According to tests, the new iPad is generally running about ten degrees higher than the iPad 2, and a new test from Consumer Reports has revealed that the tablet is actually capable of reaching temperatures of 116 degrees Fahrenheit.
Using a thermal imaging camera, Consumer Reports engineers took pictures and recorded temperatures of 116° on the front and back of the iPad, while running the game Infinity Blade II, which is one of the first games that was optimized for the new iPad’s high resolution display.
During the test, the iPad was propped up on the iPad Smart Cover and plugged in, inside of a room where the ambient temperature was 72 degrees. 4G was not turned on, though the iPad was connected to Wi-Fi.
Plugging in an iPad is obviously going to raise the temperature quite a bit, so it’s not much of a surprise that charging the iPad while playing system intensive games generates heat, which it did even on the iPad 2.
When unplugged and running Infinity Blade II, the new iPad reached temperatures as high as 113 degrees. The hottest temperatures were concentrated in the lower right side of the display (the bright spot in the image above).
The tests, in all, revealed that while plugged in, the iPad was running at 12 degrees hotter than the iPad 2, and while unplugged, it managed to reach temperatures 13 degrees higher than the iPad 2.
The new iPad definitely gets warm, but even 116 degrees is not hot enough to cause any significant amount of discomfort. From the tester: “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.”
Perhaps what’s slightly more worrisome about Consumer Reports’ testing is the fact that the iPad was not charging while plugged in when Infinity Blade II was running. Playing actually drained the battery even though it was plugged in, and it was only when the game was exited that the iPad resumed charging its battery. However, the report did not specify if the iPad was plugged into a computer or an AC adapter, and I was unable to replicate the claim on my own (my iPad continued charging while playing Infinity Blade II on AC power).
Have you noticed any problems with charging while using system intensive apps? What about heating issues? Is 116 degrees simply too hot to handle for some people?