Consumer Reports took a beating for measuring the new iPad’s heat and charging non-issues under intense loads. However, it still overwhelmingly recommended Apple’s new device.
The high-resolution screen of the new iPad establishes a new benchmark in excellence, providing the best rendering of detail and color accuracy we’ve ever seen on a tablet display. As a result, the iPad tops our new tablet Ratings, posted today.
Performance on the new iPad ($500 to $830) was superb in virtually every other way as well. The 5-megapixel camera took very good photos. Verizon’s 4G network yielded very fast, dependable connectivity to a 4G-compatible version of the iPad in our informal tests. And despite the energy-intensive display and graphics, the iPad still has longer battery life than all other tablets.
Responding to consumer comments on the new device, and to coverage from other reviewers, we also carried out further tests that confirmed the new iPad is warmer in its hottest spots than the iPad 2. But we didn’t find those temperatures to be cause for concern. In addition, further tests of observations we made that the new iPad was not recharging when playing a demanding, intense video game, showed that the problem was limited to times when the device was playing a demanding game with the screen fully bright. Our high overall judgment of the new iPad was not affected by the results of either battery of tests.
Following coming under a bit of heat for its report about the iPad running “significantly hotter than” iPad 2, Consumer Reports just published a review of the new Apple TV ahead of its full comprehensive testing. While the review could not help but praise the refreshed set-top box’s 1080p video support, Consumer Report’s “bottom line” is that the device is not worth the upgrade for second-generation Apple TV owners. It also claims the cheaper Roku and D-Link’s Boxee Box offer more content options: Read more
Twice the LEDs: That means more heat coming from more LEDs. This is especially a problem at full brightness.
2.5X the power needed: The brightness efficiency is lower, because the new iPad has more pixels (which means more transistors) compared to the iPad 2. More pixels and transistors take up more space, meaning less opportunity for light to pass. “So they basically have to blast light through the LCD to make it come out.” Soneira adds: “I measured the LED power at maximum brightness–it’s two and a half times greater than on the iPad 2.”
Battery generates more juice: The battery has to push out more power. This makes the battery warmer.
Traditional LCD technology: Sharp’s power-efficient IGZO technology was not ready for the new iPad, which forced Apple to use traditional —and less power efficient— amorphous silicon tech. [To be fair, the older iPads also used this tech. Perhaps Apple was hoping to go 100-percent IGZO to offset the above].
The biggest heater in the new iPad is the new processor that has four graphics cores. If you look at the heat maps Consumer Reports and Tweakers did, the center of the heat is right where that A5X sits on the left side of the device.
As a bonus, do not forget those hot and schweaty Qualcomm LTE chips that bring the “faster than home broadband” goodness directly to your 4G iPads.
With all the above said, it is a minor miracle Apple managed to keep temperatures within 10 degrees to 15 degrees of the earlier versions.
We reported this morning that a 5-minute GL benchmark of the new iPad versus the iPad 2 proved the third-generation iPad was indeed running noticeably hotter than the previous generation (10 degrees F to be exact). Apple chimed in with a boilerplate response claiming the new iPad is “operating well within our thermal specifications.”Now the story is being picked up by mainstream media with several reporting Apple could have another “antennagate on its hands” (I just heard this on the radio, by the way).
Following complaints online from concerned customers, Consumer Reports is now investigating the issue and will report its findings on Tuesday. Reutersreports: