The New iPad Battery Has 70% More Capacity Than iPad 2

iPad 2

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.

Update: 

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.

  • Paradox

    So with 4g off…. battery life is monstrous? Or is the Retina display that much more of a beast eating up battery power as well.. I am guessing its the display crunching the battery.

    • http://www.iphonehacks.com/ iPhoneHacks

      Apple didn’t need to bump up the battery specs when it introduced the Retina Display in iPhone 4. But the faster dual core A5X with quad-core graphics probably has some impact.

      • lili

        So this article is just words… since anyway it may not be the 4G that drains the battery…

        • Dan

          Duh?? It is a well known fact that battery life of 4G smartphones suck.

          While there are other factors that could contribute to battery drain, 4G is a major contributing factor, which is why almost doubling battery capacity is quite revolutionary.

          • lili

            Maybe. But if so, that means that the ipad 3 wifi has enormous battery life. Is that the case?

  • Kiwiholden

    So to be clear is the battery life longer for someone that is only in a 3G area over some one that is going in and out of 4G all day?

    • http://www.iphonehacks.com/ iPhoneHacks

      That’s an interesting point. Probably, but guess we may have to wait for the tests to confirm it.

  • Maxtor182

    Yes, it is longer on 3G. Tim Cook said it has 9 hours on 4G but u can turn off 4G and get longer life

  • Tim

    9 hours with cellular data surfing and 10 with wi-fi, the difference is only one hour. So +70% battery is mainly consumed not by the LTE.

    • mkimid

      I agree, I think, the back light is the first power consuming, and A5x use much more power (not less) than before

      • Paradox

        My money is on the second back light bar needing that extra juice to keep 10 hours….

        The iPhone 4 did not require a second light bar… hence didn’t need a battery overhaul…

        When in class, and my battery on my iPad is getting low, one app I had could tell me estimated time till battery death. with the screen at full brightness it may say 15 minutes, but if I dropped brightness all the way down, that may have jumped up to as much as an hour. Enough sometimes to get me through to the end of class. So yea .. much of the juice goes into those displays.

  • http://www.motorbeam.com/ fas

    So is Retina the reason for poor battery life of iPhone?

  • orgil220

    If 4G LTE alone drains or requires that much power, what happens to the wi-fi editions, wouldn’t lack of 4G make them last twice or three times longer?

    • Paul

      Great point.. If 4G LTE is to blame, then the wifi only iPad should have significantly better battery life.

    • mkimid

      WIFI only, 10hr, 4G only, 9hr… the difference is 1hr only. it is not easy to say 4G makes a power hungry.
      70% … it means, Display (back light) and Process (maybe much more power to utilize high resolution display)… it will makes a big power drain..
      It is just for the web,
      If running full 3D graphic apps, it will activate full process power and 4 graphic units… If I receive the device,, I wish to test this first…

  • Kiwiholden

    They did the right thing waiting for the better 4G chips! Now the i4S will still be a good fone in 3 years and the next iPhone will have 4G without the drain