Despite featuring a high resolution display and LTE networking options, the new iPad’s battery almost equals the iPad 2.

CNET ran a torture test to compare how the battery of the new iPad compared with the iPad 2 running iOS 5.1 and 4.3. The site also compared the Android-powered Transformer Prime with and without a battery-embedded keyboard.

All of the tablets were compared by running the 720p version of “Toy Story 3” at 150 candela per square meter, which equates to a little less than half brightness on the iPads.

The Transformer Prime with keyboard dock lasted 15.3 hours to take the top spot. The iPad 2 running iOS 5.1, which drained after 14.2 hours, was second. The new iPad came in a respectable third with 12.8 hours.

Ironically, the iPad 2 running iOS 4.3 finished significantly lower than the iOS 5.1 version with 11.9 hours.

While the new iPad drained faster than the iPad 2, its 12.8 hours of battery life is still the second-highest result we’ve seen on a tablet using a single battery. Even compared with the Transformer Prime with its battery-embedded keyboard, the iPad lasted only 3 hours less. Even more impressive was that it achieved this running at that incredibly impressive 2,048×1,536-pixel resolution.

To power the new iPad, Apple increased the battery size and capacity dramatically. The iPad 2 sported a 6,944 mAh (25Wh) cell, but the new iPad’s battery is 11,666 mAh (42Wh).

That power does come at a price, though. Early reports say that the battery takes almost twice as long to charge to full capacity.

If you’ve purchased the new iPad, how is the battery life compared to the iPad 2? Is the Retina display worth the shorter battery life?

(Image via iFixit)