New iPad hot or not temperature test
Does the new iPad actually get warm when it's being put to heavy use? One blogger, a meat thermometer, an oven mitt, and a pair of tongs aim to find out!
Consumer Reports decided to see if it could once again repeat it's infamous iPhone 4 antennagate traffic and media bookings by cooking up a little new iPad controversy -- which we're dubbing warmgate. So, we thought we here at iMore, thought we'd test things for ourselves. Totally unscientifically, of course.
I grabbed a kitchen thermometer, and just in case the interweb linkbait was right, an oven mitt and some tongs to prevent burning or bursting into flame. Then I got to measuring. While a digital meat thermometer might not be the best way to track the heat radiating from a computing appliance, I figured at least it'd be consistently not the best. The thermometer started off reading 28° C (82.4 °F).
Over the course of 40 minutes I watched YouTube videos and 1080p iTunes movie trailers on both Rogers LTE and Wi-Fi, and I played first person shooters, racing games, and fighting games, both on the iPad itself and via AirPlay Mirroring to an Apple TV. While the temperate did rise from a cold start of 30° C (86 °F) to a high of 35° C, at most it was warm to the touch along the left edge (if held in portrait orientation with the Home button at the bottom). That while powering a 2048x1536 Retina panel, firing an LTE radio, and shooting graphics from a quad-core Apple A5X GPU, all in a package almost exactly the same size as last year's iPad.
To get a sense of how big of a deal those temperatures might be, I next measured an iPhone 4S that was tethering a MacBook Pro while also using Google Maps. After about 5 min it hit 35° C, the same temperate as the iPad had reached. (Anecdotally, I've had my iPhone 4S get much hotter after longer periods of tethering -- or when roaming and desperately trying to find usable radio signal.)
Lastly, I put my MacBook Pro down just for fun and started up a Flash video. Anyone who's watched any amount of Flash video on a MacBook of any kind knows the old joke about it being hot enough to fry an egg really isn't a joke. So it's no surprise the thermometer quickly hit 38° C. (Though the MacBook Pro feels much much hotter than either the iPad or iPhone.)
So what does this all tell me? The new iPad certainly gets warmer than the original iPad or iPad 2, but it's only because those past generation devices stayed so freakishly cool that I can even notice. The new iPad was no warmer than current or previous iPhones, and certainly nowhere near as hot to the touch (or the lap!) as MacBook Pros have traditionally been.
Sure, there could be outliers or defective iPad units out there that are getting way too hot, just like there are outliers and defective units of every device. This is especially true when first launched and manufacturing processes are new (if you have one of those, contact Apple customer care or make a Genius Bar appointment). However, While there have been a lot of jokes about the MacBook Pro playing Flash, and I'm sure people have noticed and noted the iPhone's propensity for heating up under high radio or GPS load in the past, the mainstream headlines about iPad heat issues come off as more than a little reckless.
Unless and until there are widespread, documented reports of the new iPad experiencing performance problems due to heat, this is a non-story and no one who wants one should hesitate to buy one.
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Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.
I just wanted to share my experience.
1) Will this happen to the new iPad more often than on the iPad 2 (or iPhone models)?
2) Will this happen often enough to impact usage/enjoyment of the device?
Apple only has a problem if the answer to both of these is a statistically significant yes.
That said, we should not handwave this away as a non-issue; I do not live far from Eliot Kroo, and it was perhaps 75 degrees out when he hit the shutdown screen/cooldown period while reading in the sunlight. I have been taking my iPad 1 and my iPhones to San Diego beaches and desert trails for years without ever having seen the overheating screen.
But there needs to be a whole lot more data collected before anybody can claim this is a significant problem.
One of the reasons I actually went with my iPad2 over a new laptop is because laptops (in general, or electronic devices in general actually) have become much less reliable than they used to be... especially ones that have big heat swings. My last two laptops began to flake out within 4-years of their purchase. One died, the other is still limping along. Both are GPU heat-related as far as I can tell. That is totally unlike any Apple products I've purchased over the last 20+ years.
But, like I said above, this isn't just an Apple problem, it is an electronics industry problem. I've had the same issues things like home theatre receivers and video game consoles. I also have a friend who does a lot of 'reflowing' of circuit boards to repair them and he has seen the same trend, both with his own equipment and with repairs.
Hopefully a lot of electronics get recycled properly, or this has been a huge boondoggle of a trade-off environmentally. They have improved the solder, but if it means landfills full of devices, that's hardly an improvement as far as I can see. I'm sure the electronics industry doesn't mind people having to buy new stuff more often (and a very negative impact on used sales, as more people get burned by flaky or quickly dying used things they buy).
"But my friends and I had no problem," doesn't cut it.
2) I will admit to not knowing what percentage is the limit. 10% is certainly too high. One out of every ten phones is ridiculous. Half of that number may or ay not be too many but it sure sounds significant. What percentage would you say is the limit?
Also is there that many people use iPad naked. Haven't use mine much yet because I want a really good case. When I do I baby it.
But then again when I read "interweb linkbait" I just knew what would be the tone of the post and the results of the tests. Seriously, a meat thermometer? Those are designed to be precise at much higher temperatures. I'm not saying there is a real story here, but this post is borderline meaningless.
iMore asked its community about the heat because you felt it, and wanted to know if other people were having the same issue. What I meant is that iMore was one of the first websites to even mention the heat problem, and inadvertedly contributed to the whole situation. Consumer Reports is just following the trend started, among other places here, and likewise at the Apple Support forums with reports of iPads shutting of.
In the eyes of Apple fans Consumer Reports have turned into an evil organization since the iPhone 4 antenna problem, a real problem BTW, one that I particularly still struggle with. Consumer Reports did not invent the story, nor is it blowing it out of proportion. It is a possible issue and it is being investigated. In fact there is an article today on their website basically stating that it is no big deal.
You guys do a great job here, but not such a good job listening to criticism. Some of you readers are more critic than others, it comes with the territory. It is all constructive, if a bit acid at times. No disrespect or trolling meant, just calling as I saw it.
I wasn't doing a scientific test (it says so plainly, many times). I was lampooning CR because, as good as they are, they got a taste of attention with the antenna story (which was real, and which affected me too), and seem to have decided they value that attention.
They put no context in their report -- iPad is warm, compared to what?
So we poked a little fun back.
I think it was well deserved.
(And I appreciate the feedback)
I am sure that if people are consistently having issues with their device over heating that Apple would exchange the product.
My iPad 2 has always gotten 'warm' and sometimes hotter than 47 degrees, but I have always taken it in my stride, I live in the desert and from March to November/December it can be 100 degrees outside. I still have my iPad 2 and if it feels too warm to have on my lap or in my hand then I turn it off and do something else.
I am sure that once people lose the initial 'novelty factor' that a new device has their usage will drop and people will not notice their units over heating anymore. Then they will say that the problem magically vanished!
is not alarmist, and simply reports the test they did, and what they found. Your conspiratorial tone is misplaced. They test scads of products, reporting unusual things, and would survive without apple stories just fine, just as they did for years before. Why should we doubt their story -- that there were anecdotal reports of heat, and so they decided to test it? So they played inifinity blade 2 for 45 minutes and got temps of 46.67 C/116 F when charging and 45 C/113 F when not. They stated that heat was not even, concentrated in the corner. That's more than your meat thermometer test, but do you think they made up these numbers?
Why do their tests get picked up by mainstream media while bloggers with thermal imagers and meat thermometers don't? Because they are a bigger, well-known organization that has earned a trustworthy rep over the long term. After reading the original story at CR, I don't see anything that changes this.
I used to be all Microsoft, including PC, Windows Mobile, Xbox, etc. Vista made me reassess. Now I have Macs, iOS, and a PS3 + Sony TV.
Using the term "fanboy" disqualifies you from any serious discussion about anything. It's cheap. It's lazy.
Make an argument. Do something great.
(And don't feed the trolls :) )
I see nothing here to substantiate the claim that Consumer Reports is linkbaiting.
Why some people only ever buy later in cycle or generation. (MacBooks often get this rep, right or wrong).
Sometimes you buy a dozen eggs, ones broken in the box. You return it and get another box.
Same is true of any product.
For now they will get a bit warm. This is what happens when you put unventilated quad core graphics into a sealed metal and glass tablet.
And for the record I love my iPad 2, and still would love to get an ipad3
Because unless they do a mass recall which they won't this is the only fix.
It may be a small percentage experiencing this but it is happening.
If you pay 500 for something that shows you an error related to temperature then shuts down, your going to be pissed.
All devices give off heat if they are used for an extended time. Not a big deal, the original blackberry storm always had people complaining of it shutting down because it would get too hot especially if it was doing something processor intensive.
Let's face it, you take a floor lamp with double bulb, put two low power CFL's into it and turn on one bulb, it will give off a little heat, turn on the second bulb it will give more heat. Take the same lamp and do the same in a broom closet then it will get hot in there, and fast!
Similarly 'the New iPad' has the same issue, it is using the back case to dissipate the heat. If there was a real issue with getting TOO hot then there would be reports of the glass screen raising up and coming away.
Laptops get hot, much hotter and they use fan's to draw heat out of the case. When I hear reports of someone's 'nads being fried while using the New iPad then I will worry about the reports of the heat.
I was surprised when I played with the new iPad demo how warm it felt on the left hand side. I played with another model it didn't have any heating problems. Today I saw another demo and it was slightly warm on the right hand side but not hot like my MacBook pro which I had to buy an aluminum stand for so it doesn't overheat! The ipad3 doesn't get any hotter than the blackberry play book does. While I don't own an ipad3 I don't think the 35 degrees would stop me from buying one. I opted for an iPad 2 because it is thinner and was on sale when the new iPad was announced. I like to wait while the first batch from the assembly line gets all the bugs ironed out by the early adopters..
My new ipad does get pretty hot (only compared to my iPad 2) After playing Infinity Blade II for over an hour. Not after 5 or 10 minutes.
But im kinda okay with it. The new parts have to dispense heat some
96 degree fahrenheit is the human body temperature so it is hot.