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Surprise! Consumer Reports' No. 1 tablet is the iPad

In a report Monday, Consumer Reports calls the new iPad "superb in virtually every way."

Story highlights

  • Consumer Reports names the new iPad as its most recommended tablet
  • High-resolution screen, better camera and fast connection earned a high score
  • Tablets from Samsung, Toshiba, Sony and Pantech were also recommended
  • New iPad's drawback? Screen makes some older apps look bad

Guess that overheating issue isn't such a big deal after all.

Less than two weeks after Consumer Reports engineers found that Apple's new tablet can get as hot as 116 degrees while running games, the magazine has declared it the best in breed, placing it at the top of its tablet-computer rankings on Monday.

"The high-resolution screen of the new iPad establishes a new benchmark in excellence, providing the best rendering of detail and color accuracy we've ever seen on a tablet display," reviewer Donna L. Tapellini wrote on the Consumer Reports site.

The review called the iPad "superb in virtually every other way as well," noting a vastly improved camera, a fast, dependable connection (on Verizon's 4G network), and longer battery life than any other tablet tested by the product-review group.

In an earlier test using a thermal-imaging camera, Consumer Reports engineers recorded temperatures up to 13 degrees higher than the iPad 2 on the new iPad while playing a video game, "Infinity Blade II."

But Monday's report downplayed that.

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"(W)e didn't find those temperatures to be cause for concern," the report says. Some reports have found the tablet won't recharge while playing power-intensive games, but Consumer Reports' testing showed that problem also to be limited. "Our high overall judgment of the new iPad was not affected by the results of either battery of tests."

Since the iPad launched in 2010, its sales have dwarfed those of any other tablet. But Consumer Reports did have some praise Monday for some of the Apple juggernaut's competitors.

The 10.1-inch Toshiba Excite 10LE was the lightest tablet the group has tested, at a little over one pound, and Pantech's new 8-inch Element tab was praised for its claim of being waterproof. The Sony Tablet P and Samsung's Galaxy Tab 2.2 were also among newly reviewed tablets that earned a recommendation.

The iPad wasn't perfect, according to the review. Consumer Reports noted that, in some applications designed for previous models (notably magazines), its high-definition screen magnifies imperfections.

But that wasn't enough to knock it out of the top spot.

"On balance, however, the screen quality of the new iPad is a significant plus, especially given the likelihood that content will increasingly rise in resolution to take advantage of it," according to the review.