Yesterday, we told you about an unknown portion of new iPads overheating, with the lower left-hand corner of the device getting warm or noticeably hot. This was based on personal observations by numerous owners who took to Apple support forums to share their experience.

Now, a more scientific approach has confirmed that yes, the new iPads are indeed getting a little toasty. More precisely, the device on average runs 10 degrees hotter than its predecessor, the iPad 2. The finding is based on side-by-side thermal imaging of the new iPad vs. iPad 2…

As you can see in the above thermal image – courtesy of a Dutch site Tweakers.net (Google translation) – the new iPad’s hottest part is the lower left-hand corner that has managed to record 92.5 Fahrenheit, or 33.6 degrees Celsius. For comparison, the warmest part of the iPad 2 (shown on the right) measures 83 Fahrenheit, or 28.3 degrees Celsius. According to the official specs, those numbers are indeed within the new iPad’s operating temperature of 32-95 degrees Fahrenheit, or 0-35 degrees Celsius.

An Apple spokesperson used the same argument defending the issue, telling The Loop:

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.

But why excess heat? Running standard GLBenchmark that puts the GPU under strain and then putting the device under an infrared camera has allowed Tweakers.net to suggest that the new iPad’s souped up GPU is likely to blame for the overheating issue.

As you know, the device packs in the Apple-designed A5X package featuring an improved quad-core GPU (likely Imagination Technologies’ PowerVR SGX543MP4 unit), with benchmarks showing graphics performance comparable or exceeding that of Nvidia’s Tegra 3 chip. A teardown analysis has also revealed a new metal heat spreader atop the A5X chip.

Let’s not forget that the new iPad also has faster 4G networking and a stunning 2,048-by-1,536 pixel resolution Retina display, both battery-consuming and adding up to the overall power requirements. Apple tackled the increased power requirements by putting a lot bigger battery inside the new iPad with 70 percent more capacity than the iPad 2.

The company announced yesterday that it has managed to sell three million new iPads in under four days. For comparison, it took the original iPad 80 days to ship the same number of units, selling one millionth unit in 28 days following its April 2010 launch.

  • It still runs cooler than my MacBook Pro! I just really want one! lol

  • lol mind mentioning the ambient temperature during the test? Your high temperatures are my ambient temperatures.

  • The next question should be, how hot does it get with an cover and screen protector? Two things that people routinely put on their devices

  • I went to apple today and tried the New Ipad and Ipad2 with various games and settings. The new Ipad gets very hot compared to ipad2 in general. The highest difference was when brightness was at maximum and charging at the same time. Not to mention when in this conditions I started a demanding game. I played the New Ipad for about 10 minutes and my hands were sweating and extremely warm. I played the ipad2 same game and same conditions hardly I felt the heat. I had my ipad one with me and I have to say was the only one that was completely cold playing the same game (Infinity Blade). I cannot imagine myself in a plane or a train holding this thing for hours in my hands. Way too hot for my taste. I am disappointed as I am not very fussy and I really wanted to like it but what people are saying is real true. This thing run hot and become unconfortable after just few minutes of use and not only on the left corner (that spot is the warmest) but all the back plate.
    I asked a friend of mine to buy one for me from Australia as he is coming to see me. Now he needs to return it before he comes and ask for a refund. If I need to change my amazing Ipad 1 will only be for Ipad2 or the New Ipad S or 4 if solved these (for me) very important issues.

  • Anonymous

    Wow! I must have bought the only one that doesn’t heat up. Lucky me.

    • Have you played a game for an hour?? The keynote on “The Unknown iPad formerly known as iPad 3” emphasized the A5x chip– ie. gaming as the main point of interest with this new iPad— coming a close second to the much higher resolution Retina Display. Being burnt out on gaming myself– and preferring lo res, grainy, abstract photography– I didn’t move on the iPad X right out of the box– and thank Jeebus I didn’t-!! I’ll stick with my barely 2 mo old iPad 2, thanks— a heating issue isn’t random static, antennae, or a battery life problem– it’s a much bigger issue to deal with because there isn’t necessarily a “subjective” element to it. There’s no mistaking a blazing hot piece of hardware in your hands– and the worry it’s going to destroy itself at any time. It might just be what Apple’s going to spend some of that 100 bil on—-

    • Good to know!

      Whats your general use of the tablet? Lots of gaming? Have you tried to wach a 1080p movie on it holding it in your hands? This was the only thing I wanted to try as my main reason to upgrade was to wach 1080P movies.

  • Lookin like the A5x chip is the little “hottie” they made it out to be, huh??

    • I think is a combination of screen battery and chips. The back plate gets costantly warm in the back even in basic operations so that may be the new screen. Increased brightness ment even increase heat all over the back plate not only in the corner were the chip was. Was it too much to bare on the back plate? Probably not and a good cover may attenuate the feeling of heat holding it but with the new smart cover the back of the ipad will be completely uncovered so may be better choose a different one. In the left corner is a different story that new GPU and dual core generate alot of heat when you put them under stress. The only thing I didnt try was to wach an HD movie on it. Playing a good 6-8GB mkv file 1080P at 50% brightness would be a good test to try.