updated 01:25 pm EDT, Mon March 26, 2012
iPad 2012 defies battery, temperature expectations
Fresh tests of the new iPad have shown that concerns over its temperature have been overstated in light of competition. The range of Macworld tests showed that, despite the extra backlighting and larger processor demanded by the new screen, the current Apple tablet is within a few degrees of the lower-resolution, slower ASUS Transformer Prime and Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 LTE. In a few cases, such as under maximum load for over an hour, the Galaxy Tab was slightly hotter.
A similar effect was visible while plugged in.
It wasn't mentioned why other models were hotter. The Transformer Prime's quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 3 was likely responsible for its own temperature hike. As the LTE isn't known to be a major factor in heat, the Galaxy Tab's temperature might be owed to the older Tegra 2 and the thin, plastic design keeping more of the heat around the case.
Simultaneously, cross-platform benchmarks posted last week have netted some surprises about performance. While the new iPad was already shown by AnandTech to be getting more battery life than a non-extended Transformer Prime, even versus the Prime's battery-saving mode, its real highlight was hotspot support. On Verizon, the iPad's 42.5 watt-hour battery lasted 25.3 hours while the tablet served as an LTE hotspot.
Most portable routers, such as the Samsung Jetpack or Novatel's MiFi line, tend to last three to five hours. The sheer battery capacity, and Apple's ability to minimize the power use by the main OS, are responsible for the iPad's performance. Battery life might be slightly better on HSPA+ 3G given its better lifetime in active use.