New iPad hits 116 degrees – mind your scrotum, chaps

The new iPad runs considerably hotter than its predecessor, tests have shown – making it perfect for reading in bed, perhaps, but alarming some users.

According to Consumer Reports, it gets as warm as 116 degrees Farenheit, warmer than human skin, especially when playing graphics-intensive games.

“When unplugged, the back of the new iPad reached temperatures as high as 113 degrees Fahrenheit. It was only when plugged in that it hit 116 degrees. The hottest areas weren’t evenly distributed throughout the iPad’s back, but were concentrated near one corner of the display,” says Consumer Reports’ Donna Tapellini.

“During our tests, I held the new iPad in my hands. When it was at its hottest, it felt very warm but not especially uncomfortable if held for a brief period.”

The new version is a good twelve degrees Farenheit hotter than the iPad 2, says Consumer Reports. It’s stopped short of saying that the high temperature is actually dangerous, but said users should be careful.

However, according to Apple, it’s all part of the plan – the company says the device is running within thermal specifications. It does, though, recommend that it shouldn’t be used in temperatures of 95 degrees or above.

Users on the Apple support forum seem to be having mixed experiences, with some saying the device is pleasantly warm, but others concerned – one felt it was too hot for a child to use safely, for example.

However, use by children might end up being a moot point, if too many people are using their iPads on their lap. In studies, even cooler-running laptops have been associated with ‘scrotal hyperthermia’, potentially reducing male fertility.

Ergonomists have already been urging tablet users not to use their devices on their laps – this latest news might persuade them, where fear of a bit of neck-ache hasn’t.