Alongside its very affordable Lightning cables, Monoprice is now offering the Car Charger with Lightning Connector ($12). For roughly the same price as a Monoprice Lightning cable — and much less than one of Apple’s — you get a captured cable solution that allows you to power up your iPad, iPhone, or iPod in a car.
The charger isn’t the smallest or the prettiest we’ve seem, but that’s forgivable for the low price. It’s all plastic and mushroom shaped, with a circular top ringed by a metal band. An embedded LED turns on when the accessory is plugged in. The cable is 39.5” long from where it meets the charger to the end of the Lightning plug, able to pivot on a joint through around 45° of freedom. Like the company’s Lightning cable, the plastic around the connector is about as small as it gets with third-party housings, ensuring greater case compatibility. For all of its positives, there is one negative: Car Charger with Lightning Connector only puts out 1-Amp of power, so iPads won’t charge at full speed. iPhones and iPods do, though, and iPad minis will refuel quickly enough that most users won’t mind.
With the exception of the slow charging speed, there’s little fault to be found with Car Charger with Lightning Connector. It’s inexpensive and charged like it was supposed to during our testing, all without feeling overly cheap. If full-speed iPad charging or looks are important, it shouldn’t be your first choice, but for a majority of new iPhone and iPod users, it’s a great option. At half the price of the next closest competitor we’ve seen, it’s easily worthy of our high recommendation.
Company and Price
Compatible: iPad (4th-Gen), iPad mini, iPhone 5, iPod nano 7G, iPod touch 5G