Apple’s new iPad became available on Friday of last week and the company said it sold over 3 million units in the first three days. But overheating concerns have sparked a discussion on Apple’s website, with posters saying the new iPad was noticeably warmer than predecessors.
An Apple representative denied the tablet overheats and said that users should contact customer support if they have issues.
In light of the complaints, Consumer Reports ran tests and found that the new iPad operates hotter than the iPad 2 when running an action game. Engineers at Consumer Reports recorded temperatures as high as 116 degrees Fahrenheit (46 degrees Celsius) on the front and back of the new iPad when plugged in and while playing Infinity Blade II.
When unplugged, the tablet’s back reached temperatures as high as 113 degrees Fahrenheit (45 degrees Celsius). Consumer Reports also found that the iPad battery did not charge when the game was running.
Apple did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the tests conducted by Consumer Reports. In 2010, Consumer Reports exposed antenna issues in the iPhone 4, setting off a controversy that ultimately came to be known as “antennagate.”
While some new iPad owners noticed no heating issues, others said the tablet gets warmer on the lower left bottom of the tablet. Multiple posters in the forum claimed to measure the temperature on the glass reaching 101 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius). Users also said the iPad became warm when playing games or running intense applications. Reviewers have also noted the new iPad being warmer than its predecessors.
The tablet has an operating temperature range of 32 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit (0 degrees to 35 degrees Celsius), which is the same as iPad 2. The A5X graphics core has two more graphics cores than its predecessor. The new iPad has a 42.5 watt-hour battery, which is denser than the 25 watt-hour battery in the iPad 2, according to the tablet teardown by iFixit.
Batteries have many times been the reason for overheating in laptops. Lenovo, Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Sony and Toshiba have in the past recalled lithium-ion battery packs as they could overheat, posing fire and burn hazards.
Apple in the past replaced some first-generation iPad Nanos sold between September 2005 and December 2006 due to overheating issues after tracking down the issue to a battery with a manufacturing defect.