You may want to look towards Apple’s new 32nm-based iPad 2 if you want the best battery life an iPad can offer. According to new tests, which compared the battery life of the 32nm iPad 2 and the new iPad, the iPad 2 actually lasts longer. The tests were performed by AnandTech, a site that is known for going super in-depth with its testing procedures, and the site notes that Apple’s $399 iPad 2 uses a new 32nm SoC, but you’re not guaranteed to get that model (which it refers to as the iPad 2,4), when you make a new purchase.
The Wi-Fi-only iPad 2,4 yielded 11.7 hours of battery life in a web browsing test while the iPad 3 (Wi-Fi) pulled in 9.28 hours before it died. In gaming tests, the Wi-Fi-only iPad 2,4 offered 7.9 hours of battery life while the new iPad lasted just 5.58 hours. The iPad 2,4 also lasted 15.7 hours in video playback tests while the new iPad offered just 11.15 hours of battery life. The site credits the new GPU and higher-screen resolution to the decreased battery performance of the new iPad, which makes sense, so there’s not too much of a surprise here.
There’s a catch, though. If you purchase a $399 iPad 2, you’re not guaranteed to get a model with the new 32nm SoC. We’re not sure why, but we presume this is because Apple built additional iPad 2 units with a new 32nm SoC and is also continuing to sell a backlog of units with the older 42nm SoC. “If you’re in the market for an iPad 2, the 2,4 is clearly the one to get – if you can find one that is,” AnandTech explained. “Unfortunately there’s no sure fire way to tell that you’re getting a 2,4 without opening the box and turning on the tablet, and I suspect most stores will get a bit irate if you’re constantly buying and returning iPad 2s in search for a 32nm model. Presumably over time more of the available inventory will shift to 2,4 models, but based on our experiences in trying to find a 2,4 it’s still pretty tough.” Thankfully, the original iPad 2 still outperformed the new iPad, just not as significantly.
Image Credit: AnandTech