iPad adds high-res display, yet retains battery life

By leveraging an efficient chip design, the latest iPad batteries supposedly still last 10 hours, as in the iPad 2, and for nine hours on 4G LTE, Apple said.

Apple's Phil Schiller during the launch today of the latest iPad which is available next week. CNET

Even with a big boost in display resolution, the latest iPad will still have 10 hours of battery life and nine hours on the 4G LTE cellular network, Apple claims.

During the launch of the new iPad today, Apple said the tablet will include a high-definition "retina display" powered by a quad-core A5X chip and other features such as an improved camera and high-definition video recording.

The enhanced graphics put a substantial new processing load on the iPad--and a greater demand for power, Apple executives said during the launch. But the new iPad will continue to have 10 hours of battery life, they said.

Even on the 4G network, the iPad will supposedly have nine hours of battery life, which would be a big improvement to many smartphones that can't stay charged for even a single day of 4G use. Apple didn't elaborate on how it improved the power efficiency of the device, though it's presumably rooted in the graphics-tuned A5X chip and the efficiency of 4G networking gear. Apple also touts the way its software is specifically designed for its hardware, allowing it to optimize for power efficiency.

Apple has made battery life one of its top-priority features in all its mobile devices. Maintaining an already-long ten hour battery life for the latest iPad means that there aren't any compromises for new potential buyers.

Even more impressive will be if Apple can indeed get nine hours on the 4G LTE network, as other LTE devices have not fared so well on battery life.

About the author

Martin LaMonica is a senior writer covering green tech and cutting-edge technologies. He joined CNET in 2002 to cover enterprise IT and Web development and was previously executive editor of IT publication InfoWorld.

 

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