Consumer Reports gives high marks to new iPad

April 2, 2012 8:36:29 PM PDT
We have a follow-up on the heat issues raised by some new iPad owners. Consumer Reports has done additional tests on the third generation iPad - and ten others - to size up what gamers can expect - particularly on a hot, summer day.

Consumer Reports has put newest iPad from Apple the at the top of its latest tablet rankings. In fact, Consumer Reports says the display on the new iPad establishes a "new benchmark of excellence."

For its second test of the iPad and other tablets, Consumer Reports put them in a special chamber with the temperature at 90 degrees to simulate a hot, summer day.

The screen was set to full brightness and testers ran Infinity Blade 2, a highly-demanding action game.

The new iPad again ran hotter than the iPad 2 and reached 122 degrees in the hottest spot. Two other tablets with fast processors, from Asus and Samsung, reached similar temperatures of 117 and 121 degrees.

However, Consumer Reports says the heat does not pose a risk.

"The way you use a tablet, it's unlikely that your skin will be exposed to the hot spot for long. And in most uses the tablet just won't get that hot," said Paul Reynolds of Consumer Reports.

Apple's website says if the iPad runs past its own limits, a temperature warning screens will appear with the message "iPad needs to cool down before you can use it."

Meantime, Consumer Reports also discovered an issue with how the new iPad battery recharges. If you're playing a highly-demanding game with the iPad plugged-in, the battery might not fully recharge, or could even continue to drain.

"It's mostly an inconvenience. You can lower the screen's brightness to about two-thirds and that should keep your battery going," Reynolds said.

In fact, when results of Consumer Reports' standard tests for the new iPad and 10 other new tablets were in, the new iPad topped the ratings.

"The iPad is an excellent product. It has the best tablet screen we've ever seen, and great battery life overall. It also adds welcome features, like a five-megapixel camera and the option for a very fast 4G data connection," said Reynolds.

Consumer Reports does also recommend some other tablets in its latest rankings: the 10.1 inch Toshiba Excite 10LE for how light it is, Sony's clamshell-shaped Tablet P because its dual-screen lets you read e-books in a traditional two-page book format, Samung's Galaxy Tab 7.7 for its wide viewing angle and the waterproof Pantech Element for its long battery life.