As you can see above, the iPad's heating problem—recorded during an Infinity Blade II session while plugged in—might sound scary, but it's not approaching anything dangerous. Unless you hold it against your testicles. Then, your unborn progeny are at risk. At Gizmodo, we recommend against holding pretty much all gadgets against genitalia, barring obvious exceptions, like a Fleshlight, or your mobile phone camera.
So no, the iPad won't fry an egg, or burn your hand, or start any fires. But that doesn't mean 116 degrees is trivial. It's not. Unlike a laptop, with a CPU that regularly runs way hotter than 116, the iPad is meant to be held. Even a laptop is at least separated from your lap by a layer of pants (we hope). But a tablet goes right in your mitts, where prolonged exposure to 116 degrees of heat will become uncomfortable in a hurry. The iPad is meant for long hauls—this one more than any before it. Apple wants you to read, watch, play, and swipe away for hours on end. Do you want to perpetually grip something that goes up to 116 degrees? No, probably not.
Apple doesn't care:
The new iPad delivers a stunning Retina display, A5X chip, support for 4G LTE plus 10 hours of battery life, all while operating well within our thermal specifications. If customers have any concerns they should contact AppleCare.
Translation: Deal with it. For a thin, fast tablet with a long battery life, you get to take the heat. Apple defends the product with its typical auteur's arrogance. But Apple released a product meant to be held in your hands, and in use, it becomes uncomfortably hot in your hands. The company should have considered that more carefully—no matter how pretty the screen is.