back to article Apple iPad 3 packs LAPTOP battery

The iPad 3 contains an 11,560mAh battery, the first take-apart of the third-generation Apple tablet has revealed. Indeed, the new gagdet is packed with power storage behind its - Samsung-made, seemingly - 2048 x 1536 "retina display". iFixit iPad 3 take-apart Source: iFixit.com The autopsy, conducted by iFixit, shows a mere …

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Mushroom

how long until

One of these batteries goes supernova? That would be the only good use of this power hog.

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Anonymous Coward

and yet

Only a few grams heavier.

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Overnight charge only?

Does this mean a longer full recharge cycle time compared with the '2'?

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Re: Overnight charge only?

Apparently So. One of the UK tech magazines was quoting about 6 hours (or 12 from a computer USB!)

Too be honest Im surprised in some ways that Apple didn't up the charger to a 20W output, but then again maybe they didn't want to have multiple different, seemingly the same, chargers on the market confusing buyers!

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Holmes

Re: Overnight charge only?

It already is 20W - My iPad2 is, at least. The Apple-supplied charger is rated at 2A * 5 = 20W. I'm in New Zealand - is the charger in your country smaller?

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Silver badge

Re: Overnight charge only?

"The Apple-supplied charger is rated at 2A * 5 = 20W."

I'm pretty sure that's a 10W charger.

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Re: Overnight charge only?

Pretty basic stuff.. if they include a charger capable of twice the charging current, it'll charge twice as fast. If not -- or, if you charge from lower power sources like USB jacks -- it'll take nearly twice as long as the iPad 2. Keep in mind, every laptop has a dedicated power supply, they don't try to charge through a USB jack.

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Re: Overnight charge only?

Which is why ASUS has frustrated so many punters by using a bespoke charger. That's because as soon as you plug a transformer on it's USB socket the current goes from 5V to 11V thereby charging in a reasonable amount of time.

Ordinary USB would need 16 hours to charge a sleeping transformer. Turn it on and the charge is no longer sufficient....

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FAIL

Re: Overnight charge only?

So the battery lasts the same as the iPad2, but only if you have twice as long to charge it? I can see that this might be a problem in the field.

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I'd rather

have the bigger battery in the older model, I think.

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I really think battery tech is lagging behind. Most of phones and tablets these days are taken up by battery. There's some cool things on the horizon for powering mobile devices but I'm really longing to see these come out in affordable consumer devices. Using physically bigger batteries in devices only works to a point (and the iPad 3 looks like it has pushed it right to the limit).

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your right. damn that thing called physics!

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Silver badge

"that thing called physics"

and chemistry !

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Stop

Got that the wrong way around

We could equally well say that what is lagging behind is the power efficiency and power management technology to provide the capabilities. If you look back over the history of battery powered compute devices such as mobile phones and laptops you'll see that most of the gain has come through reduction of energy consumption rather than increase in energy storage.

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Batteries are ok, the power consumption is just too much to satisfy the glow seeking customers.

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Anonymous Coward

Lagging behind what?

Technology doesn't have any obligation to move forward at any particular speed. Battery tech is improving faster than the top speed of cars, does that make you happy?

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And that's how we'll come full circle...

...back to PSION's razor sharp focus on coding efficiency. Let's hope the market can now send the message that each cycle is precious and taking unusual, idiosyncratic and convoluted paths to achieve even a tiny reduction in cycles is precious.

The desktop dogma that "hardware is cheap" and throwing hardware to iron over sloppy, hastily-put-together code is not applicable to mobile computing.

(Caveat emptor: excluding monster gaming laptops weighing at 4kgs and sporting a battery life of 45 whole minutes - true story; latest alienware's battery time)

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Re: And that's how we'll come full circle...

"we'll come full circle...back to PSION's razor sharp focus on coding efficiency."

I wish.

But looking at what has gone on at Nokia and how Apple's making its money I doubt it.

If there was a modern-day equivalent of the Psion Netbook I'd be chuffed to bits.

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Coffee/keyboard

well, good thing that not everybody stops their research when some know-it-all says "physics" really just abusing the word to claim "it can't be done"

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Re: "that thing called physics"

.. and fashion for ultra thin, as opposed to practical, really the difference between 5mm and 10mm is, really... Who is driving who here, punters don't ask for 5mm devices the designers do.

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Anonymous Coward

Oh well, bigger screen and more pixels == bigger battery

Though, whilst hardly supprising that it needs more power to cater for the screen it is somewhat interesting the trend in that doubling cpu power will mean a small increase in power usage, but with a screen it seems to be alot more of an impact.

I know on my android phone the screen uses most of the power from a days general usage and can only imagine how the power consumption percentages divvy up on the new ipad. Would not be supprised that in general 70% of the power used in general use is by the screen.

It is interesting that in many respects apple had to step back a bit to accomodate the new screen and it is only highlighting that battery tech, whilst in the early days of mobiles was making new types of better battery every other year that the trend for a while now has been li-on based batteries and whilst a few years back we were all lead to believe we could practicaly run it on vodka one day soon.

I realy would love to know the amount of power that screen uses as for a tablet that is one heck of a battery. That with the weight I do wonder what would win - Odd job's hat from the Bond movies or a iPad; Least in respect of how many statue heads they can take out.

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TRT
Silver badge

Re: Oh well, bigger screen and more pixels == bigger battery

But it's the same surface area, so the same light density, no?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Oh well, bigger screen and more pixels == bigger battery

The screen is not bigger.

As for the CPU/GPU requiring more power to push more pixels, maybe this is true for 3-D games, but in most cases it will require the same amount of power.

Most of the time I see people using iPads to read emails or web pages, i.e., basically static images, and it doesn't really take any extra power to display a static image regardless of resolution. The CPU and GPU will just sit there idle, like before.

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Re: Oh well, bigger screen and more pixels == bigger battery

Depends entirely on how you do it. If you double CPU power just by doubling the clock speed, you'll increase the CPU's share of power consumption by about 4x. If you double GPU power by, say, doubling the number of GPU units, again, double the GPU's share of power consumption. Apple should have done a die shrink here, down to 32nm or better still 28nm, which is the range of most of this year's quad-core chips.

Then, between the die shrink and the quad core, a funny thing happens... you actually save power. Sure, the peak CPU share of power may be a bit more than a 2-core system, but not much. But doing the same work, you find that same exponential increase in power vs. clock frequency. So rather than run two processors at 1GHz, you can run four at 500MHz, and use less than half the power, all told. Apple can't tap this advantage, they don't do enough multitasking in iOS to really take advantage of two cores (which is why Apple pushes single-threaded benchmarks when comparing tablet performance).

And yeah, screens suck power, and the better they look, the more power. The 720p SAMOLED screen on my Nexus One is the best display of any kind I own, when cranked up to full brightness. But that sucks way too much power. This is the big thing with the bulk of the 4G generation. A 4G radio actually uses less power per byte transferred, for the same signal strength, than a 3G radio. And at least on US frequencies, the 700MHz LTE has a bunch of RF advantages, so if it's in your area, you probably get a stronger signal than on 3G.

And yeah, the first generation 4G chips were pretty power hungry. But right now, there are two kinds of 4G devices. Premium phones have the insanely great displays and higher clocked dual core processors -- plenty of ways to kill battery life. Mid-range/discount 4G phones always skimp on battery size, sometimes even less juice than a premium 3G phone (not even counting the iPhone 4/4S). In short, 4G is getting an undeserved rap.

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Silver badge

Need better batteries

Just make it bigger is only going to work for so long. It might take a big leap to something like methnol fuel cells if batteries continue to improve at a snail's pace.

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Thumb Up

iPad 3?

Are we calling it that to wind up the fructophiles? Just checking...

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Re: iPad 3?

is it a wind up? When people ask me which iPad I have, I shall answer with iPad 3?

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Silver badge

4g power drain

Given that the difference in life between the 4g and wifi versions is the same as the ipad2 3G & wifi versions that actually suggests that 90% of that increases battery is going to the screen.

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Re: 4g power drain

of course it is.

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Megaphone

It'll be 3-4 years before we see domestic Lithium batteries using nano tech to double their current capacity.

Just remember, double the capacity, you double the charging time...

It'll be interesting to see hi-res OLED screens as these will have significant battery savings.

Black and dark themes will come back into fashion as they'll use much less power.

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> Just remember, double the capacity, you double the charging time...

Not necessarily. Most conventional batteries can be charged at most at C*4 (capacity x 4), and that only with temperature monitoring. That means, if you have a 5A cell, you can in theory charge it at up to 20A. But this can also lower the effective life of the battery, so it's more like 2.5A-5.0A... which means 1-2 hours.

The maim idea in nanotech anodes and maybe eventually cathodes is simple: increase the surface area of the terminal as much as possible. This means less potential damage across the whole terminal, even if you don't cure the problem entirely. It also means much higher peak output... particularly a problem with Li-ion (not that they can't output higher currents, just that, when they do, they tend to explode). And the same thing in reverse -- much faster charging without overheating.

As for OLED... they still chew on power, for a large display. LCDs are worse on average, IPS worse yet (two transistors per subpixel, rather than one), but anything that makes light, heat, or sound is going to be draining that battery.

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Bronze badge

I wouldn't be surprised if most of the power went to the screen/backlight in the iPad 2 as well. At 43 Whr with a battery life of 10 hours, that's a 4.3 W power drain: 2 W of backlight, 1 W for the comms chipset and another for the processor/RAM/storage, about half on each of those for the previous model, with the lower-res screen and humbler graphics and network connection?

It'll be interesting to see how the WiFi-only model compares, since that'll exclude the LTE chipset/radio but keep everything else the same. If it gets much the same battery life, we know the screen is the culprit; if it's better, with the same battery, we know it's the LTE chipset draining all that power.

Most of the time all the LTE bits should be idle anyway, though, so it shouldn't make a major difference anyway.

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Silver badge

Anyone else old enough...

...to remember tips to increase battery life on the first windows laptops? Including a black (or was it white?) desktop, because that way the processor didn't have to burn so much juice updating all those hundreds of thousands of pixels?

O tempora, o mores.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Anyone else old enough...

The processor takes as much juice to update a black pixel as a white pixel.

What you're thinking of is that it takes electricity to align the liquid crystals to block the backlight, i.e., create a black pixel. You can save an (almost trivial) amount of power by displaying light-colored backgrounds.

This is reversed for OLED screens of course, where it takes power to create a light-colored pixel.

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Silver badge

Re: Anyone else old enough...

This is just the Greenpeace black pixel hoax. www.greenpeaceblackpixel.org/

Even with the best advantage (ie worst CRT screen you can find), a square of black pixels saves so little power that you would do better to:

* skip one cup of coffee every year, or

* skip one shower in your life, or

* skip one bath in three generations.

Some might argue that the back pixel project has symbolic influence. I'd argue that skipping the odd shower in the name of power consumption makes far more sense.

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Facepalm

no need for bigger batteries

just plug in to your electric car.

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FAIL

Power drain

My old Canon G9 compact has a button to turn the display off between shots to extend battery life, so I assume all real SLRs have the same option. How about a "feature" that turns the display off unless the front-facing camera sees you looking at it?

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Thumb Up

Eink is the answer

More research into colour eink displays is needed. Ipad with kindle like battery life'd nice.

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It'll be interesting seeing the car charging kit for one of these.

I'd be surprised if a car kit could even charge the battery whilst using it. I bet it might still drain albeit slightly slower.

Still looking forward to getting my hands on one though:)

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>>I'd be surprised if a car kit could even charge the battery whilst using it.

>>I bet it might still drain albeit slightly slower.

There is no technical issue w/ the dynamo producing enough to charge the tablet. The consumption is less than a tail light bulb.

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Anonymous Coward

Dynamo? Does your Model T even have a cigar lighter socket?

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Anonymous Coward

The screen is the same size

It is driving me nuts that so many people are saying that the screen is "bigger." It's the same size, idiots.

Apparently the wires that connect each pixel take up a non-trivial amount of surface area, so the backlight of the retina display needs to be brighter than the old display, since more of that light is being absorbed by the circuitry. If it weren't for this, there's no reason why the new display would take any more power than the old display.

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Re: The screen is the same size

That's incorrect. If they had the same transmittance, there's no reason the backlight power drain would change, and yeah, that's a good deal of the power draw. But the new display will have four times as many transistors as the old, two per subpixel, since it's an IPS display. That's nearly 7.1million extra transistors to power. Not trivial, I'm sure.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The screen is the same size

and you seem to be forgetting that there are a million transistors doing the maths to decide which pixels to light. the 4xgpu is required to drive the 4xpixelcount with a higher power drain to match.

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11.5 Ah?

At this pace, I expect that an aftermarket set of iPad-specific jumper cables will appear shortly. "Can't start your car on a cold morning? iPad to the rescue!"

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Alien

Stuff is purposely designed to only last 1 day

My old phone lasted over a week on a charge.

But the people that put the eye on the dollar don't want us to have devices that let us be off grid for more than one day, it would jeopardize their plan for total control.

Smartphones and tablets were not designed to make us more efficient, but designed to be electronic dog leashes, to have us passive and docile engaging in retarded 'social games' like FarmVille etc, keeping us from noticing or thinking about whats really going on around us.

So, there is an unwritten rule that any battery advance must always be countered by one or more power hogging components, like screens with way more pixels than anybody's eyes could ever make out.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Stuff is purposely designed to only last 1 day

Personally I carry an external battery pack for my phone, good for 3-4 charges... great for flights and such!, but then again with wifi & 3G off, my battery lasts ages... Even with just 3G off, my phone will last 3 days connected to wifi with sip...... and thats a galaxy s!

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Anonymous Coward

Apple with stupid Aerial tech as usual.

If Apple had any sense they'd look at the 10 times better nano-capacitor Aerial tech. from a start-up, aired on a Google sponsored site, and look at varying clock speed and varied size CPU size tech, aimed at Android devices, to cut power consumption.

Hope Google prod Android tablet firms to humble AAPL soon, by releasing with at least as good screens and far better power consumption.

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