iPad gets hot under the collar, and so do US owners

US iPad owners are taking Apple to court, a month after a CNET reader tipped us off that iPads wilt in the sun

Richard Trenholm Former Movie and TV Senior Editor
Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
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Richard Trenholm
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It's not just the iPhone 4 and its incredible disappearing phone signal that's drawing the wrath of consumers down upon Apple. US iPad owners have launched a lawsuit over the tablet's penchant for shutting down when it gets a bit warm, soon after a CNET reader told us his iPad had wilted in the blistering heat of a Welsh summer's day.

CNET UK reader Adam Morley emailed us recently to tell us about his family's experiences with their new iPad. Adam's littl'un's learning difficulties were no obstacle to getting to grips with the device, and it quickly become the Morleys' primary interface for the Web, email and social networking.

On holiday, Apple's tablet replaced board games, several books, a laptop and a portable games console. Adam concluded that the iPad "has slipped effortlessly into our family life and will only continue to improve and become even more indispensable over time".

But all is not perfect. Adam noted: "One problem which surprised me was that the iPad shut down due to heat while sitting outside during one of our days in Wales. It was probably about 23C and I was in direct sunlight, but the message surprised me nevertheless.

"I have conducted a few more tests since this happened and have concluded that the iPad case accessory can impede the cooling of the iPad itself. The UK is not the hottest place iPads will be used, so I will be interested to see if anyone else experiences this issue."

If that's what happens in Wales, imagine the carnage in California! US iPad owners Jacob Baltazar, Claudia Keller and John Browning have banded together like a stroppy Justice League to launch a class-action lawsuit against Apple. The scorned iPadders accuse Jobs' mob of fraud, deceptive advertising practices, unjust enrichment, breach of warranties, and violations of California consumer law.

Each iPad comes with a product guide that recommends using it in a temperature range of 0 and 35C, while low or high temperature conditions can shorten battery life -- "or cause iPad to temporarily stop working properly". In other words, don't hold it like that.

Has your iPad warmed up, turned off, or burst into white-hot flames of technological vengeance? You can sign up to the lawsuit at ipadoverheating.com, or just bung a comment below this story.