Product Type: Apple UPS and power devices
Newest Review: ... 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... more
Third Time Lucky? - for £59 I hope so!
Member Name: JJJJ
Date: 13/10/08, updated on 13/10/08 (435 review reads)
Advantages: 'Magsafe' attachment is excellent
Disadvantages: Flimsy Cable
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.
Summary: It may break...
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