Tech updates that slow down tablets


New Which? investigation reveals operating system updates are slowing down tablets and using up more memory.

We tested the battery life, processor speed and storage space on 15 tablets after updating them to the latest version of Android or iOS and found:

  • iPad Air lost three hours of battery life when watching video and nearly 2GB of storage when we installed Apple’s latest operating system, iOS 9. The original iPad mini also lost battery life and was slower after we updated the operating system,
  • Newer iPads performed better following the update, with iPad mini 3 gaining more than two and half hours of battery life when watching video, going from just over nine hours to almost 12.
  • Android tablets that were a couple of years old suffered after being updated to Android 5. The 2014 Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact lost 90 minutes of battery life on average and 2GB of storage. There were exceptions, as the LG G Pad 10.1 also released in 2014 benefitted from the upgrade, with the battery life for web browsing, increasing from 9.5 to 13.25 hours.

Which? editor, Richard Headland, said:

“Often you can feel cajoled into updating your tablets by on-screen messages, but we found that updates can clog up, slow down and sap battery life from an older device. Our advice is to wait a month or two after the update has been issued, so any initial problems are ironed out.”

Find out the full results of our operating system retests here

Notes to editor

  1. We tested 15 tablets to see how they performed before and after the upgrade, here is a selection of the results:

Tablet info
​Here we’ve combined the results of our web browsing and video playback battery tests to show the average increase or decrease in battery life for each tablet once updated.

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