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Apple's New iPad Tops Consumer Reports' Ratings

The heat issue? Review publication says it's not an issue.

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Despite early concerns about excessive heat, Apple's new iPad has won the endorsement of Consumer Reports, the respected 76-year-old product review publication.

Consumer Reports said that the new iPad has established "a new benchmark in excellence" and lauded the device's display for unsurpassed detail and color fidelity.

A little over a week ago, it seemed as if Consumer Reports might withhold its recommendation, as it did initially when the iPhone 4 was released.

The issue in 2010 was first thought to be the result of a flawed antenna design but was subsequently revealed to be a software error that affected how network signal strength was calculated and displayed.

With the new iPad, the issue has been heat: A small but vocal number of users complained that the iPad was uncomfortably warm to the touch.

[ Check out Apple's newest device; see New iPad Teardown: Inside Apple's Tablet. ]

Shortly after concerns about the new iPad's operating temperature surfaced, Consumer Reports confirmed that Apple's latest tablet ran hotter than the iPad 2, noting that temperatures reached "as high as 116 degrees Fahrenheit on the front and rear of the new iPad while playing Infinity Blade II."

But Apple insisted in a statement sent to All Things D that its new iPad was operating "within our thermal specifications." And now Consumer Reports is also dismissing the controversy.

"[W]e didn't find those temperatures to be cause for concern," Consumer Reports said.

The reviews publication recommended several other tablets, including the Toshiba Excite 10LE, the supposedly waterproof Pantech Element, and the Sony Tablet P. But it lavished the most praise on Apple's new iPad, noting that the quality of its display has prompted the organization to recalibrate its criteria for display excellence.

However, the new iPad's gain is the iPad 2's loss: tablets previously judged to have "excellent" displays, like the iPad 2, have been reclassified "very good."

On a related note, Consumer Reports observed that the new iPad's display clarity is making some tablet-oriented publications look bad. Just as the arrival of high-definition television broadcasting forced newscasters to re-evaluate how they get made up for on-camera appearances, the new iPad's high resolution will force publishers to produce sharper text and graphics. Such publications will take longer to download, but will at least look good on the new iPad's Retina display.

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User Rank: Strategist
4/4/2012 | 2:04:29 AM
re: Apple's New iPad Tops Consumer Reports' Ratings
Consumer Reports got burnt, so to speak, by measuring temperature and not heat, there's a difference. I played Skyrim on my laptop for 10 minutes and it already got up to over 130 degrees in large patches when I measured it with an infrared kitchen thermometer. CR measured a very particular hot spot on an iPad in free space (air is a insulator) under the worst case. Had a person touched that spot, my guess is it would have felt warm, but not burnt in any way... remember, you are almost 100 degrees yourself!
User Rank: Strategist
4/4/2012 | 2:00:19 AM
re: Apple's New iPad Tops Consumer Reports' Ratings
CR got jabbed for measuring temperate instead of heat. What you feel is heat, temperature is how hot something is. For example, you can take aluminum foil out of a 400 degree oven with your bare hands without getting burnt. CR measured a small point in a worst case scenario that got up to 116 degrees in temp. In contrast, I was playing Skyrim the other night for just 10 minutes and measured temps over 130 degrees under and on top of the laptop, but I wasn't getting burnt or uncomfortable (granted I don't play while naked! ;')
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