Battery life and power drain of Ipad3 vs iPad 2 according to Byte Magazine


macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 15, 2007
I know it's very early but are any of you finding these issues yet? I have read about the longer charging times but the rest was a little surprising.

In other types of tests conducted by various tech publications, the new iPad consistently performs more poorly than the iPad 2. Anandtech, for instance, found that the new iPad draws 4.58 watts while surfing the Web over Wi-Fi while the iPad 2 draws a mere 2.48 watts. DisplayMate found that the new iPad at maximum brightness sitting idle draws 7.32 watts. The iPad 2? Only 3.47 watts. CNET found that the iPad 2 draws 1.76 watts at 150 candelas per square meter (cd/m2) brightness for 720p video playback. The new iPad draws 3.32 watts. These results show that there is approximately a doubling of power consumption, yet the new iPad's battery increased in size only 70%, from 25 watt hours to 42.5 watt hours.

The new iPad's ultra-high-rez push seems to run counter to Apple's form-over-function design philosophy. The bleeding-edge screen has inflicted tradeoffs in usability: the thicker and heavier chassis, much longer charge times, hotter surface temperatures, and shorter battery life. For photographers who crave higher resolution and higher color gamut, the new iPad is a must have. For everyone else craving an iPad, the decision is more difficult.

If you can't or won't wait for the next generation of ultra-high-resolution iPads with better energy efficiency, you might want to stock up on a few 37 watt hour battery packs at $55 apiece so you won't be tied to a wall socket. These battery packs will charge your smartphone and any other USB device you might have as well.


macrumors 6502a
Oct 5, 2007
Jacksonville, Florida
iPad 4 will merely be a "fixed" iPad 3.. more efficient retina display, thin again, light again, faster charging when this screen technology becauses more efficient.

Makes sense - you have to pay to play and have the newest tech.. There will always be caveats to fresh hardware..

Such as when LCD flat screen TVs came out.. remember how thick they were? Now they are using a quarter of the energy, maybe less and about .40" thick.


macrumors 68030
Oct 31, 2007
Austin, TX
What issues? The high-res display uses more power, therefore Apple increased the size of the battery. Period.

Why do I care how many watts the iPad draws while I'm using it as long as I'm getting the advertised battery life? I can use my iPad for about three days at a time for web browsing, reading, Netflix, light gaming, etc. After that I drop it on the charger at bedtime and it's fully charged in the morning.

Claiming that "you might want to stock up on a few 37 watt hour battery packs at $55 apiece so you won't be tied to a wall socket" is just blatantly misleading. The battery's run time is excellent. I get better battery life with my iPad than the average Kindle Fire, and the Fire's basically a souped-up pocket calculator compared to the iPad's hardware.

Why do people insist on making it sound like there's something wrong?


macrumors member
Oct 20, 2011
Yea, what a crock. Yes, it does use more power and thus the larger battery so that the run time is the same as Ipad2. Duh. I actually feel like my Ipad3 is getting slightly better run times than my Ipad2...


macrumors 6502a
Jun 30, 2007
Denver/Boulder, CO
Whether it draws more power than the iPad 2 or not doesn't really matter to me. The user experience does. I fully charged my iPad 3 Sunday night, used it a few hours Monday evening, a few hours Tuesday evening, and an hour or so today. Im at 61% charge. At this rate, with my usage, I probably only need to recharge once or twice a week depending on what I do over the weekend.

Things might be different if I needed the iPad for 10 hours straight during a transatlantic flight but that's not my situation so I'm quite happy with my iPad 3 in terms of battery/power. :)

Interesting info on the actual numbers though, thanks.


macrumors 6502a
Dec 16, 2010
That would explain why the my new iPad uses more battery over the course of a day, compared to my iPad 2.

My iPad 2 can be at 90% at midnight. My new iPad is already at 77% and it's only 4pm. Both fully charged the night before.

I have no complaints as long as there is a good reason for the drop. I'll take LTE and Retina Display over longer battery life, especially since I can always charge it overnight.

But how does one check if you have a defective battery anyway?


macrumors 6502a
Mar 7, 2011
Better buy a bunch of batteries so you arn't tied to an outlet? Lol. I have noticed no difference in battery power and in especially heavy use t hus far I havn't gone below 50%.

Even if the battery life really has gone from ~10 hours to ~9 hours, its not exactly a freakin sega nomad.

And the weight/depth change is such a complete non issue. Thats the test I want to see people on the street take, see if they can tell which is which based on weight.

glen e

macrumors 68030
Jun 19, 2010
Ft Lauderdale
Once again a "sky is falling" post on the ipad 3. I just got back from a 3day business trip to Vegas and back - using it all day in meetings, planes and LTE - at the end of the day it was at 27% vs the 35% of my I don't give a sh**....people splitting hairs here...


macrumors 68040
Nov 2, 2007
Los Angeles
I've been using mine for 2 days straight... it came off the plug at 8:30a yesterday morning.

Surfed through out the entire day on and off of 3G and LTE depending on the moment,
used the phone as a mobile hotspot on and off about 4 times,
played half a game of WordFeud,
played about 15-20 of Resident Evil 4,
I have 5 email accounts fetching and pushing all day,
went home surfed on Wifi for about an hour straight.

Watched about an hour and ten minutes of videos this morning at the gym. Been surfing on and off all day while at work and when my computer was otherwise engaged and still at 22% as right now at 3:54pm...

I'd say this is pretty damn good battery life. I keep my backlight at about 40-60% brightness... it was at 70% this morning while I watched videos at the gym

So I'm going to average about 50% a day with some pretty decent usage while 4G is intermittently on.