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IPad Overheating Problem: Users Report Uncomfortable Heat In Apple's 'iPad 3'

Posted: 03/19/2012 10:49 am Updated: 03/27/2012 6:13 pm

Ipad Problem

UPDATE: Apple has responded to the allegations that their newest iPad gets too hot in a brief statement to The Huffington Post:

“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.”

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Maybe they should have called it the Kindle Fire?

According to early user reports, the new iPad may be prone to becoming physically warm during use, especially in the lower left-hand corner when holding the iPad upright in portrait mode. The question of whether the iPad has a temperature problem has been asked on both the Apple Discussion Boards and in the MacRumors forums, and articles on CNET and Gizmodo have all brought unwanted attention to the new iPad's heat.

Typical of the complaints (via the Apple Discussion Boards):

Just got my new iPad. I'm loving the screen and speed but there's something weird about it. It gets rather warm/hot after 30minutes of usage. It has never happened on my iPad 2. Do you think it's harmless or .... ?
My 64gb, wifi/LTE new ipad is 96.8 degrees currently (and must have crafty artificial intelligence because it's as if it KNEW I'd brought out my laser temperature scanner and cooled down for reading). It has been very hot to hold, lower left side, since first use. I'll continue to monitor with scanner...
Mine is a 64 with WIFi and LTE - LTE not hooked up yet - got hot enogh that I measured with infared thermometer and it was 117 degree after 10 minutes - my little boy says its too hot to hold - (Great !) but seriously its not comfortable and I will be returning to the store

The uncomfortable heat has been attributed to the new iPad's larger battery and larger graphics chip. The iPad's new Retina display, with four times as many pixels as the screen on the iPad 2, as well as the optional 4G LTE chip, reportedly required a larger battery in order to maintain high battery life.

Apple did not immediately respond to request for comment. Until then, we will continue to monitor the iPad's hotness, both in consumer demand and physical, perhaps discomforting, warmth.

Take a look at critics' least favorite things about the new iPad via the slideshow below. Read on to find out what were reviewers' favorite things about the device.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article stated that The Next Web had written an article about the third-generation iPad's heat problems. That article was about the first-generation iPad's heat problems, not the third-generation's.

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  • No FaceTime Over 4G

    The Verge's Dieter Bohn found a small but "vexing" problem <a href="http://www.theverge.com/2012/3/14/2873026/new-ipad-facetime-lte" target="_hplink">while attempting to use FaceTime over the new iPad's 4G network.</a> "[A]ttempting to initiate a FaceTime call over LTE fails out with a message exhorting you to connect to a Wi-Fi network," he wrote. While it has always been true that FaceTime only worked on Wi-Fi and not over cellular networks, Bohn points out that this is especially annoying when you can turn your Verizon iPad into an LTE hotspot, which would allow you to FaceTime on other devices <a href="http://www.theverge.com/2012/3/14/2873026/new-ipad-facetime-lte" target="_hplink">but not on the iPad acting as the hotspot.</a> <a href="http://techcrunch.com/2012/03/14/the-new-ipad-review/" target="_hplink">TechCrunch's MG Siegler echoes Bohn's complaint</a> about FaceTime being available only via Wi-Fi, "despite the fact that the LTE networks are so much faster (faster than my WiFi even), Apple says that FaceTime will still be WiFi-only for now."

  • HD Content Wows On The Retina Display, Non-HD Doesn't

    Reviewers found that enhanced apps and high-definition movies look amazing on the iPad's mind-blowing Retina display, but they noted with disappointment that non-HD content doesn't quite shine. According to Macworld, <a href="http://www.macworld.com/article/1165849/review_the_third_generation_ipad.html" target="_hplink">un-enhanced apps look super pixelated on the Retina screen</a>: "Non-Retina apps look more or less like they did on previous iPads -- but on the new iPad's Retina display those pixels really stand out." While <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/15/technology/personaltech/the-new-ipad-is-much-the-same-only-better.html?_r=2&pagewanted=1&ref=technology" target="_hplink">the New York Time's David Pogue</a> calls the iPad "the world's first tablet that can actually show you hi-def movies in full 1080p high definition,</a>" he also notes that Netflix doesn't currently offer movies in high-def for the iPad, so many average consumers won't be able to enjoy all the new iPad's display has to offer.

  • Comparatively Weak Front-Facing Camera

    While The Verge's Joshua Topolsky praised the video and photo capabilities of the rear camera <a href="http://www.theverge.com/2012/3/14/2870533/ipad-review" target="_hplink">he was less enthused about the front-facing module, writing:</a> <blockquote>Around front, you can expect the same basic quality of the last generation iPad -- which means it's nothing to write home about. It would have been nice to see at least a 720p shooter on the flip side of the tablet considering how hard Apple's been trying to push FaceTime, but you're stuck with VGA here.</blockquote>

  • No Siri

    Many were surprised that Apple's voice-activated assistant Siri wasn't one of the iPad's upgrades. A new dictation feature allows users to get around some of the problems that the device's virtual keyboard presents, but as Pogue writes for the Times, <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/15/technology/personaltech/the-new-ipad-is-much-the-same-only-better.html?pagewanted=2&_r=2&ref=technology" target="_hplink">that's as close to Siri that the new tablet users will get</a>. Users will have to pour one out for the rest of Siri's features, including "the ability to set alarms, send text messages, look up calendar appointments and snag facts from the Web just by asking out loud," Pogue lists. SlashGear also laments the absence of Siri, <a href="http://www.slashgear.com/new-ipad-review-3rd-gen-14218465/" target="_hplink">citing it as the biggest omission in the new iPad. </a>

  • Warm Corner

    It's a good indication of how much the reviewers are loving the iPad <a href="http://techcrunch.com/2012/03/14/the-new-ipad-review/" target="_hplink">when one of the main complaints in TechCrunch's review is about a corner of the iPad that heats up after prolonged use.</a> After praising the screen and the speed, MG Siegler seems almost embarrassed complaining about one corner heating up: <blockquote>One other slight downside which I have to assume is related to either the battery or the LTE functionality is that unlike previous iPad models, the new iPad does get noticeably warm in the lower left corner after prolonged use. It's never hot, just warm. But again, I never noticed this on other models.</blockquote>

  • Nice Stuff Takes Up Space

    <a href="http://www.macworld.com/article/1165849/review_the_third_generation_ipad.html" target="_hplink">According to tests conducted by Macworld, </a>the enhanced apps consume up to three times as of the iPad's storage space as un-enhanced apps. MG Siegler worried in his review that the enhanced apps and high-definition movies, which "you'll obviously want" <a href="http://techcrunch.com/2012/03/14/the-new-ipad-review/" target="_hplink">will take up precious iPad storage space.</a> "On the iPad I'm testing out, I have three pages of apps, a few hundred photos, one HD movie, and one music album. It's really not that much stuff, but it takes up over 20 GB of storage. The apps alone are over 10 GB of that," he says.

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