iPad Charger and Cable Reviews:

Large and In Charge

Every time you buy an iPad or an iPhone you get another Apple charger and charge cable. One of each; that’s all. I have yet to meet the iPad owner who can get along with just a single cable or charger. It’s especially heavy users who need a place to charge at home, the office, and in the car. While you’re there you may also want to, I don’t know, listen to the massive iTunes library you’ve put together over the years. But what’s this? Your car doesn’t have Bluetooth? Then it’s time to kick it old-school with an AUX cable.

Luckily there is a boatload of after-market cables and chargers available. Unfortunately, there is an absolute boatload of cables and chargers available. The market giveth and it taketh away.

I’ve picked a few examples of the more popular examples here. My favorites are at the top with the rest to follow in no order.

Top Charger Pick: Innergie mMini Combo

The mMini Combo charger is another dual port charger that aims to make the life of a traveler easier. The charger is rated at 15W AC and both ports are smart-charge enabled, which means your iPad will charge at the fastest speed it can handle.

There are no lightning cables included, but there is a clever dual-head cable that can switch between 30-pin and micro USB modes.

The cable is of course now essentially obsolete, so you may as well chuck it unless you are still running a 30-pin device. The charger itself seems to be quite good, with a solid construction and proper fast charging.

Customers report that this charger is reliable, well designed, and widely compatible with many USB devices. The price is also solidly in the impulse buy zone, so really there is no reason not to get one or two of these; throw them into a bag or keep them plugged in behind a desk.

Top Lightning Cable: iLuv Premium Coiled Lightning Cable

The mMini Combo charger is another dual port charger that aims to make the life of a traveler easier. The charger is rated at 15W AC and both ports are smart-charge enabled, which means your iPad will charge at the fastest speed it can handle.

There are no lightning cables included, but there is a clever dual-head cable that can switch between 30-pin and micro USB modes.

The cable is of course now essentially obsolete, so you may as well chuck it unless you are still running a 30-pin device. The charger itself seems to be quite good, with a solid construction and proper fast charging.

Customers report that this charger is reliable, well designed, and widely compatible with many USB devices. The price is also solidly in the impulse buy zone, so really there is no reason not to get one or two of these; throw them into a bag or keep them plugged in behind a desk.

Best Aux Cable Pick:Kensington Nylon Braided Premium 3.5mm Auxiliary Audio Cable

I’m naturally skeptical of any sort of cable that refers to itself as premium, especially if it makes unwarranted claims about audio performance. Here’s a tip – it doesn’t matter if you plug a gold-plated cable into your decidedly not-gold-plated connector in your Toyota.

Anyway, this is a five dollar cable, so I guess “premium” is a relative term. Since this cable is braided, it is especially suited for using in your car since the braiding won’t perish in the sun.

People experience clear audio and limited tangling. What more can I say, this looks like a good audio cable.

Scosche reVIVE II Dual USB Car Charger for iPad

As a married person I know that one of the biggest sources of tension a couple can experience is the need to charge two devices when only one charger is available. This is especially true on long roadtrips where a smartphone or tablet may be the only thing keeping your passenger sane.

That’s why I like the idea of a dual socket charger. It goes into the lighter socket as usual (because who actually still smokes, right?), but provides a 1 amp and a 2.1 amp socket at the same time. This means your passenger can charge their smartphone on the lower powered socket while you charge your iPad on the more powerful juice supply.

This charger is also very well-priced; I have paid twice as much for a unit with only one socket, so yes, I have experienced some buyer’s remorse in that regard.

The bad news is that this particular one is not that great. Apparently the ports don’t quite conform to USB specifications and can cause all sorts of not-so-great thing to happen – the least of which is simply refusing to charge an iPad, which sort of defeats the point. That’s a hard pass on this one people.

Kanex Sydnee 4-port 2.1A USB Charging Station

The Sydnee is a product that I have had my eye on for a while now. It’s a charging stand that lets you stack up to four devices and charge them at the same time at 2.1A. I can imagine putting this in a place where people in my house would just come and plonk their iPads down to charge, freeing the house of random chargers all over the place.

The Sydnee is an elegant solution to this problem. You can charge four iPads at the same time, and of course things other than iPads. The Sydnee is definitely meant for iOS devices, though, and will automatically detect their different charging needs and adapt accordingly, so that charging times are kept to a minimum.

It also provides excellent cable management. Once you have it set up you can say goodbye to cable clutter. You don’t even have to provide the cables, as the product comes with three certified Apple cables in the box, although these seem to be 30-pin cables and not lightning, so perhaps not so useful anymore, unless they update it.

One major gripe I have with the Sydnee is the unreasonable price tag; especially since many customers have indicated that the build-quality is not fantastic, with glue failure and a buzzing power supply in some cases. Of course there are plenty of customers who have had no problems at all, but these problems are there for some.

Luv Compact Six-Port USB Wall Charger

Most people are probably sitting with several wall-wart chargers, creating a clunky fire hazard on their walls. Which is why this six-port compact charger from iLuv is an absolute godsend. It has one USB-C port for MacBooks or iPads that now have that option, but you also get five USB-A ports to charge just about everything else.

Best of all, this charger supports fast charging for multiple device types. It detects the voltage and amperage each device needs and provides it with the right amount to charge it up in as little time as possible.

It’s perfect for traveling, but it’s also perfect for simply and permanently using as the one charger for all your devices.

Charge of the Light(ning) Brigade

Apple’s frugality in bundled chargers and cables turn out to be not such a bad thing. We are spoiled for choice when it comes to setting up more pit stops for our tablets. Hopefully you’ll find the right product to make your iPad lifestyle easier right here. So, go forth and accessorize!

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