Six months after Apple introduced the Lightning connector standard, relatively few Lightning accessories have come to market, but charging cables and accessories continue to trickle out every week or two. Three companies have recently released Lightning-equipped car chargers that we review here today: Incipio has the Mini Auto Charger – 2.1A Lightning ($30) and Ultra Compact Auto Charger – 1A Lightning ($25), and there’s also Odoyo’s Micro Car Charger with Lightning Connector ($30, aka PS110). All three models feature captured cables rather than removable ones, limiting their functionality to use in your vehicle.
Micro Car Charger with Lightning Connector is the first we’ve received to feature 2.4-Amp output, meaning it’ll charge a fourth-generation iPad at its fastest possible speed, or match the fastest speeds supported by older iPads, the iPad mini, iPhones, and iPods. The stubby car plug and black cable are pretty standard among this type of accessory; this one works but it’s not fancy, with a single power indicator light on the front of its circular charging bulb. Our testing showed it would take a little over five hours to fully juice up the most recent iPad, a figure that’s right where it should be for 2.4-Amp charging. The cord is four-feet long, with a reasonably small amount of plastic surrounding the Lightning plug. Very few cases will have a problem accommodating this connector.
Compared to the other chargers currently on the market, Odoyo’s does stand out—not on looks, but functionality. For those who value the ability to charge any iPad at full-speed, there’s currently no other option. Given how simple it is, it would be great if the price were a little lower, but it’s fair enough to warrant a general recommendation. On the other hand, both of Incipio’s chargers earn limited recommendations. There’s nothing wrong with either, but they don’t bring anything special to the table at their respective price points.
Company and Price
Compatible: iPad (4th-Gen), iPad mini, iPhone 5, iPod nano 7G, iPod touch 5G