Does the new iPad suffer with heat issues?

Summary:Apple's latest iPad becomes very warm in places, even after a short time, and its users are becoming concerned at its operating temperatures. How hot is 'too hot'?

LONDON, UK --- After holding the new iPad for no longer than a minute, it quickly becomes apparent at how warm the third-generation iPad can feel in one's hands.

On the lower-left hand corner of the device --- according to iFixit images, it appears this is where the processor sits within the device --- becomes very warm after prolonged use.

The new iPad includes a slightly larger case to accommodate the new battery, which powers not only the 4G LTE components but the high-resolution Retina display. The device also has a beefed up dual-core A5X processor with quad-core graphics. It has no moving parts, and no fan to extradite the heat.

It should come as no surprise that the new iPad should be a tad warmer to use when plugged in, working on heavy tasks like gaming, or when using the next-generation 4G LTE wireless technology.

It's also not a new phenomenon, with the original iPad and the iPad 2 having similar issues.

But the new iPad does belt out some heat, and some are complaining that this is causing "overheating" warnings on the tablet (see right), even when it is being used for a short period of time.

Some can't use the device even on a sunny day, with the iPad exceeding its operating temperatures of 32°--95°F (0°--35°C).

I would describe the heat emanating from the new iPad as "uncomfortably warm". It's not enough by a long shot to fry an egg on, but holding the tablet in portrait mode over its warmer areas borders on one's inner instinct to place your hands elsewhere.

Playing a game on the new iPad in store and the device gets noticeably warmer. You hear folklore stories of devices exploding. This level of heat hardly quells such irrational fears.

ZDNet's Hana Stewart-Smith also noticed the heat when she visited her local Apple store in Ginza, Tokyo. "In the ten minutes or so that I had to play around with it, I noticed that it became very warm, very quickly, making me wonder how comfortable it might be for long term use."

"That being said, the tablet was a display piece that had already been running since the crack of dawn, so I’m giving it the benefit of the doubt before I suggest this is a major issue," she added.

Devices will become warmer when they are plugged in. The latest iteration of the MacBook Air becomes slightly warmer towards the back-underneath when it is plugged in, but it is barely noticeable.

Others have taken to forums to question how warm the new iPad should be, and each other. Scouring the Apple support forums, it is clear that some are noticing the problem more. The device heat itself is not causing the user issues of burning or skin peeling off, but rather the tablet itself throws open a box warning that it cannot run in higher temperatures.

Apple declined to comment. No surprise there.

Related:

Topics: Apple, iPad, Mobility

About

Zack Whittaker writes for ZDNet, CNET, and CBS News. He is based in New York City.

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