It’s the battery life, stupid

I was impressed with the iPad’s battery life, which I found to be even longer than Apple’s ten-hour claim, and far longer than on my laptops or smart phones. For my battery test, I played movies, TV shows and other videos back-to-back until the iPad died. This stressed the device’s most power-hogging feature, its screen. The iPad lasted 11 hours and 28 minutes, about 15% more than Apple claimed. I was able to watch four feature-length movies, four TV episodes and a video of a 90-minute corporate presentation, before the battery died midway through an episode of “The Closer.”

Walt Mossberg, in his review.

Speaking of video: Apple asserts that the iPad runs 10 hours on a charge of its nonremovable battery — but we all know you can’t trust the manufacturer. And sure enough, in my own test, the iPad played movies continuously from 7:30 a.m. to 7:53 p.m. — more than 12 hours. That’s four times as long as a typical laptop or portable DVD player.

David Pogue, in his review.

I can’t believe that two other high profile reviewers didn’t even mention battery life. The iPad could dispense crisp bacon and protect you from alien attacks and it wouldn’t matter if its battery life sucked.

That’s essentially the one item which was open to doubt, although Apple’s record with battery life claims is pretty good (most of their unibody machines have outperformed their claims in reviews, although of course battery life tends to degrade over time — my first generation Macbook Pro’s battery life started at around 3h normal usage with new batteries, and is down to about 2:30 on this, its second).

I do wonder how long it will run Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars which can suck my iPhone 3G’s battery dry in nothing flat.

Claims that the iPad is more about consuming media than creating it need to be taken with a grain of salt — it hasn’t shipped yet! There’s good reason that for some creative applications (e.g. 3d sculpting) it may prove superb. And I foresee third-party cases with integral bluetooth keyboards.

Apparently my iPad is going through customs… Argh.