Car Chargers: a long way before standardization
As you may know (because you read this blog), I am the owner of several tablets, my daily driver is the HTC Flyer. Of course I use it to browse the internet, read my news, access my emails and watch some movies but from time to time I use it for one a the main reason why I did not buy a Kindle Fire or a Nook Tablet: the GPS!
So here I go driving, GPS on my tablet and plugged to my car charger when the tablet is cordial enough to let me know that the charger does not provide enough power to recharge the tablet while I am driving. And indeed when I arrive at destination I realize my tablet lost 25% of power. So here I am looking at the original charger of my device to realize that it need 1.67A and 9V (against the 0.5A / 5V provided by any “normal” car charger).
I read a bit on the web and learn that some car chargers can provide 2.1A and charge iPads. Happy to read that I am going to the closest electronic store to buy one of those, go back home take my car keys and decide to give it a try! No luck, the charger states 10W (probably 2A and 5V). Anyways I don’t give up and decide to buy three other ones, different brands, different packaging but same results. No way, how come, why me?!
First let’s do the maths: Watts = Amps x Volts so my HTC Flyer needs 15W to charge (it does not when not in use but with GPS and phone functions on, it seems to be energy-vore. All the chargers I tried had a USB output of 10.5W (5V @ 2.1A).
Now I don’t really understand, this seems to be enough to charge an iPad (every version) but not a Flyer, it just does not seem possible to me, so back on Google looking for the WHY and it seems the answer is actually quite clear and disappointing: the charger is “talking” to the device and if it is not an Apple product it only delivers 5V @ 1A. Really ????? So why is it not CLEARLY STATED ON THE PRODUCT???
Sony, HTC, Toshiba, Samsung and all others, can’you agree on ONE AND ONLY ONE way to charge our tablets as it was done for the phones? It will produce several things that I am sure you never expected:
- Be nice to the environment and produce less plastic material and helps recycling
- Make your customers happy as they will not have to buy new accessories for every new device
- Help you spend less as you will not have to create device specific accessories
- Allow the accessory market to actually take off, let me explain
- if Apple has so many manufacturers building for their devices it is because they all use the same connections and they don’t need to reinvent the wheel when new devices are launched
- if Android does not have the same kind of ecosystem, it is because manufacturers can’t agree on a single way to make devices communicate, charge or simply place the USB port on a single agreed location
So tell me about your personal experience with your device and those car chargers and let me know if you find a solution other than buying the HTC specific cable.
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