Belkin’s website copy claims that these BOOST UP chargers are 40% faster than a 5-watt charger at fully recharging an iPad Air, which is true, but not really a fair comparison because neither an iPad Air nor an iPad mini with Retina Display ship with a 5W charger. In fact, the newest generation of iPads both ship with Apple’s own 12W chargers out of the box, so they’re exactly as fast as this offering from Belkin. However, that’s not to say that there aren’t some slight differences here.
Each of these BOOST UP Chargers comes with the charger itself, and a matching Lightning cable (in black or white). The BOOST UP Charger for Home is nearly the same size as my 12W Apple charger, although the Belkin is a little taller, and its prong doesn’t fold inwards for storage (which is a pity). I do prefer the Belkin’s white matte design to the sleek plastic shell of the classic iPad charger, and it is noticeably lighter to hold in my hand. There’s also the slightest difference in the placement of the prongs on the Belkin charger that allow for them to share plugs more easily with other electrical accessories (whereas the Apple charger can be a bit of a space hog on an extension cord).
I honestly don’t have much else to say about the car charger other than it works as advertised. The fact that it’s able to charge an iPad while maintaining such a small physical footprint is impressive. Most small car chargers I’ve seen are 5W and only good for charging an iPhone, so it’s great to have a car charger that could actually juice up my iPad without getting in the way. The Belkin BOOST UP Car Charger is unobtrusive during usage, and the green ring around the black body is a nice accent.
It’s difficult to recommend the Belkin BOOST UP Charger ($39.99) for Home because it’s actually a little more expensive than a first-party Lightning cable ($19) and 12W charger from Apple ($19), and Apple’s charger is simply more versatile. Apple’s plug folds down for safe storage, and it isn’t as tall, so it’s effectively smaller in my bag than the BOOST UP Charger for Home. If Belkin’s offering included a small notch for the plug to fold into, this would be a completely different (and much more positive) story.
On the other hand, I am impressed with the size of the Belkin BOOST UP Car Charger, and I think it will come in handy on many a road trip — especially since I often play the part of iPad Navigator Man in the passenger seat, and that tends to use up a lot of battery. Getting a BOOST UP Car Charger for $39.99 with an included black Lightning cable (which helps if you want to match a black iPad case or Space Gray iPad Air) is a much easier recommendation.
The Belkin BOOST UP Chargers were provided by the iPR Group for review on iPad Insight. For further information regarding our site’s review policies, please see the “About” page.