How Much Power Does an iPad Use?

Awhile back I asked myself, “How much power does an iPad use? What uses the most power on it?”. I hooked a What’s Up meter and ran some tests to see:

The main factor in the amount of power used by the iPad is the screen’s brightness. As I slid from the lowest to highest settings the meter would move from 1.8 watts to 5+ watts. So if you’re looking to extend your battery life the brightness is going to be the biggest factor. You can plan on the battery lasting much longer at night or in a dark room that you would using it outdoors (although the iPad’s glare is just awful outdoors so I don’t see many people doing that).

Processing seems to be a much bigger deal on the iPod as it has a much smaller screen (so it’s not as big of a factor) and a much smaller battery so the one or two watts more for heavy processing really takes a toll on an iPod where it’s not a big deal really for the iPad.

So how much power does an iPad use?

Seven watts is probably the most your iPad is ever going to consume (although I’d like to see an app that will challenge that). If you’re wanting to preserve battery you’ll just need to turn down the brightness. You could turn of things like Wi-Fi & Bluetooth but from my tests these only moved the meter 1 to 2 watts which is a big deal if you have them of for 8 hours, but if you’re trying to save a little so you turn them off for a half hour you’re not really going to be making a big difference in battery life.

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