Apple’s IPad Is No. 1, Even With Heat, Consumer Reports Says

Apple Inc.’s new iPad was named the best tablet computer in a ranking by Consumer Reports, two weeks after the magazine said the device runs “significantly hotter” than previous models.

The new iPad’s high-resolution screen provides the best detail and color accuracy of all tablets Consumer Reports has seen, the publication said today on its website. Consumer Reports also commended the device’s camera and faster connectivity. The new iPad costs $500 to $830.

Last month, Consumer Reports said the new iPad reached temperatures of 116 degrees (47 degrees Celsius) when handling processor-intensive tasks such as playing graphics-heavy games. While the iPad can reach 122 degrees in 90-degree weather, when playing a game at maximum brightness, the temperatures don’t pose a health hazard, the reviewers said.

The device’s temperature is close to the 121 degrees that a Samsung Electronics Co. Galaxy Tab 10.1 can reach in the same conditions, Consumer Reports said. An Asustek Computer Inc. Asus Transformer Prime can reach 117 degrees.

“With use of a laptop, evidence suggests that temperature on the bottom of its case of 120 degrees risks damage to bare skin with prolonged contact,”  Consumer Reports said in a statement today. “But we think the same temperature on a tablet is more a potential inconvenience than a concern.”

Satisfaction Ratings

Many customers didn’t wait for the reviews before buying the new tablet. Apple sold more than 3 million iPads during the product’s debut weekend.

The sales enthusiasm carried through to satisfaction ratings, according to survey results released today by ChangeWave Research, a unit of 451 Research LLC. Of the new iPad owners surveyed, 82 percent said they were very satisfied with the device, compared to the 74 percent approval rating of the previous iPad.

The high-resolution “retina” display was ranked the best feature on the iPad by new owners. The biggest dislike of the iPad was the cost, according to the ChangeWave survey.

Consumer Reports ranked the new iPad above other new tablets including the Toshiba Corp. Excite 10LE, the Pantech Co. Element, the Sony Corp. Tablet P, and Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 7.7.

The magazine suggested that gamers turn down the brightness of the tablets if the heat bothers them.

When Cupertino, California-based Apple released the iPhone 4, Consumer Reports declined to recommend it, saying it dropped calls when gripped a certain way. After initially playing down the matter, which became known as “Antennagate,” Apple gave out free cases and issued a software update aimed at addressing the glitch.

Apple rose 3.2 percent to $618.63 at the close in New York. The shares have gained 53 percent this year.