New iPad wins love from Consumer Reports

Consumer Reports – which hated the iPhone 4 when it launched last summer – has given the new iPad top rating.

Indeed, it describes the tablet as ‘a new benchmark in excellence’, and says it’s recalibrated its scoring system to make sure the tablet appears far enough ahead of the rest of the pack.

“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,” says Consumer Reports’ Donna Tapellini.

“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.”

The improved screen of the new iPad is in some ways a disadvantage, says Consumer Reports, as it highlights imperfections that don’t show up at lower resolutions.

“On balance, however, the screen quality of the new iPad is a significant plus, especially given the likelihood that content will increasingly rise in resolution to take advantage of it,” says Tapellini.

As for the way the iPad heats up in use, Consumer Reports thinks there’s little to worry about. Its tests did show that the device does get warmer than its predecessor – and struggles to recharge its battery when running a demanding game with the screen at full brightness.

But, says Paul Reynolds, “Our findings suggest that if you’re a serious gamer, you might want to manage how you use the new iPad by reducing screen brightness when possible, which will not only reduce heat but increase battery life and facilitate full recharging.”