Apple’s new iPad Air 2 comes with a 10W USB power adapter, marking a shift compared to last year’s iPad Air, which shipped with a faster 12W adapter (that first debuted with the fourth generation iPad).
According to Apple’s iPad Air 2 page, here’s what they detail on choosing a USB adapter for your iPad:
Which power adapter should I use to charge my iPad?
iPad Air 2 and iPad Air come with a 10W USB Power Adapter. iPad mini 3 and iPad mini 2 come with a 10W USB Power Adapter. iPad mini comes with a 5W USB Power Adapter. If you need to purchase an additional adapter, choose the 12W adapter because it can charge all iPad models.
The following chart details Apple’s USB power adapter changes over the years:
It was noted back in 2012 the 2.5-Amp 12W USB charger decreased iPad 3 charging times by an hour and iPad 4 charging times by 36 minutes compared to the 10W 2.1-Amp charger, according to tests by iLounge.
iFixit’s recent iPad Air 2 teardown revealed a smaller capacity battery—7,340mAh— compared to last year’s iPad Air which was at 8,827mAh, a 17% reduction, but still maintaining 10 hours of battery life. Maybe the rationale was with the ‘smaller’ battery, it would take less time to charge even with a 10W adapter? Someone out there do the math.
Still though, they company should ship 12W USB power adapters standard for 9.7-inch iPads. It just makes sense when you need to charge these large batteries in a hurry. The 12W USB power adapter is currently available for $19 US or $21 CAD from Apple’s online store, touted as being able to “charge all iPad models” (and your new iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus).
At least this year’s iPad mini 3 sticks with a 10W charger instead of the puny 5W iPhone USB charger that initially came with the first generation iPad mini, right?