If you stop charging the new iPad as soon as its battery indicator shows “100%” you could be missing out on as much as 1.2 hours of extra running time, the latest testing shows.
After first identifying the misleading battery indicator, Raymond Soneira of DisplayMate performed more detailed tests. First he measured how long the iPad would run when fully charged, then he did the same thing when the iPad only said it was fully charged but really hadn’t reached its maximum capacity (the issue Soneira discovered while testing the power drain of the retina display).
The results: The fully charged iPad ran for 11.6 hours, while the not-quite-full iPad maxed out at 10.4 hours, or about 10% less. Apple rates the new iPad’s battery at “up to 10 hours” in its spec sheet, so strictly speaking, the iPad does perform as advertised.
There’s a big caveat there, though. Soneira’s tests had the iPad in Airplane Mode (no wireless) with no apps running at all. Switching on Wi-Fi, running apps or even turning up the brightness would cut your run time even more.
As to why the iPad’s battery indicator says its full when it isn’t, Apple isn’t saying. In its coverage of the issue, CNBC reports that Apple says charging the iPad all the way to its true full capacity may harm the battery’s longevity. However, as presented, the statement appears to be some kind of specification or guideline, and not an official statement.
Either way, Soneira isn’t buying it. He writes: “So according to Apple the new iPad is configured to damage the longevity of its own battery if it isn’t manually disconnected from the AC charger when the 100% indicator appears. Anyone that recharges their iPad unattended, especially overnight, will be doing this.
“While Apple’s remark might apply to recharging dumb battery operated toys, the new iPad is a very sophisticated and expensive computer device that is fully capable of properly controlling and managing its own (rudimentary) battery charging process.”
Apple has yet to make any official statement on the matter.
What’s your take on the iPad battery issue? How much do those extra 1.2 hours of run time matter to you? Have your say in the comments.