It means that a square is a rectangle, but a rectangle is not necessarily a square.
First, let me point out we are talking about charging speeds, and in particular, charging Apple products. The question comes up often when reviewing charging systems for a fleet of iPads, “What is the best charging speed for my solution?”
Here are the charging speeds of the various iPad generations at the two amperage rates that today’s iPad charging carts and wall stations support:
|iPad Model (connection type)||2.1A||2.4A|
|iPad 4 (Lightning)||7.0 hrs||5.0 hrs|
|iPad Air (Lightning)||6.0 hrs||4.0 hrs|
|iPad Mini (Lightning)||5.5 hrs||3.25 hrs.|
If you want to take full advantage of the 2.4A charging speeds of iPad 4, iPad Air or iPad Mini, then go with a charging cart or wall mount that is MFi (Made for iPad) and able to charge at that full rate.
If the nominal difference in charge times is not as pressing as budget limitations, or if you are using a mixture of older and newer Apple devices, then consider a charging cart or wall station that charges at the 2.1A rate. The charging time difference could be a moot point based on your usage model and charging patterns. For instance, are the iPads going to charge overnight anyway?
Ergotron offers both 2.4A and 2.1A iPad charging systems:
- Ergotron’s MFi (Made for iPad) 2.4A charging carts and wall stations come pre-cabled for Lightning devices, but are also backwards compatible to swap in 30-pin cables for charging older-generation iPads. Lightning-cabled devices will charge at the full 2.4A rate, while iPads connected via a 30-pin cable will still charge at their 2.1A rate.
- Ergotron also has 2.1A versions of its charging carts and wall stations as well. Whether using 30-pin or Lightning cables, and whether using iPad 2, iPad Air or iPad Mini, all Apple devices connected will charge at the 2.1A rate. This is an economical way to go for mix-and-match iPad generations, and if the devices will be charging all night any way.
One final note, it is also very important to make sure that the charging cart or wall station that you choose is fully safety-certified. If not, your devices, students and staff are at risk. For more information about this, we’ve put together a brief white paper for you to share with your IT group or other stakeholders in the decision process.
Bob Hill, Global Education Manager @ Ergotron