Heatgate or Hype? Thermal imaging of new iPad vs. iPad 2 (photo)

Apple's newest iPad, (R) and its predecessor, the iPad 2, are pictured with a thermal camera in Berlin March 22, 2012.

Consumer Reports effectively launched "heatgate" hysteria this week, when it reported test results showing that the new iPad reached temperatures of 116 degrees Fahrenheit (47 degrees Celsius) after 45 minutes of running an intense action game, or up to 13 degrees F (8 degrees C) hotter than the previous iPad under similar conditions. Consumer Reports, of course, was central to the earlier iPhone 4 "antennagate" storm.

But other reviewers have different findings on temperature/stress-tests with the 2012 iPad. Time disagrees that the issue is a problem. ZDNet has a contrary take on things also. And the Gruber. And Macworld, and The Loop, and CNET, too.

An Apple spokeswoman quoted in various news reports this week said the new iPad was "within our thermal specifications," which are listed on the company's website. The normal operating range for the new iPad is between 32º—95ºF (0º—35ºC). If the device exceeds that range, it is designed to shut off.

Whatever. I can't wait to get my hands on one. There are a number of features I want to test, and I'll be writing about my findings here.

A final note: It's not clear to me from this thermal photo released today by Reuters whether the cooler, "old" iPad is plugged in to a power source. The new one appears to be. That would make a difference in heat output. I've emailed Reuters to ask for more details about the testing circumstances under which this photo was taken. It's not from the Consumer Reports tests.

(REUTERS/Tobias Schwarz)