After Apple announced the iPad mini last week, a lot of people wondered what kind of USB power adapter that the company would include with it. Some said it was still large enough of a device to warrant Apple's new 12-watt charger, but some said that it's small enough that the iPhone's 5-watt charger would do the trick. Confirmed by an early buyer of the iPad mini, the device ships with the smaller 5-watt charger.
Any of Apple's USB power adapters will work with the iPad mini, as well as any of their other iOS devices, which may make you think that it doesn't really matter what adapter comes shipping with the iPad mini, but it actually does in the long run. Apple always recommends using the adapter that came with your device.
For example, consistently using your iPhone with the 10- or 12-watt power adapter will destroy the iPhone's battery over time. Yes, it's okay to use it every once in a while if you need a quicker charge, but the 5-watt adapter is meant for iPhones, and the 10- and 12-watt adapters are meant for iPads.
So, it seems that the iPad mini's battery isn't quite robust enough to handle the company's bigger power adapters on a day-to-day basis, which is why they've decided to go with the smaller 5-watt option. With the iPad mini being a completely new device, we're curious as to how long it will take to charge using the 5-watt adapter compared to the 10- or 12-watt adapter.