Apple claims the new iPad is “operating well within thermal specifications," but that hasn't stopped the complaints about iPads "overheating" from piling up. Early today the Dutch website Tweakers.net conducted a 5-minute GL benchmark on both the iPad 2 and 3. Their results showed that the new iPad reached 92.5 Fahrenheit (33.6 degrees Celsius), which is well within Apple's listed operating requirements.
Consumer Reports ran their own test which revealed that the iPad 3 "can run significantly hotter than the earlier iPad 2 model when running an action game." The new iPad reached 116 degrees Fahrenheit while playing Infinity Blade II. This is much higher than Apple's official listed operating temperature of 32-95 degrees Fahrenheit (0-35 degrees Celsius).
"We ran our test while the new iPad was propped on the iPad Smart Cover, plugged in, and after it had run Infinity Blade II uninterrupted for about 45 minutes. The device's 4G connection was not turned on, though its Wi-fi link was. The ambient room temperature was about 72 degrees. (Apple recommends not using the iPad in environments over 95 degrees.)"
The iPad 3 reached 113 degrees Fahrenheit while unplugged, and 116 degrees when plugged in. Consumer Reports said the back of the new iPad became "as much as 12 degrees hotter than the iPad 2" during the same tests.
Early reviews and forum postings said that the lower left corner of the iPad 3 became warm or hot after prolonged use. Some iPad 3 owners claimed that the new iPad became too hot to hold while others said it was just a little warmer than normal. Based on all the conflicting reports and the CR's new study, it's safe to assume "heatgate" is far from over.
Here's Apple's official response:
"The new iPad delivers a stunning Retina display, A5X chip, support for 4G LTE plus 10 hours of battery life, all while operating well within our thermal specifications. If customers have any concerns they should contact AppleCare.”