iPad 3 tops Consumer Reports tablet ratings, Retina display “a new benchmark in excellence”

Following a favorable ChangeWave Research study which put to rest so-called Heatgate, the influential United States consumer advocacy group Consumer Reports published this morning their definite findings concerning Apple’s third-generation iPad tablet.

Just as they did with iPad 2, Consumer Reports says the new iPad tops their tablet ratings, stressing its high-resolution screen “establishes a new benchmark in excellence”

Here’s what they’re liking about the new iPad, per blog post:

The high-resolution screen of the new iPad establishes a new benchmark in excellence, providing the best rendering of detail and color accuracy we’ve ever seen on a tablet display. As a result, the iPad tops our new tablet Ratings, posted today. Performance on the new iPad ($500 to $830) was superb in virtually every other way as well. The 5-megapixel camera took very good photos. Verizon’s 4G network yielded very fast, dependable connectivity to a 4G-compatible version of the iPad in our informal tests. And despite the energy-intensive display and graphics, the iPad still has longer battery life than all other tablets.

They’ve also confirmed previous findings that the device has trouble recharging while simultaneously running a graphics-intensive game, “showing that the problem was limited to times when the device was playing a demanding game with the screen fully bright”.

Consumer Reports ran “a battery of tests” recently to conclude that the new iPad was not especially uncomfortable to hold for brief periods, saying they did not consider a ten-degree operating temperature increase a safety concern.

As if you had any doubt, the consumer watchdog had to slam the new iPad over something so they stated the obvious.

The new iPad’s display does, in at least some applications, serve to magnify imperfections in content designed for lower screen resolution. For example, some text in e-magazines looks worse on the new device than on the iPad 2, as others, including PC World, have noted. Publishers who offer iPad editions, including Consumer Reports, are still weighing how to balance the advantages of increased visual resolution with drawbacks, including lengthening the already considerable time required to download an e-magazine to the device.

Of course low-resolution apps don’t look sharp on such a high-resolution display!

Other than that, I think Consumer Reports did a fine job mea culping themselves for their preliminary (and sensationalist) report on the device.

Did you expect such a verdict by Consumer Reports?