A Much Larger Battery

Apple claimed no decrease in battery life for the new iPad compared to last year's model and only a 1 hour drop over LTE. The problem is that the combination of A5X SoC under GPU load, the LTE baseband and driving/lighting all of those pixels in the Retina Display has a significant impact on power consumption.

Apple addressed the issue by increasing the new iPad's battery capacity by 70%. If the leaked PCB photos are accurate (they look to be), Apple increased battery volume by shrinking the motherboard size and increasing the thickness of the tablet.

The new 42.5Wh battery is downright huge. To put the new iPad's battery in perspective, this is nearly the same battery capacity as the what was shipping in the 2008 13-inch MacBook Pro. This is also a bigger battery than what's used in the 2011 11-inch MacBook Air:

Apple Battery Capacity Comparison

Over the next two years you can expect to see the line between ultraportable and tablet blur considerably. Looking at where the new iPad falls in the chart above really begins to exemplify just how blurry that line is going to become.

With the display off, the new iPad looks and feels a lot like the iPad 2. The additional thickness is hard to see, but the additional weight is definitely noticeable. The new iPad isn't as heavy as the original model, but it's clearly heavier than the iPad 2. I don't believe the added weight is a deal breaker, but it is a step backwards. Maintaining battery life however obviously trumps added weight.

The math is pretty simple. If Apple is claiming 10 hours of battery life with a 42.5Wh battery, the new iPad with the iPad 2's battery would likely be good for just under 6 hours. Such a drop would be unacceptable and thus the new iPad gets a bigger battery and incurs additional weight from the new battery and display components.

The CPU & More Final Words


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  • robinthakur - Tuesday, March 13, 2012 - link

    I've noticed that the trends in the organisation are to enable user's personal devices for company data. Spearheading that is the iPad/iPhones. In the last 4 companies I've worked for as a contractor, they were both issuing company iPads and enabling people's own devices, having changed the IT policy in response to user/management pressure. This is not just small companies either. BoA have now started doing it. Using Exchange you can enforce passcodes and remote wipe them. This is the current trend, and I find it hard to believe that MS will have anything on the market which will remotely worry Apple. It's not like you can use all the old windows software on a Windows 8 tablet running on Arm, and users still have to learn a new and somewhat unintuitive interface, so where' s the win there? People have got used to the super intuitive iOS since 2007 and they like it, hence the change. To most users, even in business, Windows is far too complicated for its own good. I see this everyday.

    The only possible win is decent Office/SharePoint integration, but since Office will shortly be arriving on iPad and there are already many solutions in the App Store for SharePoint integration, it's something of a moot point IMO. The only thing Windows had going for it were compatibility and a familiar interface which people had grown up with, which the decent Windows 7 offers. This is why the phones failed and this is also why Windows 8 will underperform. Windows 7 will survive in a similar way to XP, far past MS's predictions.
  • wilmarkj - Sunday, March 11, 2012 - link

    All Current 30" monitors are already 4 MP. But they cost around 1100$ but they are high quality (16 bit color and SIPS), at thats at the same dpi as current 24" 1900x1200 monitors not anywhere close to retina quality, which i thought was over 300 dpi. Reply
  • solipsism - Sunday, March 11, 2012 - link

    It's a factor dpi/ppi + distance from your retina. That's why an HDTV could be considered Retina Display at pixels than a handheld device.

    The equation for 20/20 vision is: 3438 * (1/x) = y, where x is the minimum distance away from your eyes it has to be placed and y is the number of pixels per inch.

    If you have a 46" 1080p HDTV that is 48 PPI so the equation is: 3438 * (1/x) = 48, which means you need to sit over 6" away for the pixels to become indistinguishable. Of course, there are other factors involved but that is the basis of the definition.
  • Mitch89 - Tuesday, March 13, 2012 - link

    Hence why most people can't tell the difference between 720p and 1080p on their HDTVs. Reply
  • Mitch89 - Tuesday, March 13, 2012 - link

    4K does not equal 4 megapixel. A 4K display would have more than 7 megapixels.

    4K refers to the width of the display in pixels, likely 4096x2560 in a 16:10 aspect.

    To put that in perspective, most current 30" displays (Dell, Apple, etc) are 2560px wide.

    I for one and looking forward to that with some better UI scaling. My 27" Dell 2709W looks great at 1920x1200 for readability, but if that resolution were doubled like the new iPad (more pixels, same view), it would be incredibly smooth.
  • steven75 - Sunday, March 11, 2012 - link

    They'll buy iPads because Win8 (metro interface) won't have the 200,000 apps the iPad does. Reply
  • tdawg - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    Agreed. I'd love a high resolution 27" or 30" monitor, but I'm not willing to pay more than $400-$500 for a PC monitor. If panel prices can be driven down to my price point, I'd be happy. Reply
  • Mitch89 - Tuesday, March 13, 2012 - link

    I'm tempted to replace my Dell 2709W with a U2711 just for the relatively minor res bump (2560x1440 vs 1920x1200). The drop to 16x9 is a shame, but having recently purchased dual U2711's for an editing suite I built for a friend, they are awesome, not to mention sharply priced. Reply
  • RHurst - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    YES! Couldn't agree more. Reply
  • Sabresiberian - Tuesday, March 13, 2012 - link

    I agree, a pixel density higher than 200 PPI and 16:10, about 27" or 30" size.

    200Hz would be great, too. (I'll settle for 120 though.)

    You know, this technology isn't new. There were LCD panels made with that kind of density over a decade ago:


    Of course, they were extremely expensive back then ($18,000), but tablets prove they don't have to be today.

    One thing I DO NOT want is a screen with a ratio less than 16:10, and a lot of these "4K" displays are worse than 16:9.

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