avatarby Jonathan FeistMarch 4, 20161 comments

iPad Air 2 home Button face up tt

We all know it doesn’t take long to empty the battery on our mobile devices, most of us head to the charger daily for our smartphones, and every couple days for our tablets, if we’re lucky. With that in mind, we wanted to know just how long it would take to fill up Apple’s iPad Air 2, so we tested a few different chargers to find out.

Before I offer over any results, allow me to explain the parameters of our test.

We started the charge from the 10% low battery warning, not from 0, and timed the charge all the way to 100%. The iPad Air 2 remained powered on, but we kept the screen off as much as possible. WiFi and all background syncing were enabled, but all apps were cleared from recent use.

It is important to note that this iPad Air 2 was recently reset to factory settings, as we are evaluating the true out-of-the-box experience, so our numbers may be a little better than your daily user iPad with a bunch of apps installed.

Finally, we put four chargers to the task. Starting with the Genuine Apple charger, we followed up with a standard PC port, my personal favorite Anker charger and last, and actually least, was a Qualcomm certified Quick Charge charger by Aukey.

Related reading:
iPad Air 2 tips and tricks

Update March 2016: Of all of the chargers available to us, the only one charger that we have used to charge any and all of our iPads in the last few months is the Anker five-port device below. That is not to suggest that it is the best, but it is to say that the best charger is the one you have with you, or in this case, the one that is on your desk.

Apple iPad Air 2 Charging Times chart

In order of fastest to slowest times during our testing, here are those chargers.

Anker 5 port 40 watt – 3 hours 9 minutes

Anker 5 port 40w usb chargerAnker has a wide range of charging and power accessories available, even in their range of chargers there are many to choose from. In general, I recommend looking for their PowerIQ technology, which automatically adjusts the power output from 0.5Amps up to 2.4Amps, depending on the needs of the attached device.

In use today is our Anker 5 port 40 Watt charger, we have the older model pictured to the left, but there is a new version available for less, now only $23.99.

Buy on Amazon

Genuine Apple charger – 3 hours 18 minutes

Apple iPad usb chargerAn obvious choice, and solid option, is the Genuine Apple charger that came in the box with your new iPad Air 2. Rated at 10 Watts, or 2.1 Amp, it provides excellent charging speeds, and is guaranteed not to doing anything crazy to your device, like void your warranty.

For extras, or to replace your original, Apple sells them directly, or pick one up at Amazon for $13.49.

Buy on Amazon

Standard PC USB port – 5 hours 59 minutes

USB ports ChromebookNow, I know you have one of these kicking around, your standard USB port on the side of any of your laptops or tower computers. Usually they are rated for 0.5 Amp, but yours may pump out as much as 1 Amp.

0.5 Amp is the usually output for most USB ports on many chargers, TVs, surge protectors and more.


Aukey Quick Charge 2.0 – 9 hours 14 minutes

Aukey quick charge 2.0We’ve mentioned before that Aukey sent us a sample of their Qualcomm certified Quick Charge 2 charger for testing. The obvious thing here is that your iPad Air 2 is not powered by Qualcomm, thus is not Qualcomm Quick Charge certified. This means that the Aukey charger should operate as a standard USB output for you iPad, even able to push out up to 2 Amp of juice. However, in our testing it just fell flat, running us all day to bring the iPad to 100%.

Stay tuned, we’ll be putting the Aukey Quick Charge 2.0 to work on an actual Qualcomm certified device, which should speed up the charging time on your Android device by as much as 75%. We are excited to see it in action. For now, you can buy the Aukey charger for $15.99.

Buy on Amazon

Bonus: AmazonBasics 60W 6-port charger

AmazonBasics 60W 6-port charger iPad usb chargerA new charger just popped onto our radar, straight from Amazon themselves is this new AmazonBasics six port charger. With 60W total, or up to 2.4A per port, you will be able to charge six iPad Air 2 tablets at a time, and all at full charge. We must admit that we have not tested this charger ourselves, yet, but it has decent ratings and reviews and is in our shopping cart now.

Check it out, our grab your new AmazonBasics 60W 6-port USB charger for $24.99.

Buy on Amazon

Summary

We have a dedicated post in the works describing the dos, don’ts and difficulties of charging your iPad, check it out for more details, like what all those Watts, Amps and such are, and why they make such a difference.

For our results today, plain and simple, the chargers rated above 2 Amp produced excellent charging speeds. While we really like our 5 port Anker charger, we are still not convinced it is a better option than the Genuine Apple charger for the task of pumping electricity into your iPad Air 2.

Do you have an excellent charger suggestion for your iPad Air 2, or do you stick to the factory equipment from Apple?

Further reading:
iPad USB chargers – how it all works
Best iPad Air 2 accessories

  • I’m really surprised the Aukey Quick Charge 2.0 took all day. I read that with the Quick Charge 2.0 that maxes at 3 Amps, it should be able to charge the iPad around 2.1 Amps (10W) or 2.4 Amps (12W) just like the Apple chargers. It should like it was charging at more like 1 Amp. I’d really like to see these results done with an inline USB Voltage and Current Multimeter.