Having finished the detailed review of the new Apple iPad, we finally found some time to complete its battery test and see if the new gigantic battery makes up for the power-hungry chipset and the high-res screen.
We put the new iPad side by side with its predecessor, the iPad 2 and set to find out which of them drains its battery faster and which one charges faster. Here go the results from the three tests we ran on each of the tablets.
The first trial was video playback – a standard definition video was uploaded to both the new iPad and the iPad 2 and was looped until they depleted 90% of their fully charged batteries. The iPad 2 took the victory by a small margin here – it lasted 10 hours and 24 minutes, before its battery indicator reached 10%.
new Apple iPad 9:53
Apple iPad 2 10:24
Apple iPhone 4S 9:24
The new iPad on the other hand reached that level 9 hours and 53 minutes after the beginning of the test. Two things have to be noted here. First, the iPad video player doesn’t stop when its battery reaches a 10% charge. We ended the test at that point so the results would be comparable to the iPhone.
Second and more important, to get the maximum endurance from the new iPad, you need to charge it for about an hour after its battery indicator reaches 100%. Apparently the slate actually isn’t fully charged when it first hits 100% and can benefit from staying plugged in for a bit longer.
According to our measurements, you can get up to 45 minutes of extra playback if you charge your iPad for an hour or two after it shows 100% charge proving the theory that’s been circulating around the Internets for some time now. It’s anybody’s guess why Apple chose to design their new tablet that way, but a theory we might subscribe to is they did so to protect its battery.
You see, Li-Ion batteries tend to lose their capacity the quickest when they are stored fully charged and in warm environment. The new iPad tendency to run hotter than its predecessor is already well documented, so maybe Apple prefers if you didn’t charge it to the fullest.
Back to testing, we went on and run our usual browser test on the two iPads. The new iPad took the crown here, taking 9 hours and 39 minutes to run its fully charged battery flat, while the iPad 2 lasted 38 minutes less. Both of the slates performed notably better than the iPhone 4S, which we have subjected to the same test previously.
new Apple iPad 9:39
Apple iPad 2 9:01
Apple iPhone 4S 6:56
Finally, we also decided to check how long does the monstrously big battery of the new Apple iPad takes to charge. Given that it can gain charge at about the same rate as its predecessor, we would expect charging to take almost twice as long here. And that’s exactly what the test showed with the new iPad taking 6 hours and 9 minutes to reach the 100% mark (and as we already explained, you’ve got about an hour more of charging to do at that point), while the iPad 2 was fully charged in just over 3 and a half hours.
new Apple iPad 6:09
Apple iPad 2 3:33
So, the new Apple iPad certainly takes its sweet time charging, but we see no reason to worry about its endurance once it’s there. It will be as long lasting as its predecessor and that’s a fine achievement in our books.