Posted in: iOS, Tablets

Consumer Reports thinks the new iPad is the best tablet ever

Now that’s a bit of a surprise. After berating the new iPad for its heating and charging issues, the Consumer Reports now thinks that the iPad is the best tablet on the market.

In case you haven’t followed the entire saga, Consumer Reports first reviewed the new iPad when it came out and showered it with praise. A few days later, they followed the review with a sensational article as to how the new iPad was running uncomfortably hotter than its predecessor and how it refuses to charge while you are using it. And now, a few days later, Consumer Reports is going back on its initial claims and praising the new iPad again for its excellent all-round performance.

Here’s an excerpt from the latest article:

The high-resolution screen of the new iPad establishes a new benchmark in excellence, providing the best rendering of detail and color accuracy we’ve ever seen on a tablet display. As a result, the iPad tops our new tablet Ratings, posted today.

Performance on the new iPad ($500 to $830) was superb in virtually every other way as well. The 5-megapixel camera took very good photos. Verizon’s 4G network yielded very fast, dependable connectivity to a 4G-compatible version of the iPad in our informal tests. And despite the energy-intensive display and graphics, the iPad still has longer battery life than all other tablets.

Responding to consumer comments on the new device, and to coverage from other reviewers, we also carried out further tests that confirmed the new iPad is warmer in its hottest spots than the iPad 2. But we didn’t find those temperatures to be cause for concern. In addition, further tests of observations we made that the new iPad was not recharging when playing a demanding, intense video game, showed that the problem was limited to times when the device was playing a demanding game with the screen fully bright. Our high overall judgment of the new iPad was not affected by the results of either battery of tests. More details soon on these tests.

The language in the new article is certainly in conflict with the second one. Whereas the second one made the iPad sound like a time bomb that will eventually get hot enough to explode in your hands, the third one, just like the first, makes it seem all peachy.

We tested the heating and charging issues on the new iPad ourselves and although both were true to some extent neither were as horrific as the claims that had started to go around after the CR article. So you can say that CR did blow things a bit out of proportions, what with headlines like “Our test finds new iPad hits 116 degrees while running games” which sound a lot scarier compared to “Our test finds new iPad runs 12 degrees warmer compared to the iPad 2″, which is also true. Also, CR is read mostly by common folks, who are affected more by such headlines than us geeks, who know that a rise of 12 degrees is not only nominal for a device as thin and powerful as the new iPad but also way less than the kind of heat produced by laptops.

And this won’t be the first time CR went for sensationalism, either. If you remember, the whole ‘Antennagate’ thing was started by CR. But if you look at the iPhone 4 sales, clearly, the actual users did not have any issue with it.

So basically, henceforth I would recommend taking Consumer Reports articles with a pinch of salt, especially when it comes to popular products.

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