USB-C on the new iPad Pro

New iPad Pro, so excited! This was the first time I got an Apple product on launch day, kinda like attending a premiere… However - USB-C? So many questions…

Q1: The charger that is supplied in the box. Is that providing “fast charging”? I would like an additional one for my bag as well, but I can’t see that it is offered for sale on Apple’s site.

Q2: When I plug into my 2017 iMac, do I still get “fast charging”? (FYI, this didn’t feel very fast when trying it today.)

Q3: I am getting the USB-C to A adapter. Can I simply attach an external SD card reader on the other end of the USB to import images? You’d think that would work, right? Knowing Apple, I am not so sure though. Or a USB-C to Mini-USB A for my DSLR…

Then I found the USB-C to HDMI cable mentioned by @adabbagh as an option as well - this looks so much smoother than the HDMI dongle, thanks for the tip!

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Q2-I haven’t looked it up recently but i’m pretty sure that the USB ports on the macs don’t provide enough wattage to fast charge anything.

Q3- I Apple makes a usb-c to SD card reader dongle that you can purchase.

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Yes, but I’d say if you’re getting one for your bag to get the 30W - it’s about the same size but the prongs fold in the US, and it has a replaceable duck head. Plus you’re future proofed for increased power needs.

Nope, just charging. It’ll be fine overnight thought.

Probably, however see my suggestion below.

Instead of getting specific cables (with the exception of any you might need anyway e.g. to connect to a Mac), I would recommend you buy one multi purpose dongle/hub - then you can connect HDMI, Ethernet, SD cards, USB A ports just by plugging in one device. It’s easier than carrying multiple dongles (you’ll always leave one at home that you think you won’t need and regret it), and it can even work on a Mac or any other USB C devices. Get one with pass through charging and you’ll be fine.


I see that Apple also sells 61w and 87w chargers - does anyone if they charge the new iPad Pros any faster than the 30w?

Also, if anyone opted for a less expensive 3rd-party 30-ish watt charger (Anker, Neewer, etc) I’d love to hear about your experiences!

I have an Aukey 27W Charger for my MacBook at work and it works fine with the iPad too.

The bigger Mac chargers won’t charge your iPhone or iPad any faster - but they will take up more space and weight in your bag.

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I would recommend you buy one multi purpose dongle/hub

I was considering the Apple Digital A/V multiport adapter, but got scared by the poor reviews. Do you have a product in mind that works well?


Got the Apple Digital A/V multiport adapter a couple of years ago with my late 2016 MacBook Pro. I HATED that adapter. Didn’t work half the time. Got a Hootoo USB-C hub instead.

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Dedicated cables work better in stationary settings, for example if you have a monitor or TV that you will always connect to. I got one of those cables for my home monitor, and I keep the USB-C-HDMI dongle in my briefcase in my little “MacGyver” pouch of dongles, connectors, and cables. I think dedicated cables are cheaper than dongles as well.


The HooToo looks great, thanks! Will confirm the iPad Pro is supported before ordering :slight_smile:

Actually according to Marco on the latest ATP the new iPad Pros will draw up to 45 watts to fast charge if its available from the charger.


Wow, very confusing… Follow up question on the USB C cable that comes with the iPad Pro: if it’s only for charging, can you still plug it into an iMac with a USB C port and restore from an iTunes backup to set it up? Or will I need to buy a data capable cable to do that?

Yes, but it will be limited to USB 2.0 speeds.


Chris is right, you will need a USB-c cable that operates at 10 Gbps or more in order to do the fast data transfer that Apple advertises for the new iPad. The cable that comes in the box doesn’t do that.

That said, you might consider doing a full iCloud backup beforehand on your old machine, and restoring from that.


Interesting! In that case I’d rather spend $40 on Anker’s 60w charger than $49 for Apple’s 30w unit.


Next up at my house will be these:

I have a few of the Leviton receptacles with two USB-A ports, but with the new iPad, having a few with USB-A and USB-c will be handy.


Apple makes a Lightning to SD reader; I presume they have or will have one for the new USB C iPads that would work directly with your SD cards.

If using a different card reader, I believe it will depend on the current draw needed by the card reader. On my previous generation iPad Pro, I need to use the USB 3 camera kit cable while plugged into a power source that can deliver more than 5W (depending on iPad charge level) in order to use my USB 3 Compact Flash card reader.

The new iPad Pro models may be able to provide more power to USB devices. I think I read the spec somewhere but don’t recall which review had it.

If connecting the camera directly to the iPad, you should be good without an external power source because the camera can provide its own power during the transfer.

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On the most recent ATP Marco Arment indicated that Apple told him the new iPad Pros can provide up to 7.5 watts to an attached USB-C device, so they should be able to power a greater variety of USB-C accessories than previous iPads.


What is ATP? I always thought it was adenosine triphosphate, but I’m a biochemist by training… what do I know?


The Accidental Tech Podcast.

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Does anyone know why chargers with multiple USB-C ports don’t exist yet? I mean, I don’t want to buy a Mac Mini for $799 just so I can have four USB-C ports to charge my devices with. What’s stopping Apple from taking the Mac Mini, removing the computer, and leaving us with power in, 4 USB-C out?

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