iPad mini Charger help - please excuse the newb q

Discussion in 'iPad Accessories' started by knaidel, Oct 15, 2013.

  1. knaidel macrumors newbie

    Oct 15, 2013
    Hello there. A friend is gifting me their used iPad mini minus the charger. I am brand new to apple and have been trying to learn the ropes but for starters I need a charger and it's hard to figure out what's going on with all the options online.

    I don't want to spend any more than I have to but I also don't want to kill my device with faulty wiring or whatever. What do you suggest?

    If I get a lightning-to-USB cable, can I use that with any old USB-to-plug adapter, like from a really old phone, or could it be the wrong amount of power? (Is that determined by the adapter or the cable or what?!) How can I find out how much power the iPad Mini needs and how much power various cables provide?

    From what I read online I gather that nameless cheap generics are no good but Amazon or Belkin could be a go. Also, on Apple's own site, its own lightning charge cable gets lousy reviews due to poor quality.

    So, in short, what should I buy to quickly, effectively, safely, and inexpensively charge up my iPad mini so I can move on to the next stage of ipad ownership?! Any suggestions where to get a good deal with quick shipping?
  2. knaidel thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 15, 2013
  3. knaidel thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 15, 2013
    On yet another website I read that it isn't good to use more than a 5 watt adapter for the mini. True? Where do I get one?

    Argh. I feel like such a dunce but I just want the quickest, best way to get started. Wish it came with the bleeping charger. Oh well, beggars can't be choosy. Onward.
  4. TJ61 macrumors 6502a

    Nov 16, 2011
    The charging circuit in the iPad will determine how much current to draw from the charger, so you don't have to worry about a 10 - 12W charger supplying too much. Although the 5W charger is what ships with the mini, I've heard from multiple sources that the 10 - 12W will charge it faster. However, I charge mine every night, and have never been in a situation where I wished it charged faster.

    Any USB wall plug that supplies at least 1A should be fine for charging. I think that Belkin combo seems reasonable.
  5. takeshi74, Oct 16, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2013

    takeshi74 macrumors 601

    Feb 9, 2011
    The cable doesn't matter in this regard. The charger does. The Mini ships with a 5W charger. A 5W charger provides 1A (Watts = Amps x Volts and USB is 5V).

    Doesn't matter. A device will draw only what it needs. You can use the 12W Apple charger, for example, with the Mini.

    None of this info is specific to Apple. It's the same with all devices. They all draw what they need and if you supply less current than they're designed for they will charge slower or not at all if the current is too low.

    You're taking a gamble with cheap generics. A given one may be fine or it may be trouble. If you don't want to risk it then stick with a reputable manufacturer. Belkin's a manufacturer. Amazon is not. Amazon's a retailer.

    Don't overlook existing threads as this is a common topic. You can certainly find suggestions for reputable accessory makers. Off the top of my head I can think of Griffin but there are certainly others.
  6. PracticalMac macrumors 68030


    Jan 22, 2009
    Houston, TX
  7. Ledgem macrumors 68000


    Jan 18, 2008
    Hawaii, USA
    From a power supply standpoint you're absolutely correct, but the Lightning cables are a bit tricky these days. Lightning isn't simply a dumb cable, and with iOS 7 Apple has introduced features to prevent non-certified Lightning cables from functioning with the device. It isn't a perfect lock-out, but it makes those cheap eBay generics a lot less appealing than they used to be.

    Speaking purely about cables, Amazon has their own line of cables ("Amazon basics"). I recently purchased their 6' Lightning cable and I'm pretty impressed by the build quality. It doesn't have any issues with iOS 7, either.

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