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New iPad slow to recharge, rarely charges during Use

Melissa J. Perenson | March 23, 2012
More controversy for the new iPad: PCWorld Labs testing and follow-up hands-on tests that I performed indicate that the latest version of Apple's tablet charges only minimally when it is in use. This performance flaw is particularly problematic because the new iPad battery is slow to recharge. Of 43 tablets that PCWorld has tested, the third-gen iPad takes the longest to recharge its battery fully--almost six hours.

The iPad 2, by contrast, started at a charge of 94 percent and took just 2 minutes to move up to 95 percent. A mere 7 minutes later, it registered 96 percent; and 28 minutes after that, the iPad 2's charge stood at 99 percent.

As part of our routine evaluations of tablets, PCWorld Labs tests both battery life and how long the battery takes to recharge. On the latter measure, the new iPad took noticeably longer than its predecessor.

Granted, the new iPad has a larger battery--41 percent bigger than the one in the iPad 2, with the largest mAh (milliampere-hour) rating of any tablet we've tested (the higher the mAh, the longer a battery should last).

The Android-based Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime posted the most impressive result on this measure, when you take battery size into account: Despite having a reasonably large (6930mAh) battery, it took just 2 hours, 41 minutes to reach a full charge. The iPad 2, with the same-size battery, took 4 hours, 10 minutes minutes to reach a full charge. The third-generation iPad, with its big 11666mAh battery took a whopping 6 hours, 56 minutes to recharge. That's not much longer than two versions of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10 took despite their having significantly smaller (7000mAh) batteries--the LTE version took 6 hours, 46 minutes and the Wi-Fi version took 6 hours, 34 minutes--but it's still a long time.

These results should be of concern to anyone considering the new iPad. Its lengthy recharge time and its extreme slowness to charge while in use give highly mobile users reason to question its travelworthiness.



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