It is a known fact that Apple products tends to draw more current than the usual gadgets from other manufacturers. As there are plenty of USB ports on motherboards or notebooks, the tendency of plugging in to the PC for quick charge is quite the norm for most readers.

On the left is the charger for iPhone 3GS. On the right is the charger with adapter (middle) for new generation iPad.

In the past, we have iPhone 3GS that charges real slowly on the standard USB ports.  This changed when Gigabyte introduced their 3X USB Power. Basically, other manufacturers followed suit by throwing in a driver which allows the USB port to output ~1A instead of the usual 500mA.  This speeds up the charge time by almost 2X.

Other manufacturers – ASUS, ECS, MSI, BIOSTAR, ASROCK all has similar products allowing you to ‘quick charge’ your Apple device. Unfortunately, the software will only work with their own brand and models of motherboards.

The picture above shows the original iPhone 3GS USB power adaptor with Input of 100-240v 0.15A, output 5v, 1A.

For notebook users, manufacturers seldom update drivers and you will usually end up with “Charging with this accessory is not supported”. We did some research and found out that ASUS AI CHARGER works on my HP Envy 14″ notebook. You can download the software, install and reboot your machine. Once you plug in your iPhone or iPad, you will see it charging with 1A.

The picture above shows the new charger that outputs 2.5A, 250V and the adaptor has an input of 100-240v 0.45A and output at 5.1V 2.1A.

The new Apple iPad was released a couple of weeks ago. We did an experiment, charging it using with an iPhone 3GS charger. It simply took forever to charge. We estimate that it takes around 1 hr to charge 10%. If the standard iPhone charger takes so long to charge, we can confirm that the new iPad probably require more power to charge it.

We then tried it on our HP notebook and ASRock NetPC (both with USB boosting software installed). Both machines have no problems detecting  and charging it (prior to installing the driver, it won’t even charge it).

We took a look at the charger and noticed the differences in the iPad and iPhone charger, the output rating is quite different. With the driver installed, the iPad can still be charged but it will be at half the speed compare to if you charge from the power plug supplied.

The question now remains if motherboard manufacturers design a specific USB charge port just to output 2A for charging the iPad ? Would you rather charge your iPad with the accompanied charger or buy another board with such a feature ? Discuss.


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