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MobilityLeaks: What’s the Deal w/ Electricity? [Ask the Readers]

On 9/3/2011 11:29 PM, David K wrote:

I thought all USB chargers were the same. They’re not. I plugged my TouchPad into a regular USB cord I had from some phone in the past and it gave a warning that the charge wasn’t strong enough. I also tried an iPad using a generic USB charger with thr iOS cable and got thr same message. I never realized that these things varied. What’s the deal? Is this just a tablet thing or what?  I have my phone plugged into the TP charger. No issues yet but should I be doing this? If we didn’t have these tablets I wouldn’t have this issue;)

Sent from my Windows Phone

Chris Leiter:

iphone ipod, phones, etc… 5W

iPad, Touchpad, Tab 10.1 etc… 10W

The iPad Charger and iPhone charger look identical aside from tiny 5pt font that says ’10W’ or ‘5W’

David K:

Interesting. I never knew. So any effect on plugging a phone in at 10w?

Doug Smith:

I plug my iphone into my ipad charger all the time. Mainly cause the kids have lost all the phone chargers! No damage yet…

Colby A:

I believe not. If its any similar to a power supply, that is just its "max" rating. But dont blame me if it breaks haha

David K:

Where the hell is the battery boss when we need him?;)

Doug Smith:

He is probably calculating his exposure from the tablet bet he placed earlier. Speaking of which, I need to change that to Jon don’t I?

You got enough article count DK. LOL


either way. i go by jon a lot more than i go by jonathan. google tends
not to listen to me when i change it. "no! your name is jonathan! i
have the birth certificate right here to prove it as i am google! your
all knowing overlord!"

David K:

Yup its Jon’s;)
And I Binged it. Guess what? No negative effects. If there were Apple would say it voids your warranty but instead they say it’s fine


Ahh, a Google guy with a touch of sarcasm. I like it. Leaves the door open to pull you from the dark side.

Well, pretty sure that all USB plugs/ports are a nominal 5V. Otherwise you would be seeing and smelling a lot of smoke.

Most phone chargers are in the 600mA to 1A range, or 3W to 5W (as in V x A=W). My wall charger is 1A, but my 2 USB Battery Backups are 500mA and 600mA respectively, and do a fine job of charging my phone, even while using it.

Should have no issues using a larger capacity charger, although some devices may refuse to charge with a lower capacity block.

Sent from my phone


My surround charger will not charge my atrix, doesn’t say if it is too much or too little energy.

Sent from my Motorola ATRIX™ 4G on the AT&T deathstar


The chargers should have power ratings on them. Compare them and you’ll likely get your answer 🙂

Sent from my iPad 2


Yup. The touchpad charger is rated at over 5V while all other chargers are at 5V tops.


Ok. Well my Surround charger is rated at 5V/1A, while my two USB mobile chargers are rated at 5.3V/500mA and 5V/600mA.  Most of my BT headphone chargers are rated at 5V/550mA.

So its got to do with the amperage rating. Guess they are worried that a charger with a lower rating will run hotter (at full load) although that’s unlikely to have any effect.  A device can be built to accept X amp load, so some will work and some won’t.

Remember reading in a blog that the LG chargers are only 600mA, but charge the phone just fine. Btw, the iPhone charger is rated 5V/1A, same as most HTC phones.


And this is why the iPad and other tablets don’t charge via USB when connected to the computer.  USB only puts out 5 when 10 is needed.

Doug Simmons:

Hey fellas, magic trick for you. I’m gonna blow your mind and demonstrate the power of MobilityLeaks pulling traffic even with such a sleeper of a thread like this. Not even gonna sex it up with girly pictures. It just feels like another win somehow. Even on a slow Sunday. What can I say, I got an eye for these things and I’m always reinventing myself.

In addition to being the Battery Boss, I am the ultimate blogger.

Also, glad to meet you Jon.