I mentioned in my review that the new iPad runs a little hotter than the iPad 2. While it is not a game-changer on its own, it is certainly something to note when choosing between an iPad 2 and a new iPad. Those extra graphics cores powering all of those beautiful little pixels likely cause the extra heat. For me, the heat was strongest on the left side of the device where the motherboard strip is.
Dutch website Tweakers.net (via Engadget) did 5 minutes of GL benchmark on both an iPad 2 (right) and the new iPad (left). According to the website’s measurements, Cupertino’s new flagship slab reached 33.6C (92.5 Fahrenheit) versus 28.3C (82.9 Fahrenheit) with the iPad 2.
As you can see from the image above, the gradient of heat gets strongest where the motherboard is positioned toward the bottom.
Update: Apple responded today with a canned:
“The new iPad delivers a stunning Retina display, A5X chip, support for 4G LTE plus 10 hours of battery life, all while operating well within our thermal specifications. If customers have any concerns they should contact AppleCare.”
Remember, this is running a graphics benchmark for 5 minutes which is pushing the GPU all the way to its hottest. In normal use, you will see a much more muted change. For reading, for instance, it is barely noticeable.