And here we go again! An Apple product is released, the Internet get wind, takes hold, and doesn't let go of some purported issue. 

With the iPhone 4, it was antennagate, and now with the 3rd generation iPad it's yellowgate, or heatgate, or batterygate. Hey take your pick, after the break of course, where this nerd delves into iPad 3 to see what's what... 

March 16 was a good day for this nerd. He sat waiting patiently for his shiny, new iPad to arrive.
His iPad 2, however, sat sweating in its box, wondering what would become of its circuit boards and low-resolution display when his master had touched the improved model.

When iPad 3 arrived at his door, delivered by the sickandtiredofdeliveringfrackingipadsallday FedEx delivery guy, this nerd feverishly ripped into the box, yanked (gently) the iPad out, powered it up, and said just one word: "Hmm." 

You see, after ogling the screen for just a minute or two, the realization dawned that there was something not quite right here; something... off. The screen! Why is it so... peculiar?

Now, here's a little disclaimer about LCD panels. One of the biggest issues with LCD screens is that their uniformity is not often perfect. And by not often we mean - never. We've truly never seen a completely uniform LCD-based product. Be it the projectors we play with, our iMac displays, our laptop displays, our iPhone displays, - you name it - , there's always something a bit funny with them. Even two identical LCD products from the same line will often appear very, very different. When we had two iPad 2 devices in hand, the difference between them was staggering. One featured a much cooler temperature (bluer) display, and the other presented itself much warmer (yellower). 

And this was fine with us. While some iPad 2 devices out there were a little too warm for our tastes, our devices looked great. It was only when you had two different temperature iPads next to each other that you really notice. 

But something was different with iPad 3. It's one thing to have a uniformly warm or cold display. It's a completely different issue when three quarters of the screen is relatively neutral, and the remaining quarter looks like a small child had... an accident on it. 

Sadly, this was the way with our first iPad 3. A great example of the issue with an iPad 3 comes from the Macrumors messageboards. User "botsmack" posted these images in a thread dedicated to the problem:

Oh dear!

Sad as it is to say it, this nerd's iPad 3 suffered from a similar fate. One quick appointment at the Apple Store and the offending iPad was exchanged. Sadly, the quick appointment turned into a not-so-quick appointment. The first replacement (yep... the first replacement...) was arguably even worse than the original in terms of color cast. Now bear in mind the following took place under the watchful eyes of an Apple Store employee:

The second replacement had a sizable gouge in its aluminum frame (What the...?). The third replacement looked like someone had put it together while receiving a hair cut. Some particles of... something under the glass. Not fun. The fourth replacement was gouged around the side of the screen. The unfortunate employee pointed it out to me as soon as he pulled it out of the box before I even had a chance to examine it! The fifth replacement at first glance looked golden (in a good way!). 

At this point, the Apple employee could do nothing except apologize. He could see the sadness in my eyes. Why..., Apple? Why? 

A rather dejected nerd took his iPad home, and discovered that under normal house lighting (mostly just peace and quiet...) the screen once again suffered from extreme non-uniformity. This time, very pink toward the left side of the screen. Distractingly so.

The next day the iPad was exchanged, and all is well in iPad world. The End.

Sad, right? 

But what about the battery issues?

This one is much less of an issue. Actually, we're not sure there's any problem here at all. Apparently, the iPad 3 isn't actually really at 100% until the little charging indicator disappears. This means the iPad 3 can be sitting at 100% for a bit before the charging indicator goes out. We have a few words to say about that: We don't sit here staring at our iPads waiting for it to hit 100% charge and then immediately unplug it, anyway. Usually it's charging overnight. So it will probably get adjusted in a future software update, but even then it's not a practical issue if you're not unplugging your iPad the second it hits 100%. 

But what about the heat issues?

From our personal experience, the iPad 3 does indeed warm up considerably more than iPad 2. To put it into perspective, we don't recall the first-generation iPad ever feeling warm at any point in time. For whatever reason - perhaps the thickness of the unit, the "slowness" etc, the original iPad had tremendous thermal properties. iPad 2 was similar, but by no means as cool to the touch as the first iPad. Playing Infinity Blade, for example, resulted in a noticeably warmer aluminum casing. 

The iPad 3, however, is in a different league of heat. While we won't go so far as to say it's hot to the touch after 20 minutes of gaming, it definitely is quite warm. Consumer Reports states that the iPad 3 runs up to 13F hotter than the iPad 2 doing similar tasks. The increase in temperature definitely proved to be a little uncomfortable in our laps. And if we couple it with a leather case such as our favorite Yoobao Executive Leather Case, it gets noticeably toasty in our laps. While we're sure, as Apple says, that the iPad is indeed running well within its operating temperatures, that doesn't mean humans are necessarily going to enjoy holding it in their hands! You hear that, Apple?

So there you go: The iPad 3 runs warm at times, but it's fine. Or shall I say it's fine as long as you don't mind... Bear in mind if you just surf the Internets or check email, the iPad 3 remains nice and cool. No issues there. 

So, is the heat problem a... problem? No. And yes. And that's our final take on the situation.

Another Thing, and a Conclusion:

Late last week, bighugenerd received a call from Apple's Quality Engineering Team. Just under an hour and many, many apologies later, the call ended. It's good to know that Apple does care, even if a product isn't quite right for everyone. 

So, what are the chances of you getting a "good" iPad? Well, we can't say for sure. While some of us are undoubtedly more picky than others, for the cost of an iPad we think you all deserve... a good-looking iPad! Let's not forget the main reason for picking up the new model is that new Retina display. So if that part of it isn't up to par, we insist you return it or exchange it. Don't just make do!

Did we mention we love the new iPad? Because we really, really do. But to some degree, the new iPad has been a bit of a shame. Hopefully the quality control improves. We suspect it will. 
4/14/2012 02:32:57 am

Yep, 100% agreed.
I made al,ost the same experience. Now the forth iPad is under way and I can admit that the apple customer care is quite excellent.
Very friendly and helpful.
I have an iPad 64GB with 4G and the red shine is amazing. I think you point it right, it's a question of quality control that have to be improved.
I have a red and blue color cast on mine. In landscape from the top is blueish and from the left and right corners it reddish.
In the center is some white and blue misxture

4/14/2012 10:11:53 am

Yep it's a shame, that's for sure, especially when the prime reason for anyone buying the iPad 3 (or at least - should be) is that gorgeous display. Hopefully Apple step it up a gear, because the iPad 3 really is a winner.

marni pringle
6/28/2012 07:16:26 pm

What about rhe ipad 1 does the lcd screen come unpluged inside often

1/26/2014 11:24:56 pm

This is exactly what I was looking for. Thanks for sharing this great article

6/25/2013 01:12:17 pm

From our personal experience, the iPad 3 does indeed warm up considerably more than iPad 2. To put it into perspective, we don't recall the first-generation iPad ever feeling warm at any point in time

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