Most owners of the the new iPad have likely noticed that the back of the device gets noticeably warmer after about 20-30 minutes of use. Well, Dutch site Tweakers.net have taken the liberty to find out just how much hotter the new iPad runs compared with its predecessor. After running GLBenchmark for 5 minutes, the site took thermal images with an infrared camera on both tablets and measured their hottest zones. On the new iPad, the rear right (lower) area reached 33.6 degrees Celcius (92.5 Fahrenheit) while the iPad was recorded at 28.3 C (82.9 F).
This rise in temperature has caused concerns among early adopters and many are wondering if this is a wide spread problem. If you search on Apple’s Discussion forums, there are numerous threads where users are sharing their experiences (like this one)
In my review of the new iPad, I’d noted that it does get warmer around the back, though no where near levels of discomfort. On my subsequent visit to the Apple Store, I was told by an employee that this is normal and due to the substantially larger battery within. There are online reports that point the finger at the A5X’s quad core GPU, and it’s entirely possible that the combination of the two contribute to the rise in temperatures.
“The new iPad delivers a stunning Retina display, A5X chip, support for 4G LTE plus 10 hours of battery life, all while operating well within our thermal specifications. If customers have any concerns they should contact AppleCare.”
On the iPad’s specs page, it shows that the tablet’s operating temperatures are from 0° to 35° C (32° to 95° F), so basically anything in between should be considered normal and safe. I’d suggest keeping an eye out on how warm your new iPad gets. If it starts to feel even remotely “hot”, I’d turn it off and bring it back to the Apple Store to have it checked out.