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My favorite USB-C accessory of all time scored a magnetic upgrade

USB-C is great, but the ports can be fragile and vulnerable to damage. This breakaway accessory eliminates the chances of damaging your port.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Contributing Writer
Reviewed by Amy Lieu
A magnetic breakaway USB-C connector on a blue background

Magnetic breakaway USB-C connector

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

This is possibly one of the best USB-C accessories that I've ever bought and used. While it seems so simple and straightforward, it's saved my USB-C ports from damage countless times, and it's helped prevent laptops from being yanked to the floor by careless individuals (usually me) tripping over the charging cable. 

Also: This $69 Android tablet is a sign you should stop overpaying for fancier ones

It's a magnetic breakaway USB-C connector reminiscent of Apple's MagSafe connector that you can fit into all your devices, even MacBooks that don't have it. I use them on everything from power banks to laptops.

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And the best thing of all is that it doesn't slow down data transfer or charging.

I know, because I've been busy testing a bunch of them to find you the best and cheapest model.

A magnetic breakaway USB-C connector consists of two parts. One part is the USB-C port that plugs into the device you want to protect -- be that a laptop, smartphone, charger, power bank, or any USB-C port you want to safeguard from damage -- and the other part goes on the end of the cable you're going to use.

Also: The best MagSafe accessories for your iPhone

A super-strong neodymium magnet keeps the two parts together when in use until there's a pull on the connector, and then the two parts come apart. The magnets are very strong and pull the two parts together with a very decisive snap.

It's a simple yet brilliant idea! 

Magnetic breakaway USB-C connector tech specs

  • Power: Up to 140W
  • Data transfer: Up to 40Gb/s
  • Video output: Up to 8K@60Hz
  • Connection type: 24-pin
  • LED indicator: Yes
  • Dustproof: Yes 

I've used similar breakaway USB-C connectors before, back when Apple removed the MagSafe charging port from the MacBook Pro. But things have come a long way since then: These connectors have been given a revamp, improving the design and the magnet, and bringing them up to date with support for features such as 140W charging.

Also: This gadget is the USB-C accessory you didn't know you needed

These breakaway connectors come in three different types -- straight, 90° elbow, and right-angle.

Personally, I like the elbow design. It feels like the most versatile and secure. I find that the straight and right-angled connectors do their breakaway thing much easier, resulting in more accidental breakaways.

The magnet on the breakaway connector is strong.

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

Still, I'd much prefer to deal with an accidental breakaway than a laptop that's been dragged to the ground.

Magnetic breakaway connector fitted to an Android smartphone

The magnetic breakaway USB-C connector is perfect for smartphones too.

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

The connectors feature a handy LED light, so you can tell if a device is charging. I find this to be a really nice touch.

And now the good news is that these are cheaper than ever. I remember paying well over $20 for a single connector, but now you can get a 2-pack for around $26.

They're a simple, yet effective way to prevent ports from being damaged and laptops from being pulled to the floor. A few dollars spent on a couple of these could save you thousands! 

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