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

Following up on reports from earlier today that the outer shell of the iPad 3 gets warmer than the iPad 2, Consumer 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."

ipadthermal

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 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.

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Top Rated Comments

slrandall Avatar
161 months ago
*sigh*
So this is the new antennagate. As many people here have already stated, it gets warm but not anywhere close to unbearably hot. All I can do is confirm this through personal experience.

EDIT: For the guy below me, my MacBook Pro doesn't charge up under a heavy load either, but it maintains the current battery level. This is done to help preserve the battery and avoid additional heat output. As iPads become more on par with traditional computers, expect them to have to deal with the same limitations on things like battery technology.
Score: 62 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Cynicalone Avatar
161 months ago
Yes I posted this days ago in the iPad forum.

It will not charge under a heavy load.

The 10W charger is just not powerful enough. The Air uses a charger that is 4 times larger for a battery of near equal size.
Score: 36 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nippyjun Avatar
161 months ago
The newer macbook pro's don't charge up while under heavy load.

But keeping it charged while under heavy load, like the ipad 3, prevents the battery's charge from dropping much.

It's a non-issue.
Score: 33 Votes (Like | Disagree)
spiderman0616 Avatar
161 months ago
Sigh.

Here we go again. Do we have to manufacture a "gate" every time Apple releases a product?
Score: 29 Votes (Like | Disagree)
lhotka Avatar
161 months ago
I saw the charging issue when using a 5w supply, but the 10w supply seems to always be able to charge it, though it is very slow to charge when running.

I wonder if CR had it plugged into a PC (most are only 5w ports), or had accidentally used an old 5w ipod charger (they look the same) like I did.

Even on a 10w supply though, the charging time is significantly longer. You won't be 'topping off' in between plane flights, particularly if you have it turned on.
Score: 29 Votes (Like | Disagree)
chrmjenkins Avatar
161 months ago


Wtf is CR's beef with Apple?

They simply reported their findings in this case. I don't see what the issue is here?
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)