Their main conclusion is "These results should be of concern to anyone considering the new iPad. Its lengthy recharge time and its extreme slowness to charge while in use give highly mobile users reason to question its travel worthiness." However, I think they misrepresented the issue with their conclusions. Below, the author discusses their testing technique:
"To conduct these tests with the new iPad, I waited until the tablet had dropped to 3 percent battery life before plugging it in to begin charging. I then used it, plugged in, for at least five consecutive hours, with Wi-Fi on but the Verizon LTE disabled.
Surprisingly, the new iPad's battery percentage indicator showed no increase in charge during those hours of use. Some of the reports I've seen online indicate that the battery fails to charge only when performing processor-intensive tasks such as displaying videos and running games, but I found that the problem persisted across a wide range of activities. Over the course of my test, I downloaded and tried out apps, viewed photos, sent email messages, surfed the Web, and listened to lots of music; I also played short sections of standard- and high-definition video, and--oh yes--played games. In that time, the battery gauge simply didn't budge. For the entire testing period, I left the display on maximum brightness, with no auto-brightness, and set the screen time-out to 'never'.
I have highlighted some of the high points of their testing process above. The author says he started with a 3 percent charge and used it for 5 hours of typical use and it didn't die. He also used it at max brightness.
There are a couple of real world issues with their conclusion that it "should be of concern to anyone considering the new iPad".
1. Max Brightness - all of these types of tests are at max brightness. Inside, I never use max brightness. It isn't needed unless you have very bright, reflective lighting. So, they should have mentioned that a great deal of users will not need max brightness.
2. The author says that he did several different things while it was charging. He does not say how long he spent on each activity. That would be good to know, don't ya think?
3. Starting point of a 3 percent charge - Most people that plug their iPads in at night, while sleeping, and use it less than 9 hours should not have to plug it in until they go to bed. However, the article mentions that for their use, they were able to do several things on it for 5 straight hours without losing any charge.
4. Give highly mobile users reason to question its travel worthiness - I would think that most highly mobile users would not be tethered to a power socket. However, if they charged it all night, got to an airport, plugged it in, then used it until they were called to board, they would still have 100 percent charge under normal use (according to the article). They would then have about 10 hours (see Apple's fifth footnote) of constant wifi use until they were near a plug. At that point, they could use the plug until it was time to go to bed and plug it in while the slept. When they woke up, assuming they had 7 hours of sleep, it should be back at 100 percent.
Finally, my tests did not show the same results on my iPad. Keep in mind I am using one iPad as my sample, but so are the "experts". With more than 3 million iPads on the market, testing one iPad is hardly a good sampling.
However, in my test the iPad was at 81 percent when I plugged it in. I had "auto brightness" off and I had the iPad set to max brightness. I then started the Slingbox app that streamed a high def Directv signal using the Slingbox "High Quality" mode over wifi and then to my iPad. I let it run for an hour and the battery power went up to 85 percent in that hour. That is 4 percentage points in an hour of ONLY streaming video. I have to think that the author of the article spent a lot of time playing games, their one iPad test sample has an issue that my iPad does not have, or the iPad charges differently at 3 percent than 81 percent.
So the question is whether you will have any problems with the new iPad if you decided to buy one. Apple (in the USA), as of today, offers:
"For any other product, simply return it with the original receipt (or gift receipt) and original packaging within 14 days of the date you receive the product. If the item is returned within this timeframe, we’ll exchange it or offer a refund based upon the original payment method. "
So, if you decide to buy the new iPad, just put it through several tests and determine if it is a messed up version like they have at PCWorld or a good version like I was apparently lucky enough to have selected for me. If it is like PCWorld's and you are one of the few that will notice, just return it to Apple.