If the new iPad is ‘hot,’ what do you call a MacBook Pro?

March 21, 2012, 3:09 PM UTC

The heat generated by Consumer Reports’ thermal test is likely to dissipate quickly 

Source: Consumer Reports

Mike Daisey owes Consumer Reports’ Donna Tapellini a thank-you note for diverting attention — at least briefly — from his malfeasances with her preliminary report on the new iPad.

CR engineers discovered — and on Tuesday Tapellini reported — that playing Infinity Blade II for 45 uninterrupted minutes made the new device up to to 13 degrees F “hotter” (her word) than a similarly stressed iPad 2.

The memory of Antennagate — the flap that CR created and perpetuated with its several reviews of the iPhone 4 — was too strong. Legions of Apple (AAPL) loyalists spent much of Tuesday with their knickers in a Tapellini twist.

Hot, of course, is a relative term. Where, we ask, were CR’s thermal imaging devices when its engineers tested the latest crop of MacBook Pros, computers whose CPUs during ordinary operation have been known to top 185 degrees F?

The word “hot” doesn’t appear in any of CR’s current MacBook reviews. I checked.

As someone who spends most of his working days with a scalding 15-inch MacBook Pro on his lap, I think the proper term for what the new iPad gets is “warm.”

We note that temperature doesn’t come up in either the glowing first-look review that Talellini co-authored last Friday (“The new iPad is shaping up as the best tablet yet“) or the complimentary video that electronics editor Paul Reynolds posted on the Consumer Reports website. That’s as it should be.