The iPad Does What No Other Tablet Does

Ben Bajarin / August 4th, 2011

There actually may be a number of things that can be pointed out that truly differentiate the iPad. I however would like to focus on just one – battery life.

For the past week I have been camping in Lake Tahoe for vacation. All though i’m on vacation and not “working” I still like to check in from time to time as well as post new things on our site.

I brought a slew of electronics on this trip knowing that I would need multiple ways to get online and have very limited options and time to charge my gear.

So here it is Thursday and the only thing with juice left is my iPad. My Macbook Air, several other Android tablets, my iPhone, and several of the latest Android phones all dead. The only thing left standing is the iPad.

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There are many reasons why this is the case but the biggest reason I believe this is possible is because Apple made the hardware (including designing the processor) and the software. When you can “tune” all the elements of your hardware and software together you can accomplish optimal efficiency in the areas you purpose to. One of the many areas Apple had accomplished and continues to strive for in all their products is battery life.

This is not always easy and some devices like phones simply can’t have as large of batteries as others like computers and tablets. But it is still a goal.

It is of course the goal of the industry as well. I don’t believe companies launch products with poor battery life as a goal. Only there are so many factors for other vendors who don’t control the critical parts of the supply chain like software and hardware, so it becomes a greater challenge.

Battery life is still perhaps in my mind one of the biggest things the industry still needs to progress with. Several years ago I would have never thought that I would have a device that I could use to do work and a slew of other tasks with that would last well over a week on single charge. I’m blown away the iPad is still going.

It is Thursday and i’ve been using the iPad normally since Saturday and it sill has 34% battery life left. In fact i’ve been using the iPad more than any other piece of electronics I brought since Saturday and they all still died.

Ben Bajarin

Ben Bajarin is a Principal Analyst and the head of primary research at Creative Strategies, Inc - An industry analysis, market intelligence and research firm located in Silicon Valley. His primary focus is consumer technology and market trend research and he is responsible for studying over 30 countries. Full Bio
  • Anonymous

    yup, battery life and weight are the two specs consumers really care about the most. as to the importance of weight, i could simply not hold the iPad 1 without support for more than 5 minutes at all, but i can hold the 25% lighter iPad 2 pretty much indefinitely. it’s not comfortable to do that, but it is possible. so i am really looking forward to iPad X with an even lighter carbon fiber shell. any competing tablet that is noticeably heavier than the iPad is DOA in the marketplace.

    i have to wonder tho, why the heck didn’t you bring a car/solar charger or external power packs for all your gadgets with you on your camping trip? every good camper knows that rule – bring lots of batteries!

  • Anonymous

    Ben, let’s not overstate the reasoning here: the iPhone and MBA that went dead were ALSO 100% Apple soft- and hardware. The REAL reason the iPad kept working was that Apple decided 10 hours of continuous use was their goal, and they built it with enough battery — and not an extra ounce of weight — to hit that target.

    My own experience in the Sierras this week was a bit more dramatic: after using my iPhone’s Kindle app to read (no service close to where I was), I inadvertently knocked it down the 15-foot rock I was on, and into Island Lake. I shook out what water I could & placed it in the sun for a few hours and it remarkably worked! Only a couple of scuffs on the stainless band and the edges of the screens from bouncing against the granite.

    • Stalemate .

      Bummer.

  • Guest

    You are quite the camper.

  • Alaskacpu

    And yet – there is so much more the IPad experience can do for you! It’s smooth & works.

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