Apple Inc’s new iPad throws off a lot more heat than the previous version, an influential consumer watchdog found after running tests.
This lends weight to the complaints on Internet forums that the hot-selling tablet computer could get uncomfortably warm after heavy use.
Consumer Reports, a widely followed US group that reviews everything from electronics to cars, found that Apple’s new tablet racked up temperatures of 47 deg C after 45 minutes of running an intense action game, up to 10 deg C hotter than the previous model under similar conditions.
Using a thermal imaging camera, it ascertained that the front and rear of the tablet would be hotter than theiPad 2 after running Infinity Blade II, depending on whether or not it was plugged in, Consumer Reports said.
Infinity Blade II is an action role-playing video game for the iOS mobile devices.
The group, which can be instrumental in the success or failure of consumer products, has not reached a final decision on whether to recommend the latest model of Apple’s tablet, Reuters reported.
A spokesman urged caution on the part of consumers, but said the heat issue in itself did not appear serious enough to void its recommendation.
Consumer Reports plans to release a final review on the new iPad – which has sold more than three million units since it hit store shelves in more than 10 countries on Friday – in about five days. Said reviewer Donna Tapellini in the report: “During our tests, I held the new iPad in my hands.
When it was at its hottest, it felt very warm, but not especially uncomfortable if held for a brief period.”
Hundreds of comments posted on an Apple support website, centred on how the new iPad – which sports a larger battery than its predecessor to power a sharper “retina” display screen and other bells and whistles – could get uncomfortably warm.
One buyer, rawwave, commented that his new iPad “definitely got significantly warm, almost too warm to hold” when running on LTE (long term evolution).
“Not even doing a lot of downloads (just browsing Twitter), but having the LTE radio on seemed to cause it to get noticeably hot.”
LTE is a standard for wireless communication of high-speed data for mobile phones and data terminals.
An Apple spokesman said the iPad was “within our thermal specifications”.
The company’s website lists the normal operating range for the new iPad as between 0 and 35 deg C. It is designed to power down should that range be breached.
The new iPad’s battery is 70 per cent bigger than the one in the previous version, said Mr Kyle Wiens, chiefexecutive of iFixit, a prominent Apple repair and parts supplier.
He said: “It still has the same battery life. So it will run hotter.”
The iPad 2 had a 25 watt-hour battery while the new iPad’s battery has a capacity of 42.5 watt-hours, according to a teardown analysis by iFixit.
Reviews have generally been good for a gadget that experts say falls short of being revolutionary, focusing on the iPad’s ability to take advantage of faster 4G wireless technology and a sharper display.
Before comments about excessive heat began circulating online, Consumer Reports said in its preliminary review that the iPad was “shaping up as the best tablet yet”.