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What is a right iPad charger?

The new Apple iPad has sold over 300,000 units on the first day of release.  The first concern that people are complaining is about the charger compatibility.  Let’s starts from opening the iPad package.

After opening the iPad package, you can see the iPad right in front of your eyes.  Under the iPad, you will see a package with the warranty information along with a quick guide and 2 Apple stickers.  Besides that, you will find one USB sync and charge cable and a USB wall charger.  Both charger and cables look very similar from the one that comes with the iPhone.  However, the spec. is different.  A typical iPhone charger or most of the USB travel adapter has a output 5.0V and 1A, but the charger that comes with the iPad has a 2.0A current output.  In order words, you may not able to use your old USB charger on the iPad anymore.

From our test, the iPad needs 0.9A for normal operation, like Wifi + Screen on.  If you are using a 1.0A charger, it will only have 100mA or less to charge the battery on the iPad.  With the 6700mAh battery built-in inside the iPad (25Whr, 3.7V), it will take you 67hrs to fully charge the iPad.  In other words, it will not charge at all!!

If you plug the iPad to your computer’s USB port (typical 5V, 500mA), the iPad will show “Not Charging”.  Some people reported it won’t even work on any powered USB hub.

With the charger that comes with the iPad (2.0A), it doesn’t do too good at all because of the huge battery.  It will at least take a good 3-4 hr to fully charge the iPad assuming a minimal energy lost from the charger.

If you think you are a heavy user of the iPad, please bring your charger with you at all time.  Otherwise, you will need to make sure it will take a good charge overnight.

For those people who are planning to use the iPad as a giant in car GPS when the 3G version is available, you will need to make sure you have a very well build, high current output car charger.  Otherwise, it won’t be able to take you to a long trip without losing your direction.


After a further testing, we found two new points.

1. When the iPad is connected to the computer, even the iPad is showing “Not charging”, actually, there is a minor current going into the iPad.  If you leave the iPad charging from the computer, you will still see the charge on the next morning.

2. Apple has designed a charging ID on their new charger.  There are 2 caps, (i) 1A max. and (ii) 2A max.  Therefore, your aftermarket charger will have to have the correct charging ID in order to maximize the current.

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