Michelle Maltais March 28, 2012
The new iPad (right) and its predecessor, the iPad 2, as viewed through a thermal camera. Photo: Reuters
It seems we can chill out a bit about the hot topic of whether the new iPad has a heat issue. Next to a couple of Android tablets, they're not so hot.
Tech website PC World actually whipped out an infrared thermometer and measured the heat output of the iPad 2 against popular Android tablets Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime and Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 LTE.
They took readings of both the front and back of each tablet, as well as at each tablet's centre and charging port. During the test, they kept wi-fi on and controlled the ambient temperature of the room they were in. Readings were taken of the tablets while on AC power and on battery power. Because the heat issue was reported to have happened while playing games, the PC World test included an hour of playing graphics-heavy Riptide GP.
Their findings? The readings showed that each device had its own heat threshold and that they tended to run hotter when plugged in than when on battery power. They weren't able to replicate the inferno-level temperatures that Consumer Reports reported last week. As expected since it has a bigger, more powerful battery, the new iPad ran up to 8 degrees fahrenheit hotter than the iPad 2 in their tests.
The top readings at the back, the hottest area on all four tablets tested, found that the Asus Transformer Prime was the coolest among them while idle, both while plugged in and on battery power.
After continuous game play, the iPad 2 was the coolest among them, with temps of 34 degrees celsius (plugged in) and 36 degrees (unplugged). The Asus tablet was a close second, with readings of 35 degrees (plugged in) and 33.5 degrees (unplugged).
The Galaxy tab had readings of 36.5 degrees (plugged in) and 36.5 degrees (unplugged). The third-generation iPad came in at 37 degrees (plugged in) and 36 degrees (unplugged).
PC World's findings are in line with what Wired reported recently as well.
Despite reports that the new iPad ran as hot as 46.5 degrees, temperatures in the Macworld tests didn't extend past 37.5 degrees while playing the game. Wired was able to push it up to 42 degrees during game play.
And although the new iPad did run hotter than its predecessor, the difference was minimal, not quite the 13 degrees fahrenheit that Consumer Reports found.
Anecdotally, while we didn't use a thermometer, neither my colleague Nathan Olivarez-Giles nor I have noticed any notable heat in our review or "lap tests" of casual use of the new iPad. In my everyday use, I find that my Macbook runs much hotter to the touch than any of the tablets that I've used.
Los Angeles Times