Plugable Hub Charges iPhone 5 and iPad Mini Faster than Their Bundled Chargers

With the release of Apple’s iPhone 5 and iPad Mini and their new “Lightning” connector, we wondered if Apple would update the charging behavior of their devices. If you don’t recall or aren’t aware of the convoluted story behind charging Apple’s products (the 30-pin generation), here is a refresher from a post we published a while back.

As far as we’re aware Apple hasn’t announced any changes in regards to their USB charging spec compliance with these devices, so we weren’t exactly optimistic. But we grabbed our 4 Port Hub which complies with the Battery Charging 1.1 standard, connected an iPhone5 and iPad Mini to it (without connecting the hub to a host computer), and measured the charge rate. In true X-mas miracle fashion, both devices charged at the full rate equivalent to what you would get by using Apple’s wall charger; instead of the old behavior where 30-pin generation devices would charge at 500mA max (with a computer attached) and not at all without (unless the iOS device itself was powered off).

There’s even icing on the cake; in our test iPhone 5 and iPad Mini charged at a HIGHER rate via the hub than with Apple’s wall charger, we calculated 1.1A through the hub whereas the in-box charger provides only 1.0A. Which equates to reaching a full charge from 10% battery in about 1.5 hours on iPhone 5, compared to 1 hour 50 mins with the wall charger.

What’s more (yes, there’s even more!) both the iPad Mini and iPhone 5 charged at the accelerated rate via our hub while syncing them to a computer. So they appear to be making full use of the great possibilities with the USB Battery Charging 1.1 standard. It’s wonderful news, and a great move by Apple.

Here’s a breakdown of all the charge rate data we recorded:

Device
Type
In Box Charger
Rate
USB2-HUB4BC
Charge Rate
Synced to PC
Charge Rate
iPhone 5 930mA 1150mA 1150mA
iPad Mini 950mA 1170mA 1170mA

Please feel free to comment here with your experiences, or e-mail support@plugable.com for any questions or inquiries — we’re always glad to help!

21 comments on “Plugable Hub Charges iPhone 5 and iPad Mini Faster than Their Bundled Chargers”

  1. carl mckinnon Reply

    amazon won’t ship to Canada,want 2 maybe 3 usb2-hub4bc,can’t believe you don’t have a Canadian distributor,seen it on you tube,after looking for specs on usb hubs,this one is what I want,read the reviews,they’re all awesome,can’t find any that compare,have 4 ports,1 has an ok hub w/4 drives on it,1 for printer,1 for mouse,left w/1 for mp3s,cameras,memory sticks,game controller,vhs to video ect….,can only use one at a time,pain in the butt,even w/other hub,get error most of the time,this unit would solve my problems

    • Bernie Thompson Bernie Thompson Reply

      Thanks for asking! We expect about 2-3 months for Amazon.co.uk. We don’t have a schedule yet for Canada — the work of filing PST/HST sales tax forms in the 13 provinces is holding us up right now from selling (any products) on amazon.ca.

      • Victor Reply

        How about put it on eBay. Me and my friends are willing to pay $40 via eBay to get this. You won’t have tax hassle by selling it on eBay.

        • Bernie Thompson Bernie Thompson Reply

          Hi Victor – unfortunately, that just shifts the tax burden to the Canadian buyer (for items over $20 CAD). Here’s some detail: http://www.dynamic-living.com/page/canadian-tax#clear Enough Canadian buyers have a bad experience with this process — and the poor package tracking of international packages — that it breaks our low-cost, high-support model. Unfortunately, we can’t offer the product if we can’t deliver a highly reliable shipping experience.

          • Victor

            Well, it’s better than getting nothing. We do love this product and we don’t mind paying more to get it. And it’s just a couple of dollars more instead of filing huge tax forms.

            Tens of thousands Canadians are buying from US ebay everyday, including myself. The only thing you should prevent is to use UPS as delivery, as they charge huge amount of handling fees. The duty tax actually not a show-stopper for us Canadians as it’s not higher than the HST we pay for every item purchased.

  2. Pingback: Charging Your iPad or iPhone with a USB Hub | Plugable

    • jerome jerome Reply

      Hi Robert,

      We haven’t yet had a 4th Gen iPad to test with but it does charge and sync an iPhone 5 and iPad mini which also have the Lightning connector. It’s up to the device how it will behave and judging by the other devices with the Lightning connector, my guess is yes — it will charge and sync, but we haven’t tested it yet so I can say 100% that it will.

  3. carl mckinnon Reply

    I settled for the Plugable 7 port ones,got 2,great product,meets my needs [3 amp charger] very pleased with my purchase from Amazon.ca,but would still prefer these 4 port units [usb 3.0]& other Plugable brand items.

  4. quido (@quido18) Reply

    I am not so much interested in the charging capability, but rather i would like to know if you can connect a usb mouse and keyboard and other peripherals such as usb stick etc? I got a powered usb hub from hama and it does’t work

    • Bernie Thompson Bernie Thompson Reply

      Thanks for asking — not to the Apple iOS devices (iOS has many limitations on USB support — the most difficult one being any USB device that reports needing more than a very small amount of power will be disabled). Let us know if it’s a different host device you’re thinking of. Thanks!

      • Elliot Reply

        Hi, just double checking. I can currently use my usb mic on iphone 5 by using a usb to lightning connector. Would I be able to use this hub to connect the usb mic to the iphone 5 and also charge / power the phone at the same time?

        • Bernie Thompson Bernie Thompson Reply

          Hi Elliot – No, I’m sorry. The reason: When using that USB microphone, the iPhone 5 is acting as a USB host (using the lightning to *female* A USB cable or hub). When charging, the iPhone 5 is acting as a device (using lightning to *male* A cable). It can do one or the other, but can’t both use devices and charge at the same time. So that won’t work — sorry for the bad news, but hope that background helps!

  5. Alan Hyman Reply

    I have a MacBook Air with USB 3.0 ports. Could I get one of your USB 3.0 hubs to charge and sync my iPhone 5 and iPad mini at the same time. Just like this one described above. Which one should I buy. Thank you.

    • David Roberts David Roberts Reply

      Hi Alan,
      Thank you for posting your question about a USB 3.0 hub for charging your devices. Unfortunately, at present we don’t have a USB 3.0 hub with the same charging capabilities of the USB 2.0 4-port hub discussed in this post. However, the USB 2.0 hub will work fine with the USB 3.0 port on your MacBook Air, except that it will transfer data at the slower USB 2.0 speeds. This will not affect syncing with your iPhone and iPad, since they operate at USB 2.0 speeds anyway. USB 3.0 only makes a difference in devices that support USB 3.0 and can take advantage of the higher speeds, for example external hard disk drives. I hope this helps. Please contact us at support@plugable.com if you have any other questions.

  6. Ricky Maveety Reply

    I’ve read the articles and all the posts. Here’s my question: I need a powered hub that will charge my iPad 4 and iPhone 5 while they are in use. They don’t need to be syncing …. but I don’t want to have to turn them off in order to charge them. I need my hub to work while I’m at the office, or at the airport, so I don’t have to lug around a giant surge suppressor and a bunch of charging bricks to keep my gear charged while I’m (1) short on plugs or (2) waiting for hours for a plane and short on plugs.

    I tried a Dlink DUB-H7 for a while, however, while the five plain USB ports work fine, the 2.1A charging ports have failed (within the first 6 months of use … not good). I would like to find something that actually works, and preferably for longer than 6 months.

    • Bernie Thompson Bernie Thompson Reply

      Sorry for the very late reply, we missed this comment – yes, that’s exactly the usage scenario. Thanks!

  7. Oliver Heck Reply

    It’s been a while now. Could you test it with the new iPad Air in the meantime?

    • Sam Morgan Sam Morgan Reply

      We have already tested with the iPad Air; Detailed rates are on the product page.

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