Scoshe’s iPad Pro charger is better than Apple’s [Review]

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Scoshe now makes an iPad Pro charger with two USB-C ports.
Scoshe now makes an iPad Pro charger with two USB-C ports.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Before Apple started selling the 2018 iPad Pro USB-C power charger as a stand-alone product, Scosche introduced one that’s slightly more expensive but offers significant advantages.

In addition, Scosche sells a USB-C/USB-A car charger that iPad Pro users should consider as well.

Scosche PowerVolt charger review

The 2018 iPad Pro comes with a power charger, so a second one is likely to be used while on the go. Unlike Apple’s charger for this tablet, Scosche’s latest offering includes fold-down prongs, useful when it’s riding around in a bag.

At 2.5 inches by 2.4 inches by 1.2 inches, the PowerVolt is reasonably portable. It comes in about the same size as a MacBook charger, though not the same dimensions. It’s larger than the charger bundled with the iPad Pro, though, even taking into account Apple’s pesky immovable prongs.

The justification for the extra bulk of the PowerVolt is its second USB-C port. That’s twice as many as in any Apple charger.

The casing is black plastic. The edges are beveled to give a professional look, but this is an accessory designed to be hidden behind a desk. Even Apple doesn’t try very hard to make its versions look cool.

Scosche PowerVolt car charger design

This Scoshe PowerVolt car charger combines a USB-C port with a USB-A port.
This Scoshe PowerVolt car charger combines a USB-C port with a USB-A port.
Photo: Scoshe

Like the wall charger, Scosche’s PowerVolt USB-C/USB-A car charger is small, but not the smallest available. It extends 1.5 inches out of the power socket, and this cylinder has a 1.2 inch diameter.

Unlike the wall version, this car charger has one USB-C port and one USB-A port. That’s handy for powering up an iPad Pro and an iPhone simultaneously.

Again, black plastic is the only option. There’s an LED to indicate the charger is receiving power.

The same company offers a slightly larger car charger with two USB-C ports, but it wasn’t included in our tests.

Scosche PowerVolt Power Delivery 3.0 charger performance

Both the USB-C ports Scosche built into its wall charger offer 18 watts, the same as the standard 2018 iPad Pro charger. That’s less than the 30 watts of power available from the 2018 MacBook Air, or the even more powerful 61-watt or 87-watt chargers designed for the MacBook Pro line. But keep in mind, those cost $49, $69 and — far more than this Scosche charger. And all Apple’s chargers offer just a single port.

We compared how quickly the PowerVolt charged a 2018 iPad Pro to the speed of the 18-watt charger that comes bundled with the tablet. Both delivered nearly identical performance: In 30 minutes of charging, each increased the iPad’s battery percentage by roughly 15 percent.

Incidentally, some of these tests were done with Apple’s USB-C cable and some were done with with a non-MFi-certified ReTrak retractable USB-C cable ($16.32). There was still no appreciable difference in charging speed.

Get a Lightning-to-USB-C cable and you can use the Scosche PowerVolt’s second port to Fast Charge a recent iPhone. The wall charger that Apple supplies with its phones delivers just 5 watts, so this 18-watt adapter proves faster.

Not almost four times as fast, though. Our tests found that 30 minutes with the 5-watt charger gave an iPhone X a 20 percent charge. The same time with the PowerVolt gave a roughly 40 percent charge.

Scosche car charger performance

We also tested the PowerVolt 3.0 USB-C/USB-A car charger, and it performed as well as the wall charger. In 30 minutes of charging, the battery level of the iPad Pro increased by roughly 15 percent. This port is supposed to be providing 18 watts, and it’s clearly doing so.

The USB-A port provides 12 watts of power, the same as the wall charger that comes with the 2017 iPad Pro.

Scosche PowerVolt Power chargers last thoughts

Scoshe iPad Pro charger stands up we all with Apple’s version. There’s a similar one for the car, too.
Scoshe iPad Pro charger stands up well against Apple’s version. The company makes a similar charger for the car, too.
Photo: Scoshe

Apple’s official 2018 iPad Pro charger costs $29, but packs only a single USB-C port and isn’t truly designed for portability. The Scosche PowerVolt Power Delivery 3.0 wall charger costs $39.99, but it offers twice as many USB-C ports and a design better-suited for travel.

Both the Apple and the Scosche chargers supply 18 watts, and our tests show they power up an iPad Pro equally quickly. It’s up to you to decide if the extra port is worth the additional cost.

Buy from: Amazon — $34.99

The Scosche USB-C/USB-A car charger runs $24.99, and it performs as well as the Scosche wall charger does. It could prove very useful for those who spend a lot of time in their car.

Buy from: Amazon — $24.99