The new iPad Air does, indeed, hit 100% much faster with a charger upgrade

In-person images of the ipad Air 2022 in use
(Image credit: TechRadar)

Now that we've completed our iPad Air 2022 review, we have a bit more time to get into the weeds of what this tablet can do.

One of the gripes we had in the shakedown was that Apple only puts a 20W charging block in the box of one of its best tablets. Now, we know we should be grateful for any block at all, given they've been dropped from the iPhone series, but it doesn't feel large enough.

But we did have the 30W MacBook USB-C charging block available to test (which costs $49 / £49 / AU$69), so we thought that we'd give that a run down comparison - here are the results:

A graph of two charging speeds

NB: The iPad Air 2022 was still at 7% when we began the 20W test, and has been corrected to match the 30W, which was used with the iPad completely dead. (Image credit: TechRadar)

As you can see, the 30W charger (in red) charges faster than the linear juicing speeds of the in-box 20W option (in blue).

The 30W charger managed to get the iPad Air 2022 to 100% in just over two hours (2:11, to be exact), where the 20W achieved full power in 2:40.

That's a pretty hefty difference in actual fact - when we first went to write this article, we were expecting to bemoan the charging speed of one of the best iPads.

It's also interesting to note that the first half hour is quite different too -  the 20W charger got the iPad Air to 12% in 15 minutes, and 25% in half an hour. 

With the 30W block, it was 15% and 31% in the same timeframe - if you look at the graph above, you can see that the Air is able to get a lot more juice quickly with the faster charger.

So, while it might sound obvious, it definitely pays to get the 30W charger, as it does make a clear difference to your iPad's charging speed. And you don't always need to go for Apple's own brand if you want to save money, either.

If you're thinking of buying a new iPad Air, check out Lance Ulanoff's 24 hours with the iPad Air 2022 - it's a brilliant read and has a truly stunning speed sketch in it.

Gareth Beavis
Formerly Global Editor in Chief

Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.