Apple iPad: Can it Overheat

Yes, it can. As an electronic device, your iPad is capable of reaching extremely high temperatures. Here’s why and how you can do about it.

Researchers at Consumer Reports tested the iPad in May 2012 and found that under certain operating conditions the device ran hot. One test found that temperatures on the third-generation iPad reached as high at 116 degrees Fahrenheit while playing a video game. The study claimed that the device ran about 12 degrees hotter than the iPad 2. Consumer Reports’ work was criticized when PC World later found the third-generation iPad ran no hotter than some of its competitors.


The compact design of the iPad leaves no room for a cooling fan, which is the method that desktop PCs and laptops use to radiate heat. This causes heat to build up inside the iPad, which can make the backside of the device feel hot to the touch. The iPad cannot build up enough heat to cause the device to truly overheat in most cases.


Apple says it is normal for the iPad to feel warm to the touch during charging or heavy use. The design of the device is intended to transfer heat to the outside since there is no cooling fan. Apple recommends the iPad should be used at a temperature of between 32 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit and stored in temperatures between minus 4 to 113 degrees Fahrenheit. The possibility of overheating is higher at the top end of those ranges.


Apple recommends that the device be used at room temperature — 72 degrees Fahrenheit. This not only prevents your device from getting too hot but also extends battery life as the battery is designed to work best at those temperatures. This is especially important when using apps that are memory and processor intensive, such as video and gaming. The device will get hotter, but the cooler outside air prevents it from overheating.


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