When Apple's handpicked stable of gadget critics reviewed the new iPad, they made sure to highlight that it could be used as a wireless hotspot.
But most failed to mention the tablet's other hot spot: the lower lefthand corner of the tablet, to be precise, which according to a growing number of customer complaints, can become hot to the touch, and even "too hot to hold," after use.
Frustrated iPad users have left more than a dozen pages of posts on Apple forums alleging that their new tablets are overheating. Consumer Reports confirmed Tuesday that the new iPad "can run significantly hotter than the earlier iPad 2 model when running an action game," and hit temperatures as high 116 degrees Fahrenheit during tests, or 12 to 13 degrees higher than the second generation iPad during similar use.
For most, the new iPad's hot spot doesn't make the device unusable, (Consumer Reports notes, "When it was at its hottest, it felt very warm but not especially uncomfortable if held for a brief period.") but it's nonetheless aggravated more than a few users (and created enough of a buzz to warrant a response from the usually comment-less Apple).
Most iPad reviewers made no mention of the issue in their reviews of Apple's latest tablet, and TechCrunch's M.G. Siegler, SlashGear's Vincent Nguyen and The Verge's Josh Topolsky were the only gadget reviewers in a group of ten who received the iPad ahead of its official launch to call out the iPad's hot spot.
"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," Siegler wrote.
Nguyen said he noticed the tablet heating up a bit in the same corner while processing HD video clips, though it was "Nothing anywhere near uncomfortable to hold," he noted.
The Verge's Joshua Topolsky also highlighted the iPad's heat in his review, writing, "I did notice the device getting a bit warm when I was using LTE for extended periods of time, but that's pretty common for most 4G products I've tested." When asked about the issue by a reader, Topolsky responded, "It does warm up a bit, especially on LTE. Nothing crazy. You couldn't cook an egg on it or anything. I did try a number of times, too."
Maybe it's nothing -- just a few sensitive-handed users looking for a crack, any crack, in the iPad's "slinky" facade, and a slight annoyance. Will anyone not buy the new iPad because of it? Already, a record 3 million were sold over the device's first weekend in stores.
When our own Captain Gadget asked Apple to respond to allegations of the device overheating, Apple merely said the iPad "operat[es] well within our thermal specifications."
But is it something you'd like to have heard from a reviewer? Let us know in the comments below.