Early product testing of Apple’s third-generation iPad revealed the device could almost become too hot to handle under specific conditions, reaching 116 degrees Fahrenheit. A second round of testing this week has added six degrees to that astonishing figure.
Consumer Reports, which conducted the original heat testing experiment, once again broke out a thermal imaging camera to photograph the new iPad under different conditions.
This time around, the testing room’s ambient temperature was a scorching 90 degrees Fahrenheit (rather than the initial test’s cooler 72 degrees) to help mimic a person using the device during a day on the beach. To complete that illusion, the new iPad’s screen brightness was cranked to max. Meanwhile, other factors from the first experiment were reproduced, including the use of processor-intensive game “Infinity Blade II.”
The group found that one particular spot on the back of the new iPad became especially hot after 45 minutes of playtime, reaching 122 degrees. To provide some contrast to the experiment, researchers placed the iPad 2 under the same conditions and had it perform the same task. The older device’s shell temperature topped out at 112 degrees.
But does this mean the device shouldn’t be used outside during hot days? No, said Consumer Reports Chief Editor Paul Reynolds.
“Even though the iPad does get pretty hot under these specific conditions, because of the way you use a tablet it’s not going to pose a safety risk,” Reynolds explained, adding that it may only be a factor for “serious gamers.”
The heating issue isn’t exclusive to Apple, either. The group also tested two other pads, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 and Asus Transformer Prime, under similar conditions. Both reached high temperatures — 121 and 117 degrees, respectively.
Despite the muted advisory, Consumer Reports believes the new iPad is the greatest tablet currently available. On Monday — the same day the new test results were revealed — the site announced the device had topped its revised tablet ratings chart thanks in part to its cutting-edge Retina display.
“Performance on the new iPad was superb in virtually every other way as well,” noted Donna L. Tapellini, Consumer Reports analyst. “The 5-megapixel camera took very good photos. Verizon’s 4G network yielded very fast, dependable connectivity to a 4G-compatible version of the iPad in our informal tests. And despite the energy-intensive display and graphics, the iPad still has longer battery life than all other tablets.”