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You'd think that it was impossible for those guys at Apple to redesign something as simple as a laptop power cable, but they've managed it. And they've done it very well indeed.
The wonderful thing about charger 2.0 is that the head of the connector is magnetic, so you're not actually 'plugging' anything into your computer at all. This may not seem all that important or impressive to some, but when you think about it, it's a brilliant idea. If you were running your laptop with a standard power adaptor and you pulled on the cable it could do damage to the computer (pulling it off the surface) or damage to the connectors surrounding the cable. Because this charger is connected magnetically, when you tug on the wire it just comes straight off which in turn prevents damage to the computer or the charger itself.
Another excellent design point of this charger is that the pins inside the connector can be attached both ways. I may not explain this very well, but you can have the charger connected so that the wire if facing towards the back of the computer or towards the front. This is an excellent idea as sometimes the wall socket may be to either side of the laptop, instead of directly behind it, and if you could only connect the charger in one way this could lead to the cable bending round on itself and damaging the outer plastic. You can also connect the charger directly to the wall via the 'white box', or you can attach and extension cable if your wall socket is a little too far away.
When you're done using the power adaptor you can also tidy the cable with the INBUILT(!!) clips which come out the sides of the 'white box' which you can wind the cable around. This is exceptionally good for travelling, since you don't want a tangled mess in your bag when you want to start using your computer. It's also good for people who like to keep their cables tidy at home, although to be honest it doesn't really bother me, I only care about it when I'm travelling with lots of cables.
There are a couple of negatives I have with this product. The wire seems a bit thin and flimsy, it's the same thickness as the USB/iPhone cables. Considering I use this every day I'm a bit concerned as to how long it's going to last, and they're not exactly cheap to replace since they're coming in at £65 on the Apple website. Secondly, a few reviews on the Apple website mention horrible reliability issues surrounding these things. There are examples of the chargers packing in after a year of use. Fortunately this hasn't been the case with mine, but it doesn't really convince me that the same thing won't happen to mine in the future.
I have had my MacBook for around 9 months now and obviously this charger comes as standard. And like all apple products it has a certain aspect that just makes it that much better than every other product like it.
For the Apple MagSafe charger this aspect is the charging jack itself. Instead of having a regular design that plugs quite far into the laptop to connect, this instead has a magnet on the end and a very short plug in. Not only does this mean that it is much easier to attach than regular chargers but it is also a very effective safety device. By this I mean that, for instance say that the laptop is on charge whilst sitting on a table and the wire is stretched across the room. If someone were to trip over this wire, with a standard laptop charger it would stay connected and pull the whole laptop off the table. However with this if this were to happen, then the magnet would just disconnect and your laptop remains on the table. I can't tell you how many times this has come in handy, I'm quite a clumsy person. The jack is also symmetrical so that it does not matter which way up you plug it in, it works both ways.
There is also a handy LED on the casing of the jack, which lights up as red/orange when the laptop is charging and green when fully charged. This helps you know when to unplug your charger to save both your laptop battery and electricity. It's also handy to know if your charger is actually working.
There are also some very handy flip out pegs on the power pack part of the product which are designed to give you something to wrap your cable around. This is a brilliant idea and also very helpful for when you need to transport your charger. The only thing that let's this product down is the 3 pin plug, which isn't apples fault, it's just a very silly, clunky design of a plug.
I have had this charger for 9 months now and have had absolutely no trouble with it disconnecting or overheating or anything. It is completely silent, cool and functional. A brilliant design.
Like most apple products the Macbook White charger is sleek, shiny and a cute accessory. It comes with an extension cord so you can either have a long cable, approx 2 meters long or you can have the shorter length cable which is perfect if you are sat at your desk and don't move around with the Macbook. The chargers connector is magnetic and has a small LED light, this means that the charger stays connected and doesn't drop out ( unless you accidentally tug the wire or trip over it or move the laptop a bit too far then it disconnects) It also allows you to see the status of the battery life whilst charging without having to look on screen. If the light is orange/red it is still charging if it is green it is fully charged.
There are some negatives though unfortunately. I had my charger for 13 months when I noticed the rubber casing was starting to come away from the magnetic connector, a few weeks later and I noticed the LED light wasn't lit up, so I went to remove the charger and the wire came completely away from the connector and gave me an electric shock. This may just be a rare occasion of a bad batch but it was still rather frightening.
Other than that bad experience though I have found the Magsafe charger to be an absolutely failsafe piece of kit, perfect for both home use and travelling.
Your first impressions are probably "£50 for a charger are you crazy!??!" but looking past the price you'll notice that this is actually a really intuitive gadget that makes charging your laptop a lot safer.
The design of the adapter is nice and slim, it comes with two heads, a shorter adapter to go straight into the wall or a longer cable extension. This is great as I often use the longer cable at home but then switch to the short plug when travelling. There's also to flips on the side for you to wrap the cable around which is quite a nice idea.
The charger itself works by using a magnet to latch onto your Macbook, this means that is the cable is tripped or pulled, the laptop won't come sliding off the table with it (which HAS happened to me before) instead it will just disconnect. This is a great idea from Apple that could save people a lot of money, but I think the magnet strength still needs to be tweaked slightly. It's great if you're at a desk, but if you have the laptop on your lap and you move the cable will often disconnect.
Overall this is a brilliant charger and idea that will probably become more popular as the years go on. Some people have reported problems and weak cables but my experience so far with this charger has been nothing but positive!
Introduced in early 2006, Apple's 'Magsafe' is a power adapter with a unique design. As the DC connecter attaches to the computer body by magnetism alone, any excess strain on the cable will break the connection and pull it free from its socket. Therefore, tripping over the cable will result in it releasing from the computer body without the computer itself being pulled with it.
A variation of the Magsafe system was actually in development way back in 2001 by 'Underwriters Laboratories', who were attempting to make deep fat fryers safer.
As ingenious as this system might sound, Apple's product has design flaws elsewhere in its construction which prevent it from being a truly excellent charger.
For a company which produces beautifully designed peripherals, you would think that Apple would be able to create a decent power adapter. However, i've had a troubled history with adapters made by Apple, and the 'Magsafe' variety is the third model that i've owned - the last two (non-magsafe varieties) stopped working after only a moderate usage.
Surely this isn't an issue worthy of complaint - right?... WRONG! - these adapters cost £59 - yes £59! - for a charger! - you can see that replacing them can be a costly process.
The reason my last two adapters broke, was because of the 'cable-tidy' system design. This encourages users to wrap the product's thin lead around two clips which flip up from the body of the unit. The wrapping motion puts excess strain on the part of the cable which attaches to the adapter, and eventually splits the cord and shorts the transformer.
When I bought a Macbook this year, I was pleased that I would be getting the new Magsafe system - and assumed that this flawed system would be replaced by a more substantial design with perhaps a thicker cable. Alas, the only difference between the chargers is the addition of the five-pin Magsafe end - which in fairness is an ingenious design.
The Magsafe comes free with the MacBook Pro, MacBook and MacBook Air laptop computers. The version which the Macbook Pro uses is an 85 Watt model rather than 60 Watt, and the MacBook Air has a 45 Watt system.
All of the adapters feature an L.E.D which is located at the 'computer end' of the charger. It glows amber when the computer is charging, and green when the charge has ended. This is useful as you don't have to turn the computer on to check the charge level, or press the battery gauge button on the underside of the laptop.
The cable is roughly 10ft in total length, and will almost reach wall to wall in my small office. This gives me more than enough maneuverability when my laptop is plugged in.
In conclusion, I can only write this review with my experience of the product, and luckily mine hasn't broken yet (touch wood). It does however feel like it could happen any day now - especially after reading negative reviews from users on the Apple website. Therefore, for now, i'm giving this product three stars - the actual 'magsafe' end is an ingenious creation - it just needs a decent system around it to really shine. I'll update the review if, or when the product takes a turn for the worse!
The problem for consumers is that there aren't any 'third-party' chargers which work with a Magsafe fitting. This is extremely frustrating, as it forces users to purchase Apple's expensive official merchandise.
However, it's not all bad news. In the US, Apple have decided to replace all defective Magsafe adapters free of charge, whether the computer which it came with is still under warranty or not. I'm not sure if this applies to UK customers, but for more information, see http://support.apple.com/kb/TS1977.
If you do need to purchase a replacement, you can buy the Apple Magsafe adapter online from the Apple store, or for a little cheaper from eBay.
It should and could be better.
When it comes to accessories it seems that Apple Mac appear to have most gadgets wrapped up; headphone accessories, bags, even airline laptop cables; it would seem that Apple do more for consumers in terms of adding cost optional accessories for every computer in their range. In the case of the latest iBook/MacBook product range of Apple Mac laptops, there are a few products which are supposed to help the consumer feel part of what Apple could term as the "compact," input whilst the cool white colour seems to affect everything with the Apple Mac label on it, generally.
The MagSafe power adaptor for Mac Books is a simple power battery charger adaptor which mimics the latest of Apple Mac products for being compact, stylish, efficient and simple. Yet for all that Apple Mac would like to pride themselves for offering consumers a simple and yet basic laptop adaptor, there is more to this design than meets the eye.
Available in white, the MagSafe power adaptor harnesses a powerful 60 watt lithium battery that promises to charge itself even when the adaptor cable is not connected to the laptop. This however is not a technological breakthrough given that most laptop batteries do this anyway when connected to a plug socket. The added benefits is that the battery will keep charging if the MAC is put into sleep mode aswell whilst also featuring an LED indicator to show the stage of the battery charge. There are three colours for example: Amber that shows the battery is being charged; Green for when the laptop has been fully charged and removal of the cord is necessary; and No colour when no power is being sent.
My experience is therefore tainted by the no colour aspect. For a year I've been using a MacBook given to me by the school and region council that I've been employed with and so far apart from a couple of issues with the MacBook itself, the MagSafe has been a very good adaptor. The beauty of its square shape means that two flush fitting pull out hooks to the left hand side of the battery means that the long one metre power cord can be easily wrapped around the side of the square when not in use, or when being transported; to boot at the end of the magnetic cable connector a further slideable permanently attached mini clip allows the final part of the magnetic connector to be stuck onto the wrapped cord when it is put around the cord hooks. And in normal use the hooks can be folded back down into the square. To the other side of the square, the main power from the plug socket cord can also be taken off by pulling on the partition easily which releases the long 0.5 metre power cord complete with plug. This would be handy for other power cords available from Apple Mac "in time," but I have yet to see other cords available for use in other countries abroad, for example due to the change of plug socket and power supply.
Whilst the main DC connection cord is infinitely storable, the power cord with plug can only be taken off and either wrapped around the main unit, kept elsewhere or simply left on. Despite the MagSafe's compact design the power cord's design of not being able to be similarly compacted points to a lack of thought on Apple's part here. The difference in quality with each cord however is also clear; the main power cord is rubberized and thicker whilst the DC connector cord is a thin thread like poorly rubber insulated cord.
The magnetic DC connector however is a god send, easy to simply hover over the socket before it magnetically joins the mount at the side of the Mac Book. This is also where the LED selection light is shown although it's more of a small pin prick in terms of its actual size and can be difficult to see its state of charging from a distance. Recently however my cord indicator has been intermittent and equally the battery charge icon on my MacBook also shows that not much charge is getting through. Yesterday however the cord decided to fully give up the ghost and when going to touch the cord which leads to the DC connector, it actually burnt my finger!
So what of that powerful battery? Well if your Mac iBook has no power, it can take up to 15 to 30 minutes for a single full charge and the laptop can also be similarly used whilst the battery is charging the laptop. This means when the battery icon on your Mac laptop states either in bar icons or percentage that it is still able to charge up regardless of whether the Mac is being used to surf online or less battery power sapping applications such as Word or similar applications.
Using the adaptor initially was very easy although the square mount is slightly heavy and gets rather hot quickly when the battery is charging the laptop; the 85 watt version (more cost) alleviates this problem but at the given price of £60 for this MagSafe 60w adaptor, it is already too expensive for what you are getting here and it would make sense for Apple to at least include rubber mounts for the square part to sit on surfaces. Apple Mac has also fitted that fail safe of not showing any power if the cord starts to fray or weaken "over time." It is therefore this "over time" aspect which has sent most owners around the bend; the cord leading to the magnetic DC connector on my adaptor for example has frayed right at the connection join rendering this adaptor useless for further charging. "Over time," from Apple Mac's sales pitch, in my case means 10 months of use.
Replacement therefore is costly AND wasteful; the cord leading to the DC connector cannot be removed and is therefore permanently bonded to the square battery unit. This means I'll have to foot a bill for £60 replacement for a new unit. In short, Apple Mac are happy to keep charging the consumer whatever the hell they want for producing an adaptor which after a year's use has to be bought and replaced. Otherwise how can I use my Apple Mac laptop? The guarantee for the laptop - what a surprise - doesn't cover accessories such as the MagSafe battery charger.
And there provides the conclusion. Yes, whilst the MagSafe 60 watt adaptor looks cool, is easy to transport with its elegant, flush fitting hooks which can be taken out whilst the long cord can be stored away, the reputation of this design is under serious question including the overly expensive price. When bought brand new you receive an optional adaptor plug in lieu of the power cable - both slide into the square easily and lock down for use - or you can use an independent twin holed power cable similar to the ones you find on portable CD stereo systems; in short the actual power delivery options have been well thought out here.
Apple Mac's store shows short reviews of this gadget and whilst there is the good, there are also bad reviews citing similar experience from other consumers. The most evident question remains to ask what madness Apple were thinking to have produced a battery charger without a removable connector cord - unlike the other parts of its design. Until Apple Mac improve this design, the MagSafe's features must be ignored if the basic premise of this battery charger can't even be used. Thanks for reading. ©Nar2 2008
P.S I've applied 4 starts out of 5 for the battery "talk" time but this should be referred to as the charging time for a full charge on the laptop.