Stop ‘heatgate’ before it begins: Consumer Reports is investigating new iPad heat issues

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We reported this morning that a 5-minute GL benchmark of the new iPad versus the iPad 2 proved the third-generation iPad was indeed running noticeably hotter than the previous generation (10 degrees F to be exact). Apple chimed in with a boilerplate response claiming the new iPad is “operating well within our thermal specifications.” Now the story is being picked up by mainstream media with several reporting Apple could have another “antennagate on its hands” (I just heard this on the radio, by the way).

Following complaints online from concerned customers, Consumer Reports is now investigating the issue and will report its findings on Tuesday. Reuters reports:

Consumer Reports, which reviews everything from electronics to cars, noticed comments on online forums and on Apple’s website about excessive heat from the new device, which went on sale Friday, and decided to look into the issue, a spokesman said. The group will publish its findings on Tuesday after finishing a battery of tests, the spokesman added.

Spokesman for Consumer Reports James McQueen spoke to Bloomberg claiming it was too early to tell if the issue will affect its ultimate recommendation for the device:

“We’re doing some scientific analysis with thermal imaging. We’re also going to check with our health experts, to see whether it’s an injury risk.”

We still do not have solid confirmation on what exactly is causing the heat. Some users report the device getting “a bit warm,” while others claim it becomes too hot to continuing using, and the iPad actually shuts down. LTE devices running for extended lengths of time are known to get warm, but early reviews pointed to the new larger 42.5-watt-hour battery powering the quad-GPU A5X (which takes hours longer to charge) as a possible source. We will keep you updated when Consumer Reports publishes its findings.

But, keep in mind: if running GPU benchmarks for 5 minutes doesn’t overheat the new iPad, not much will.

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