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The new iPad is hot, in sales and actual temperature

Demonstration models of Apple's new iPad on display at the Apple Store in Covent Garden on March 16, 2012 in London, England. Apple’s newest creation is popular, but is it uncomfortable to hold?

Soon after the new iPad hit the street, reports started coming in that the device got a lot hotter than anyone was expecting. Not talking figuratively here, I mean the actual temperature on the device. The reports were sporadic but consistent. Now, Consumer Reports has stepped in and done some actual testing in a scientific lab to see exactly what’s going on.

“When we subjected the new iPad and the iPad 2 to a test of running a fairly sophisticated and demanding action video game for 45 minutes, it got up to temps that are fairly warm, fairly hot,” reports Paul Reynolds, electronics editor for Consumer Reports. “The new iPad does indeed run hotter than the iPad 2, and that validates some of the comments and concerns we picked up from consumers on forums online, comments on blog posts, etc.”

Reynolds measured the new iPad at 116 degrees maximum, hotter by 12 degrees than the iPad 2. He says it’s not dangerous. “This is not a temperature that will demonstrably cause any damage to skin, any burning,” he says. “It is however something that is potentially uncomfortable if you're holding the device where the hottest areas occur and it’s not evenly distributed on the device.”

That game they tested it on, by the way? "Infinity Blade II."

The new iPad isn’t just literally hot, it’s figuratively hot as well. Three million units sold in the opening weekend, blowing way past all expectations. The iPad dominates the tablet market right now.

And that makes you wonder, will it eventually be the only tablet available or will you have more choices? Anytime you look at smart electronics that aren’t on the Apple platform, you have to look at the Android platform.

“The Android tablets that have done well to date are tablets that don't really look like Android, specifically Amazon's Kindle Fire and Barnes and Noble's Nook tablet,” says IDC analyst Tom Mainelli.

The devices he’s talking about both run on Android, but it’s buried deep within the code on the machine and not something you’re likely to recognize from, say, an Android phone.

“The main reason (for the popularity) is that both Amazon and Barnes and Noble knew exactly who they were going after,” Mainelli says. “They were going after content consumers, and they created an interface that makes it easy to get to the books, the movies, and the music that people want to get to on these devices.”

But remember: before there was an Android competitor, the iPhone was pretty dominant as well and now it tends to trail the Android in sales.

“Just as Android phones have caught up and surpassed the iPhone in terms of pure numbers,” says Mainelli,  “Android tablets will likely do the same thing in a few years based almost entirely on the fact that we have dozens of vendors creating these devices. I took a quick look at our data, and we're currently tracking nearly 60 Android media tablet vendors and Apple's the only one creating the iPad.”

Also on this program, saddle up for the Robot Roundup. Meet jellyfish robots, robots that patrol the rainforest, and robots that go to work at Amazon.com

About the author

John Moe is the host of Marketplace Tech Report, where he provides an insightful overview of the latest tech news.

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