March 21, 2012 at 9:51 AM ET
Folks who purchased a new iPad can't seem to get any breaks this week. First they were told that their new gadgets might be prone to heating up and now they're discovering it's occasionally difficult to charge the devices.
When Consumer Reports' testers tried out the third-generation iPad, they found the gadget may run up to 13 degrees warmer than its predecessor. A big fuss was made about this potential issue, but most initially overlooked the final lines of the publication's preliminary write-up:
We also noticed that the new iPad wasn't charging while the game was running and it was plugged in. In fact, the battery continued to drain. It charged normally, however, when we weren't running a game.
Basically, using a plugged-in iPad results in the device's battery meter continuing to drop, almost as if the gadget isn't connected to a power source. Based on most forum posts, it sounds as if the issue mainly occurs when a particularly processor-intensive app is being used.
"It seems that under extremely heavy processor usage, the iPad is unable to draw sufficient power from its USB connection to both power the device and charge the battery simultaneously," explains MacRumors' Jordan Golson. Gizmodo's Kyle Wagner adds that when he and his co-workers observed the charging issue while their test device was definitely "under a heavy load from benchmarking, graphics tests, and just generally downloading, installing, and using a million apps."
Msnbc.com editor Wilson Rothman suggests that the iPad charging issue is reminiscent of one he and other iPhone users may experience while using a car charger and running graphic- and GPS-intensive apps. Even when an iPhone's USB cable is plugged into a car lighter jack, the battery meter may drop, or charge at a much slower rate.
Now while this charging issue also strongly resembles one which was reported when the original iPad was released, it is quite different. The troubles people experienced with the first-generation iPad were resolved by using the chargers included with the devices and USB ports capable of supplying the necessary power (or wall outlets). This simple resolution doesn't seem to apply to the charging issues being reported in relation to the third-generation iPad.
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