Heat Test: New iPad Is Hotter to Handle by 10 Degrees

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Apple’s new iPad is literally so hot, it’s — no, nevermind. No lame jokes. The fact is that infrared testing shows the new iPad running 10 degrees hotter than its predecessor.

Tweakers.net ran GLBenchmark on the new iPad and the iPad 2 while scanning both tablets with an infrared camera. The new iPad reached 92.5 degrees Fahrenheit (33.6 degrees Celsius), compared to 82.9 degrees Fahrenheit (28.3 degrees Celsius) in last year’s model.

(MORE: New iPad Review: A Sharper Focus for Apple’s Tablet)

The test confirms what some users have been saying since the new iPad launched last Friday: that the tablet feels warmer to hold than the iPad 2. The new iPad’s A5X processor could be a culprit, since it has to work harder to power the tablet’s Retina display. A bigger battery, which also has to expend more juice powering the new display, could be contributing to the heat as well.

Apple products and overheating complaints have a rich history. In 2010, some users complained that the original iPad got too hot, and a few users even sued Apple. (A judge eventually threw out the case.) The iPad 2 didn’t seem to draw the same outcry, but some users, including Mashable’s Chris Taylor, claimed that the tablet became uncomfortably warm at times. Some users have also complained of overheating in the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S. Either Apple has a longstanding problem with overheating products, or people always find some way to complain about what are otherwise extremely popular phones and tablets. I’m leaning toward the latter.

As for the new iPad, I personally didn’t notice any major heat issues until last night, when an hour of playing a game made the tablet uncomfortable to hold on one side. I’ve been using the new iPad a lot since last Friday, and didn’t have any significant heat problems before. Still, the temperatures aren’t bad enough for me to complain to Apple or seek out a competing tablet.

UPDATE: Here’s Apple’s response, via All Things Digital:

The new iPad delivers a stunning Retina display, A5X chip, support for 4G LTE plus 10 hours of battery life, all while operating well within our thermal specifications. If customers have any concerns they should contact AppleCare.

UPDATE 2: Consumer Reports did its own testing, and says the iPad reached 116 degrees Fahrenheit while plugged in and running Infinity Blade II for 45 minutes, and 113 degrees while unplugged.

MORE: 30 Best Apps for Apple’s New iPad