Apple’s new iPad includes a number of new features and improvements such as the gorgeous Retina Display, faster dual-core A5X chip with quad-core graphics, a vastly improved 5-megapixel iSight rear camera and support for faster 4G LTE networks.
But when Apple announced support for 4G LTE network, one of things we were concerned about straight away was battery life as 4G LTE radios are known to be a major cause of battery drain in 4G smartpphones. After a few minutes into the iPad keynote, it came as a relief when Apple announced that the new iPad will offer the same battery life as iPad 2.
The secret behind this is hidden in the new iPad’s tech specs, which reveals that the new iPad comes with a built-in 42.5-watt-hour rechargeable lithium-polymer battery, compared to iPad’s 25-watt-hour rechargeable lithium-polymer battery. This boosts the battery from 6944 mAh to a monstrous 11,666 mAh if measured in milliamps. It works out to a whopping 70% increase in the capacity of the battery.
Details of new iPad’s battery and power from tech specs page
Details of iPad 2’s battery and power from tech specs page
Though leaked new iPad parts have indicated a slightly bigger battery, it looks like Apple Engineers have achieved this amazing milestone without much increase in the weight of the new iPad, which at 1.46 pounds (662 g) is slightly more than iPad 2’s weight at 1.34 pounds (607 g). The new iPad [0.37 inch (9.4 mm)] is also slightly thicker than iPad 2 [0.34 inch (8.8 mm)], but that can also be attributed to the new iPad’s Retina Display.
As CNET points out, it means that Apple engineers have managed to significantly increase the power density of the Li-ion cells that it uses, which makes it one of the revolutionary features of the new iPad, which will have a major impact on products Apple will launch later this year such as the next generation iPhone, the Macbook product line.
Though we expect Apple to use a more power-efficient chip based on a 28-nanometer manufacturing process in the next iPhone rather than A5X chip, which is based on an older 40-nanometer manufacturing process, the fact that the new 4G iPad offers the same battery life as the 3G iPad 2 despite 70% more battery capacity, clearly shows what a drain 4G radio can be on battery life and how critical it was for Apple to innovate in this area.
Some readers have pointed out that the new iPad’s retina display and the faster dual-core A5X chip with quad-core graphics could also be contributing factors for higher battery consumption.
Tim Cook ended the iPad keynote with this:
“Only Apple could deliver this kind of innovation in such a beautiful, integrated way. It’s what we love to do. It’s what we stand for. Across the year, you’re going to see a lot more of this kind of innovation. We are just getting started.”
We can’t wait to find out what Apple has in store for us this year.