Under most circumstances, an iPad protective case won’t cause overheating. Your iPad is carefully designed to work in an energy-efficient way, using very low wattage. When you put the best iPad 10.2 case on your iPad you can expect it to function in much the same way it did before you put the case on, all else being equal.
That said, a protective case does have the potential to decrease airflow around your iPad. If you’re working in a hot environment, this could potentially lead to overheating, especially if your case is poorly designed. The Zugucase has special cutouts designed to mitigate this problem, vents that allow cool air to get at your iPad to keep it at ideal operating temperature.
If you’re struggling with overheating, you may want to consider temporarily removing your iPad cover. Although your case doesn’t hold in much heat, going temporarily coverless may help your device run marginally cooler and put you back in the appropriate range. If you are using your iPad for critical work in a hot place with sunlight (for instance, in the cockpit of an airplane) you may want to invest in a specialized case that offers cooling technology, like built-in fans targeted at hot spots.
When Your iPad Might Overheat
Apple tells us that an iPad can be stored anywhere between -4º to 113º F, and can be used in temperatures between 32º to 95º F. That means you don’t want to store your iPad in the car– unless you live in a place that is exceptionally temperate year round, without much sun. If you live in a hot climate, you may run into issues, cover or no cover, when using your iPad outdoors for an extended amount of time.
Usually, though, your iPad should be able to keep itself at the temperature it wants to be at. Apple suggests that your device might begin running a little warm under these conditions:
- When you’re setting up your device the very first time
- When you restore your iPad from a backup
- While wirelessly charging your iPad
- When you stream high-quality video
- When you use augmented reality apps, or other graphics-intensive or processor-intensive apps or games.
Unless your iPad gives you a temperature warning, that slight warming you feel is no problem, and it’s perfectly normal.
Charging your iPad with a super-fast charging brick (for instance, a 98-watt charger) is another way to overheat your device. Regularly doing this can also damage your battery, so try to save the fast charging for when you really need it.
If your device really gets too hot, charging will stop. The iPad will dim the display, or, if necessary, go completely black. Even if it doesn’t go black, performance may be slow, especially for processor-intensive apps. These are all ways the iPad keeps itself from going past a danger limit. If all else fails, it’ll give you a temperature warning that reads ‘iPad needs to cool down before you can use it. This warning can’t closed up and will disappear on its own when no longer applicable. Move your iPad to a cooler place, or take it out of direct sunlight. Once it cools down, it will work properly again.
Keeping Your Device at Optimal Operating Temperature
Keeping your iPad cool isn’t rocket science, but you do want to do it right. Don’t take your hot iPad and stick it in the freezer, and don’t try to pile it into a snowbank or dump it in a bucket of water. Remember, there are low-temperature limits too, and, even if there weren’t, putting a hot piece of glass in a very cold environment is a recipe for thermal shock. Anyone who has broken their Grandma’s cookery by pouring cold water in too quickly knows that that isn’t pretty.
If you’re out in the sunshine, the first thing to do would be to bring your device into the shade. If you’ve got access to an air-conditioned space, moving there might be a great idea—- but don’t stick your iPad directly in front of the vents. Remember, too-quick cooling isn’t a good idea.
If your iPad is charging, consider unplugging it for a short while, or turning off wireless charging. Take your screen brightness down a notch, and close up apps you aren’t using anyway. If you aren’t using wifi and Bluetooth anyway, turn them off. Your device uses a little extra energy hunting for connections whenever those are turned on, and that little extra energy makes for a little extra heat.
iPad Cooling Cases
For most uses, a well-designed case like the Zugu iPad 9.7 case will do just fine. Unlike cheap cases that have no vents to allow your iPad to cool themselves, the Zugu Case has airflow cutouts placed strategically to help you keep your iPad within its optimal operating temperature.
If you’re a pilot and need to use your iPad in hot cockpits over extended time periods. You may want to invest in something like the X-Naut cooling case. Rather than rely on passive cooling that both the iPad and Zugu have taken to optimal levels, these specialized cases feature active cooling systems and multiple fans that keep your iPad functioning even in adverse circumstances. If you’re sitting in direct sunlight in a hot space and you need that navigational help to bring your plane in safely, there’s no room failure. Your life could depend on keeping your iPad from overheating and turning off at the most inopportune moment.
These cases are not light, and they do require batteries or external power supplies. They’re not designed for everyday use for normal people, but they do work well for their specialized applications. For regular use, go with something that works passively, providing rugged protection without sealing in your iPad’s heat.