Attention George Foreman: report to an Apple Store near you immediately. There’s a hot (literally) product, you simply must buy the entire inventory of to keep your grilling empire alive: the new iPad.
Or at least, that’s what the latest nonsense from Consumer Reports would have you believe.
We’ve seen this ridiculousness from Consumer Reports before. In June 2010, at the height of “Antennagate”, Consumer Reports figured out the art of click-bait. If you say something outlandish, even if it directly contradicts something you previously said (and sometimes that’s even better!), you must harp on a story to keep those precious pageviews flowing in. And so harp they did.
The reality of the Antennagate situation was always this: it was real, but it really wasn’t a big deal. The fact that the iPhone 4 went on to sell tens of millions of units — record numbers for Apple at the time — bringing in billions of dollars for the company with very few returns, sure seems to suggest Consumer Reports blew the situation way out of proportion. And what they’re doing today is arguably worse.
To be clear, it is true that the new iPad gives off more heat than the previous models. We were among the first to report this in our initial review of the device last week. Guess who didn’t note it in their initial report? Consumer Reports. A week ago, everything was peachy keen: The new iPad is shaping up as the best tablet yet.
But that review apparently didn’t generate the pageviews they would have liked. So today, we have the outlet firing back: Our test finds new iPad hits 116 degrees while running games.
While there’s nothing factually wrong with that title (presumably, I don’t have my iPad thermometer handy), it is misleading for average consumers — you know, Consumer Reports core audience. 116 degrees sounds hot. Really hot. Death Valley hot. It sounds like the thing is a grill.
The reality is that 116 degrees isn’t that hot for a computer. In fact, it’s only about 10 degrees or so hotter than the not-complained-about iPad 2 ran. And this is at the extreme, when graphic-intensive games that max out the new A5X chip are running. Even at this temperature, Consumer Reports notes:
During our tests, I held the new iPad in my hands. When it was at its hottest, it felt very warm but not especially uncomfortable if held for a brief period.
That’s pretty much what we noted last week:
One other slight downside which I have to assume is related to either the battery or the LTE functionality is that unlike previous iPad models, the new iPad does get noticeably warm in the lower left corner after prolonged use. It’s never hot, just warm. But again, I never noticed this on other models.
Warm. Not hot. But that didn’t stop Consumer Reports from giving their “scoop” to CNBC this morning and “upgrading” the new iPad from “not especially uncomfortable” to “uncomfortable”.
And that continued. As Consumer Reports spokesman James McQueen told the Associated Free Press today:
People need to exercise caution. We are not saying it is a dangerous product, but 116 degrees can be a little uncomfortable.
That, in turn, led the mainstream media and analysts to do what they do best: use jackassery in an attempt to pray on the masses and reap the rewards. One example:
Consumer Reports confirms iPad heat problems, could cause burns :usat.ly/GBGvmC
— Rob Enderle (@Enderle) March 20, 2012
“Could cause burns” — what the hell? I’ve been using the new iPad for nearly two weeks now. A lot. Not only has it not come close to rising above “warm”, I don’t even notice the heat anymore. Certainly, it’s still runs much cooler than almost every single laptop on the market today. And that’s something you have to put on your lap. Body exposure is maximized.
But a story about laptops being hot is boring. Everyone already knows that. No one would read it. The iPad is the sexy new thing. And it runs a little warm sometimes!!! AHHHHHHH!!!
Now we have “Warmgate” — complaints so ridiculous, they read like satire. But it doesn’t matter, Consumer Reports has done their job. Not their actual job, mind you, which is protecting consumers. They’ve done their new job: generating pageviews by any means necessary.
We will absolutely have a follow-up story from them tomorrow. And probably another one the next day. Then one contradicting what was previous said (which they’ve already done, of course).
We need a Consumer Reports to protect us from Consumer Reports.
EXCLUSIVE: Consumer Reports cannot recommend Hansel — too hot right now.
— MG Siegler (@parislemon) March 20, 2012