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Latest iPad 2 benchmarked, 30 per cent better battery life

The latest version of the iPad 2 has been benchmarked, and battery life is greatly improved.

The refreshed iPad 2 has been put through its paces by the folks over at AnandTech, and there's some good news if you're considering a more affordable version of Apple's tablet than the new iPad. Battery life is up, up, up.

Casual web browsing on the latest iPad 2 gives you a 15.8 per cent longer battery life compared to the older version. But the real savings start with more graphic-intensive usage. Playing games gives you a whopping 30 per cent longer before needing a recharge, which is handy if you're nearing the end of a level and aren't near a plug socket.

Video playback, meanwhile, gives you about 20 per cent longer than the older iPad 2.

When Apple announced the new iPad, it kept the iPad 2 as a budget alternative. But rather than stick with what it had, it introduced a new version, known as the iPad 2,4 in inventory circles (seeing as it's the fourth incarnation of that model). The iPad 2,4 uses a 32nm version of Apple's A5 processor, with a smaller die -- 57 per cent the size of the original, if you're interested. It clocks in the same, but reduced leakage translates to longer battery life.

AnandTech got 11.7 hours' web browsing from the latest iPad 2, up from 10.1 from the older version. (Though it is still less than the Asus Eee Pad Transformer, which tops the test.) The new A5 chip also helps the iPad run slightly cooler than its predecessor, which is good news for anyone put off by stories about iPads overheating.

The latest iPad 2 has a higher maximum brightness and black level too, according to the tests.

Apple hasn't made a big deal of these improvements, presumably not wanting to annoy anyone who bought the iPad 2 at launch. What do you make of the stats? Is the iPad the top tablet in town? Or has Android trumped it? Let me know in the comments below or on Facebook.