The iPad Air might be almost a third lighter than the iPad 4, but Apple insists it gets all the same battery life as previous generations, and it looks like the evidence proves it: not only does the iPad Air get the same 10 hours of battery life in general, but it also gets an incredible 24 hours as an LTE hotspot.
Over at ZD Net, James Kendrick talks about his experience using the iPad Air as a personal hotspot for his laptop while on the road:
I regularly use the original iPad mini as a hotspot for my laptops for several hours and the battery hit on the iPad is negligible. I used the original iPad mini as a hotspot for 20 hours on one occasion due to a power outage. The mini’s battery can power the tablet for around 10 hours, but twice that as a hotspot with the display off. That’s a great mobile hotspot to keep devices online for long periods, especially during major events such as storms.
The 20 hour mobile hotspot service of the original iPad mini is impressive given the 16.3 watt-hour battery. That’s why it’s likely the iPad Air could serve as a hotspot for much longer periods due to its 32.4 watt-hour battery.
The iPad Air has a much bigger battery to power that bigger Retina Display, but when serving as a hotspot the display is turned off. That should make it possible to run as a hotspot for at least 24 hours, and perhaps much longer than that.
Pretty incredible if you’re a road warrior, and given the iPad Air’s incredible lightness compared to previous models, it’s less of a burden to haul the tablet around with your laptop on the road. I wonder what the hotspot-life of the new iPad mini with Retina Display will average out to.