Reports emerge that Apple's new tablet can get uncomfortably warm to hold and tends to overheat in sunlight.

iPad 3 too hot to handle

With Apple’s new iPad 3 flying off the shelves, some new owners are reporting uncomfortable heat levels in one corner of the more powerful Apple tablet.

A number of forum posts on the macrumours discussion board drew attention to the lower left hand corner of the device getting much warmer than any other area of the device – most likely where the system-on-chip is located.

Perhaps surprisingly the heating occurs to some degree even when the device isn’t being used for anything computationally intensive.

However if the tablet is in full sunlight then the tablet can overheat to the point that the display will blank out with an error displaying: "iPad needs to cool down before you can use it."

It’s worth pointing out that the iPad’s stated operating temperature range is remarkably narrow, rated to just 32C. Obviously that presents a problem in many countries and rules out use in sunlight for many more.

That said, the overwhelming number of complaints are not shutdown or ‘cooling mode’ related but rather the tablet being uncomfortably warm to hold. The ergonomics of tablets means it’s somewhat more difficult to avoid being in contact with the device versus notebooks.

Perhaps a more indicative average comment can be found from this MacRumours forum posting:

"It does get pretty warm, especially when comparing to an iPad 2. The iPad 2 was cool the whole time while the new iPad is just warm the ENTIRE time, it never cools down at all."

As iPad 3 teardowns have shown so far, Apple has fitted a considerably larger battery to cope with the higher power drain of the latest generation device.

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