iPad Air Achieves 24-Hour Battery Life as LTE Hotspot

iPad Air Achieves 24-Hour Battery Life as LTE Hotspot

Utilizing an iPad as a personal LTE hotspot remains a lesser-known yet highly effective function of the device. Setting up an iPad to serve as a hotspot for a MacBook is straightforward, especially when working remotely without WiFi access. However, monitoring data consumption is crucial.

Anand Lal Shimpi of Anandtech found that an LTE-equipped iPad 3 maintained a continuous wireless hotspot connection for over 25 hours at a download speed of 50 KB/s. When conducting the same experiment with the newer iPad Air, despite its significantly smaller battery, Shimpi observed that the iPad Air could operate for 24.08 hours as a hotspot, albeit at a doubled data rate of 100 KB/s.

iPad Air Achieves 24-Hour Battery Life as LTE Hotspot

The iPad Air’s battery capacity is notably smaller, featuring a 32.4 Wh battery compared to the 42.5 Wh battery in the third-generation iPad, primarily due to its thinner design. Both the A7 system-on-a-chip and the Qualcomm MDM9615M modem within the iPad Air are built using a 28nm LP process, which is highly efficient in terms of power consumption.

In his experiment, Shimpi configured the iPad Air as a personal hotspot, linking it via WiFi tethering to a 13-inch MacBook Pro with a Retina display.

He initiated a data transfer at 100 KB/s, double the rate of his previous test, and turned off the iPad Air’s display. After transferring 8 GB of data over a full day, the iPad Air’s battery was depleted. Shimpi remarked that under such usage, the device’s data plan would likely be exhausted before the battery runs out.


Edward is a dedicated writer for TUAW, your go-to source for all things Apple. With a keen eye for detail and a love for technology, Edward brings insightful reviews and updates on the latest Apple products, from the iPhone and iPad to the MacBook and Apple Watch. His articles are both informative and engaging, making complex tech topics easy to understand. When he’s not writing, Edward enjoys exploring new apps and features on his Apple devices, always staying ahead of the curve.