What Heatgate? Consumer Reports gives top marks to iPad 3

In an apparent softening of its previous take on the device, Consumer Reports is giving the latest iPad its seal of approval.

Prominent iPad 3 "heatgate" agitator Consumer Reports has issued its final word on the iPad 3, and the results are, well, pretty good.

Describing the latest iPad as "superb", "very good", and "very fast", Consumer Reports is falling in line with essentially every other publication that's reviewed the device. Perhaps predictably, Apple's latest tablet has netted the publication's highest marks in the tablet category.

Consumer Reports is also calling the iPad 3's Retina display "the best we've seen" and has readjusted its tablet review system to compensate for just how amazing the display is.

And that whole "heatgate" thing that has consumed so much time and attention as of late? Consumer Reports echoes previous findings that, yes, the iPad 3 gets warmer than the iPad 2: "But we didn't find those temperatures to be cause for concern," the site says.

The site's relative paucity of comments on this front is ironic, given its previous inclination to approach the issue with headlines like "Our test finds new iPad hits 116 degrees while running games." That headline was meant to be scientific and impartial but only served to shock and scare the pants off of readers at the same time. After all, without context, 116 degrees sounds like some sunshine-grade heat.

But it's hard to pin too much blame on Consumer Reports. As with most online publications, the site faces imperatives on multiple fronts. While its mission to "work for a fair, just, and safe marketplace for all consumers and to empower consumers to protect themselves" is a sound one, dealing with the web means dealing with the obligations of page views and other traffic metrics. That means milking stories like this one for all they are worth.