Apple doesn’t market the new iPad as a $630 Wi-Fi 4G/LTE router, but tests have found the tablet can be used for up to 24 hours as a personal hotspot. Under the right conditions, you can use the new iPad as a wireless router for an entire day on a single charge, independent testing from AnandTech and The Verge indicates.
Those with a new 4G iPad with AT&T service need not apply: the personal hotspot feature is only enabled on the Verizon version of the tablet, while internationally the feature is available for 3G connections on certain carriers and it could be charged extra. The feature allows you to share the 4G LTE connection from your iPad via Wi-Fi with up to five devices.
Under normal circumstances, Apple’s own battery estimates indicate that you would get some 9 hours of Web browsing over 4G on the new iPad, claims that have been mirrored by most real-life tests. But if you switch the display off, along with disabling notifications and push e-mail, you could use the new iPad for much longer as a 4G LTE router for your laptop.
In its tests, AnandTech was able to use the new iPad as a personal hotspot with the screen turned off for a little more than 25 hours, while a test from The Verge obtained just over 24 hours — a notable feat for Apple’s new tablet, and much longer than it would take you to use up your entire monthly data cap.
The achievement is of course thanks to the much bigger battery inside the new iPad, 70 percent larger than in the iPad 2. The 42.5-watt-hour battery is needed to power the high-resolution Retina display on the new tablet, which draws out most of the power — as the personal hotspot tests show as well.