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iPad reportedly overheating in the sun

Several iPad owners are reporting that their iPads have been overheating--and shutting down--after spending as little as ten minutes in the sun. How big an issue is this?

David Carnoy Executive Editor / Reviews
Executive Editor David Carnoy has been a leading member of CNET's Reviews team since 2000. He covers the gamut of gadgets and is a notable reviewer of mobile accessories and portable audio products, including headphones and speakers. He's also an e-reader and e-publishing expert as well as the author of the novels Knife Music, The Big Exit and Lucidity. All the titles are available as Kindle, iBooks, Nook e-books and audiobooks.
Expertise Mobile accessories and portable audio, including headphones, earbuds and speakers Credentials
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David Carnoy
2 min read
PC Magazine editor Zach Honig put his iPad in the fridge to cool it down. Zach Honig
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You know the story from Greek mythology about Icarus, and how his father Daedalus told him not to fly too close to the sun with the wings he made for him out of feathers and wax. Icarus didn't listen and fell into the sea.

Well, according to several reports, Daedalus might want to warn iPad owners not to play too close to the sun with their beloved new devices because they too may crash.

While Apple has historically had a good track record when it comes to the reliability of its high-profile products, there have been a few glitches along the way, and it's certainly not unexpected that a first-generation device--especially the first batch to go out--might encounter a few issues (there have also been reports of weak or fluctuating Wi-Fi signals on certain iPads). In fact, not long after the first iPads left stores did we start hearing about the alleged overheating issues.

PC Magazine editor Zach Honig posted on Twitter that he took his brand new iPad out in the sun in New York City (it's been over 70 in New York the last few days) and ten minutes later it shut down with the message, "iPad needs to cool down before you can use it." Honig stuck his iPad in the fridge and it was fine a few minutes later.

More anecdotes about iPad overheating trickled out on Easter Sunday and The Atlantic's blog did a nice round up of the complaints entitled, "Techies Fume over iPad's Hidden Weakness." In fact, the folks over at The Next Web discovered that the iPad's operating temperature is 32 degrees to 95 degrees F (0 to 35 C) when running or up to 113 degrees when off. The same is true for the iPhone, but the iPad, due to its size, appears to attract a lot more heat a lot more quickly.

We'll see if Apple has anything to say about the sun issue going forward, especially since summer isn't far off. But for now, let us know if you've encountered any overheating problems with your iPad and if you have any good remedies for keeping it cool. Also: Do you think this is a major issue?