yawn – who cares. I no longer trust this organization – specially after the Toyota debacle. 

  • MacHead

    Yeah those thermal imaging cameras are just a bunch of fandroids who make things up to bring apple down!

  • sir1jaguar




    Steve Jobs

  • zendiesel

    Well Heatgate is in full effect. I have no regrets with my slightly warmer awesome iPad.

  • lrd

    When it comes to Apple, I wouldn’t trust Consumer Reports as far as I can throw a 250 lb man.
    Sorry. Just don’t trust them anymore after they wouldn’t admit to the fact that all phones experience signal attenuation when handled and when move closer to your face.

  • Srose428

    Complaining about the head dispersed by an electronics device is like complaining about the tires on your brand new car getting bald…its called use.  
    Facts about electronics:
    (Something CR should include in HUGE bold letters above their reports for electronics)

    1.You will reduce your signal if you cover your antenna
    2.Batteries get hot

  • Callwing

    RIP Apple gaming

  • Rob Williams

    lol the Irony of this statement outweighs any comment possible.

  • Skywaytraffic

    3. Haters gonna hate

  • Mitch Dahl

    The amount of bias in the first paragraph… is TOO DAMN HIGH.

  • MacHead

    Where am I complaining about heat in that comment. My reply was about jdsonice claiming Consumer Reports cant be trusted. And I was pointing out that cameras dont lie. Use your brain a little. They reported what the cameras showed. That can be trusted. I never said its proof anyone is getting burned simply that the facts presented are trust worthy. My god you and Skywaytraffic are sensitive little babies! 

  • MacHead

    Another moron who doesnt even realize that Im not even discussing whether or not the heat is an issue but only pointing out that Consumer Reports thermal cameras can be trusted. Grow up. 

  • Srose428

    You were not, and I was not directly replying to you but the post and original comment.  So you were in the room when CR heat tested the iPad?  You verified the only way the device got that hot was actual use while on a insufficient charger?  Na man I live in the real world where money talks and lobbying (aka bribing) gets things done.   But no your probably right there really is no other possible way to get 2 iPads hot and then take a thermal picture…

  • Srose428