New iPad heat blamed on screen, Wi-Fi prompts new complaints

The new iPad's screen could be causing it to overheat, according to experts, as some owners complain about the Wi-Fi signal.

The new iPad's screen could be the source of overheating complaints, according to experts. Excess heat isn't the only problem with the Apple tablet either, as some iPadders have reported issues with its Wi-Fi signal.

Some new owners are concerned about weak Wi-Fi signals, although reports vary as to the causes and circumstances. Other customers have complained their new iPad gets warmer than is healthy while they're using it, and Raymond Soneira, boss of DisplayMate Technologies, reckons it's the backlit screen that's to blame.

Soneira reckons there are four reasons for the new iPad's toastiness. Firstly, it packs twice the LEDs as its predecessor, which means more heat is being emitted from them overall.

"The LED power at maximum brightness is 2.5 times that of the iPad 2," Soneira told CNET. "They had to jack up the number of LEDs so the peak brightness is the same as on the iPad 2. That absolutely makes it warmer."

We'd stop short of describing this as overheating, however. 'Warmer' and 'overheating' don't necessarily mean the same thing, although we're still looking into the issue .

Secondly, the brightness efficiency is lower because the new iPad has more pixels, which means more transistors, which take up more space, meaning less opportunity for light to pass. "They basically have to blast light through the LCD to make it come out," Soneira said, adding, "I measured the LED power at maximum brightness -- it's two and a half times greater than on the iPad 2."

Thirdly, the battery generates more juice, making it heat up more. Finally, extra warmth could be due to the traditional amorphous silicon screen technology that was used instead of Sharp's power-efficient IGZO technology, which wasn't ready for the new iPad.

Apple denies the overheating reports , stating that the new tablet operates "well within our thermal specifications". The issue hasn't stopped Apple shifting a whopping 3 million iPads in three days . Press play on our video to see what all the fuss is about.

Play

Does the new iPad have problems, or are some people just complaining about nothing? Have you had any issues with your iPad, either with heat or Wi-Fi? Get heated in the comments or on our Facebook wall.

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About the author

Rich Trenholm is a senior editor at CNET where he covers everything from phones to bionic implants. Based in London since 2007, he has travelled the world seeking out the latest and best consumer technology for your enjoyment.

 

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