How Should You Charge Your iPad? Even Apple Isn't Sure

In tests done earlier today, Consumer Reports learned that the iPad’s included USB cable won’t charge the device when it’s plugged into a Windows computer or some Mac peripherals. And Apple support personnel contacted by Consumer Reports confirmed that the only official way to charge the device is via AC outlets. Too bad this advice didn’t make it into the quick-start instructions included with each iPad.

Those instructions — which seem to explain how to “setup, sync and charge” an iPad — make no mention of plugging the device into a wall outlet. The mouseprint Information Guide included with the iPad provides more information about recommended charging options, as does an online technical support note published by Apple, which recommends that customers “try” using a wall outlet or a “high-power USB 2.0 port,” and warns that “some USB 2.0 ports and accessories do not provide enough power to charge iPad.”

So, what’s the right way to charge an iPad? Is it a) Follow the included instructions, and plug it into any old USB port; b) Follow the advice of Apple’s phone support staff and only use an AC adapter; or c) follow the online support tip and try anything except hooking it up to a hamster wheel? We may have to opt for (d) never be an early adopter or get involved in a land war in Asia.

Charging the iPad: Hit or miss [Consumer Reports Electronics]
iPad: Charging the battery [Apple technical note]