Even more MagSafe accessories for Apple MacBook models

Summary:One vendor offers a preventative for fraying MagSafe cables, while an Apple Support Note details the differences between the adapters.

The rise in popularity of Apple's laptop models is perhaps revealed in the recent rise of add-ons to the MagSafe power connector. The technology uses an array of little magnets to hold the power cord in place and thus prevent the MacBook from taking a spill when someone trips on the power cable.

Magsafe accessories

However, the MacSafe power cords and adapter connections have had a tendency to fray. In fact, Apple a couple of years ago settled a class action suit on the problems.

A company called MacSavior offers a pair of solutions for each end of the adapter: the POW Clip for the power adapter connector, and the MAG Clip for the magnetic connector that attaches to the laptop. Both clips come in a variety of colors and are made from 3D-printed plastic. The cost is just under $10.

The POW Clip keeps the joining part of the adapter straight and prevents fraying. The company said it supports the MagSafe and MagSafe 2 power adapters in 60W and 85W flavors.

Apple recently updated a Support Note with a revised and detailed chart of MagSafe and MagSafe 2 power adapters. One very-annoying feature of Apple's hardware design philosphy is to make small changes that aren't evident externally in the design. In this case, the power adapters look the same from the outside but have different power ratings. And that can be problematic.

Power adapters for Intel-based Apple notebooks are available in 45W, 60W, and 85W varieties. Although you should always use the proper wattage adapter for your Apple notebook, you can use an adapter of a higher wattage without issue.

For instance, if you have a MacBook (13-inch Late 2009) that normally uses a 60W adapter, you can also use an 85W adapter with that computer. You would not use a 45W adapter with that computer; it would not provide enough power for that MacBook.

Using an adapter of higher wattage than the adapter that came with the computer will not cause the computer to charge more quickly or otherwise operate any differently than using the adapter that came with the computer. The tables further down in this article show the style of connector that initially shipped with each model of MacBook, MacBook Pro, and MacBook Air.

I suggest writing the power rating inside the adapter where the AC cord or "duckhead" plug connect. It saves time and ambiguity.

So, those looking to purchase a replacement adapter that may last through the current MacBook generation and into the next, then one might want to purchase a 85W MagSafe 2 power block and an adapter. However, that brings its own share of issues: as I reported in a recent post, the second-generation MagSafe's magnets aren't as powerful as the original iteration, and the connector can sometimes fall out or not seat correctly.

But there's a dongle for that ...

Topics: Apple, Hardware, Laptops

About

David Morgenstern has covered the Mac market and other technology segments for 20 years. In the recent past, he founded Ziff-Davis' Storage Supersite, served as news editor for Ziff Davis Internet and held several executive editorial positions at eWEEK. In the 1990s, David was editor of Ziff Davis' award-winning MacWEEK news publication a... Full Bio

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