Consumer Reports Backtracks on iPad 3 Overheating Issue; Gives it Top Rating

new iPad

Consumer Reports now says that Apple’s new iPad tops their tablet ratings among the 9-12-inch models.

This is after reporting that new iPad runs hotter than iPad 2 and doesn’t charge under heavy load. We’re a little surprised that Consumer Reports gave the new iPad the top rating as they had earlier said that “when it was at its hottest, it felt very warm but not especially uncomfortable if held for a brief period.”

We didn’t expect iPad 3 to make it to Consumer Reports top ratings as they had said that it was uncomfortable to hold it for extended period of time. But Consumer Reports seems to have backtracked from its initial report. It now says:

Responding to consumer comments on the new device, and to coverage from other reviewers, we also carried out further tests that confirmed the new iPad is warmer in its hottest spots than the iPad 2. But we didn’t find those temperatures to be cause for concern. In addition, further tests of observations we made that the new iPad was not recharging when playing a demanding, intense video game, showed that the problem was limited to times when the device was playing a demanding game with the screen fully bright.

Consumer Reports also gives iPad 3 an excellent overall score for display quality.

As a result of the standout performance of the new iPad’s screen, we have recalibrated our standard of excellence for tablet screens.

A number of current models, including the iPad 2 (which remains on sale and is a fine performer), that received excellent scores under the past standard will now be adjusted to receive very good scores overall. Likewise, some models that received good scores may also be adjusted downward, and some overall scores have changed slightly.

Consumer Reports highlights that iPad 3 magnifies imperfections in content designed for lower screen resolution.

The new iPad’s display does, in at least some applications, serve to magnify imperfections in content designed for lower screen resolution. For example, some text in e-magazines looks worse on the new device than on the iPad 2, as others, including PC World, have noted. Publishers who offer iPad editions, including Consumer Reports, are still weighing how to balance the advantages of increased visual resolution with drawbacks, including lengthening the already considerable time required to download an e-magazine to the device.

Consumer Reports concludes that despite that new iPad’s screen quality is a “significant plus” and expects publishers to optimize their website for iPad 3’s ultra high resolution.

We felt that the overheating issue was being blown out of proportion. Consumer Reports initial report seemed to add fuel to the fire. So it is good to see them backtrack from the initial report and give the new iPad their top rating.  A recent survey also found that an overwhelming majority of new iPad owners felt it was a non-issue.