By all accounts, the new iPad is a remarkable device that owners can’t put down — unless it gets too warm to hold. Following reports from users that the new Apple tablet was getting a little too hot to handle, Consumer Reports attempted to quantify the problem. Its analysis found that when the spiffy new quad-core GPU is being pushed, the device can reach a downright uncomfortable 116 degrees Fahrenheit.
Consumer Reports used the new iPad to play Infinity Blade II for 45 minutes, and compared that to the iPad 2 under the same conditions. The new model does indeed get as much as 13 degrees hotter, which is enough for users to take note. When the iPad is not plugged in, the temperature drops of a bit, but the A5X chip is undeniably warmer than the old A5.
Because Consumer Reports was using the iPad 2 as a control, the LTE radio in the new iPad was left off, and that might have done the device some real favors. Apple chose to go with theQualcomm MDM9600 data modem for 3G/4G connectivity in the new iPad. This is the same large, power-hungry chip responsible for cranking out all the heat you may be used to in other 4G LTE devices currently on the market. Instead of waiting for more efficient 28nm 4G chips, Apple opted for a larger 42.5-watt-hour battery.
Apple is aware that overheating is an issue with sealed devices like the iPad, and recommends that the tablet not be used in environments with ambient temperatures higher than 95 degrees. Apple mobile devices will shut themselves down if they get too hot, but most users have not reported anything more serious than minor discomfort holding the new iPad.