Apple's iPad hotter, but "heatgate" is overblown

(CBS News) A Consumer Reports finding that Apple's new iPad reached a whopping 116 degrees immediately spread like wildfire this week.

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Some began coining it "heatgate," conjuring memories of "antennagate" - the controversy over the iPhone 4's antenna causing dropped calls. Perhaps just a byproduct of overly-enthusiastic Apple speculators, questions of whether or not Consumer Reports would recommend the device began surfacing.

Our sister site CNET ran their own tests of the new iPad. Using a Heat Seeker infrared gun-style thermometer, CNET Labs ran the new iPad and iPad 2. What were their findings?

On average, the new iPad was running about five-degrees hotter than the iPad 2. The warmest temperature reading they recorded was 93 degrees, at the Apple logo, after running the video game Infinity Blade II at full brightness for 45 minutes.

The temperature of the new iPad was still did not surpass traditional laptops. For comparison, the Dell Inspiron reached 113 degrees, running Portal 2 at full brightness.

"We're not trying to debunk the Consumer Reports findings because we don't know their methodology or test environment," Eric Franklin, CNET senior editor told CBS News, "We're just reporting our own results."

So is "heatgate" even a worthy of the notorious suffix? Probably not. Yes, the new iPad is hotter than the iPad 2, but it's also running more powerful hardware and a brighter screen. Consumer Reports said the findings most likely will not affect their decision to recommend the third-generation tablet.

"The new iPad runs warmer than the iPad 2, especially when running graphically intensive apps like games," said CNET executive editor John Falcone. "But it's no warmer than most laptops under similar conditions, and it's not enough of an issue for us to change our buying recommendation."

CNET Lab's full test results can be found at CNET.


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