I love you kid. But oh, that heat! Sorry, Apple. You messed up big time.
Al Fasoldt's reviews and commentaries, continuously available online since 1983


New iPad is a hot item

April 22, 2012

By Al Fasoldt
Copyright © 2012, Al Fasoldt
Copyright © 2012, The Post-Standard

I can imagine the conversation at the world's wealthiest company a month or so ago.

"This thing runs hot, Tim. People will complain."

"Naw. Nobody will notice it. Go ahead with the introduction."

Something like this exchange had to have taken place before Apple introduced the iPad 3 -- 'scuse me, the "new iPad" -- last month to a flood of buyers. Apple sold 3 million new iPads on the first weekend. But the bloom was off the rose -- you've seen those iPad ads showing a rose on the screen, right? -- as soon as buyers realized what my imaginary Apple executive did: The new iPad was a hot item. Literally.

I noticed the problem within the first few minutes when I did anything that taxed the iPad's graphics. Holding the iPad and doing regular stuff like surfing the Web showed nothing unusual, but when I played an HD video, I noticed that an area near one of the corners of the iPad got warm. When I edited the video on the iPad, that area got very warm.

I don't think it got hot enough to hurt anyone. It certainly didn't give me a burn. But no product that will be used by millions upon millions of people, including small children, should get so warm that anyone would wonder about safety. The new iPad clearly has a problem.

Apple will fix the heat problem. I'm sure of that. You won't need to pester Apple about it. Either the fix will be a software change that all new iPads will get or it will be a hardware change -- one that Apple will compensate users for. (Something like trading your flawed iPad for a new one for free, or keeping it and getting a $50 coupon. That's my guess.)

I'm reminded of an old joke. "How's your day, John?" "Oh, the house burned down." "Well, how was it otherwise?" This is where Apple finds itself. The introduction of one of the most brilliant items of technology in recent years was badly handled -- after all, Apple surely knew the new iPad got too warm -- but in every other way, all those ways everybody is ignoring, the new iPad is spectacular.

The display? Best in the world. No HDTV, no computer, nothing at all comes close. The speed? Graphics fly. The extra memory is welcome, and my choice of the best single new iPad app has to be iPhoto. It turns the new iPad into a super-competent photo editing platform.

I love you kid. But oh, that heat! Sorry, Apple. You messed up big time.