No, this is not another article about Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard, like we may find on many Internet blogs and IT webs, but about two interesting accessories created for big iPad Pro directly from Apple. I will review powerful Apple 29 W USB-C Power Adapter and new, faster Lightning to SD Card Camera Reader. Both of these accessories were created for bigger, 12.9-inch iPad Pro. Although Lightning to SD Card Camera Reader is compatible with some older iPads, you only won’t experience speed boost, using 29 W Power Adapter on other iPads, or iPhones and iPods touch, could be potentially dangerous, so before you use it, please make sure you are really using big 12.9-inch iPad Pro. Smaller, 9.7-inch iPad Pro is not supported.
First, I will tell you something about Lightning to SD Card Camera Reader. Big iPad Pro features Fresco Logic FL1100 4-port USB 3.0 Host Controller, so you can use Lightning connector at USB 3 speed. Flash Storage, as Apple reports, is much faster than in iPad Air 2 and it features new storage controller that significantly improves the speed of read and write processes, so file transfers are at blazing speed thanks to fast Lightning connector and mentioned storage features. Please note, that you will need fast SD card with high storage performance to reach full experience.
This reader can be used on all other iPads and iPhones with Lightning connector, although only at USB 2 speed, but it is compatible. No iPod touch is supported.
I own two Lightning to SD Card Camera Readers, one is old model with USB 2 speed and second one is the new one with USB 3 speed for big iPad Pro. I tested both on my big iPad Pro. I have copied 11 same photos with total size of 238 MB from same SD card via both USB 2 Lightning to SD Card Camera Reader and its USB 3 counterpart. Old reader was significantly slower, not only at copying data to iPad, but thumbnails previews were loaded much slower. Old reader copied these photos in 20 seconds, while new reader was done after 8 seconds.
These Lightning to SD Card Camera Readers have similar design. Just watch at this photo:
The bigger one on left is USB 3 version, the second one is old USB 2 version.
In USA, Lightning to SD Card Camera Reader can be bought from Apple for 29 USD (without taxes)
Second accessory is Apple 29 W USB-C Power Adapter. Big iPad Pro has big battery and charging via USB port of your computer is very, very slow, due to low power of USB ports. Even with its equiped 12 W recharger it takes about 4.5 hours when device is sleeping. But big iPad Pro with its fast charging feature can be recharged little more than 2x faster. But you will need to purchase new adapter. I don’t know why big iPad Pro is shipped with 12 W Power Adapter, it’s not enough for this massive tablet. And that’s not all, you will need to purchase USB-C to Lightning Cable too. If you have Retina MacBook, you already have both power adapter and cable. They are the same as big iPad Pro needs.
Do not use 29 W Power Adapter on other iOS devices than 12.9-inch iPad Pro!
This is how it looks:
In USA, 29 W USB-C Power Adapter can be bought from Apple for 49 USD (without taxes) and USB-C to Lightning Cable (1 m) for 25 USD (without taxes) or USB-C to Lightning Cable (2 m) for 35 USD (without taxes).
Update 1st – 29. June 2018: new iPads Pro from 2017, including both sizes, are capable of fast charging.