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I am curious if anyone has measured directly or found an authoritative reference that documents at which point the various iPad will display charging and not "not charging" in the menu bar while operating. Apple publishes great information on how it's Computers and Displays will over supply power to select Apple devices well past the normal USB standard, but I can't find iPad specific information.

I presumes this notification is based purely on a set amount of current being detected and not simply a net power surplus (since the load of an iPad can vary based on CPU/GPU, brightness and radio power consumption) calculation.

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For me: never. I have to unseat and re-seat the charge cable to get it re-evaluate the connection and decide if it can charge from it. That's true of my MBP mag safe adaptor too... –  Ian C. Mar 29 '12 at 17:18
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up vote 4 down vote accepted

The iPad manual (page 136) and other Apple documentation (see bottom) are not very specific in this regard meaning...

  • ...they do not state specific minimum currents required for charging.
  • ...they only distinguish between:

    • charging while the iPad is awake (USB hubs with 1100 mA; newer Macs/displays)
    • charging while the iPad is in sleep mode (USB hubs with 500 mA; standard USB/old Macs)

Low-battery image or “Not Charging” message appears

enter image description here or enter image description here

  • When charging, make sure you’re using the 10W USB power adapter that came with iPad or the USB port on a recent Mac. The fastest way to charge is to use the power adapter.
  • For faster charging, turn iPad off.
  • iPad may not charge when connected to the USB port on an older Mac, a PC, a keyboard, or to a USB hub.
  • If your Mac or PC doesn’t provide enough power to charge iPad, a Not Charging message appears in the status bar. To charge iPad, disconnect it from your computer and connect it to a power outlet using the included Dock Connector to USB Cable and 10W USB power adapter.

Also see the following documents:

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This may also be interesting: apple.stackexchange.com/questions/35401/… - notes about "high power" USB ports, how the device uses sense resistors to detect what kind of port it is plugged into. –  Adam Eberbach Mar 29 '12 at 21:28
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