Apple’s redesigned MagSafe 2 connector wrecks one of their best ideas ever

“I think the MagSafe connector is one of Apple’s best ideas ever. It’s on the end of every Mac laptop’s power cord. It attaches to the laptop with a powerful magnet—but if anybody trips on it, it detaches and falls harmlessly to the floor. The laptop doesn’t go crashing down with it,” David Pogue writes for The New York Times.

“In this year’s laptops, though, like the MacBook Air and the 15-inch Retina display MacBook, Apple changed the design of the MagSafe connector to make it skinnier… The beauty of the MagSafe connector was that Apple had found precisely the right balance between attachment and detachment. Strong enough to hold the connector in place, weak enough to detach if it gets yanked,” Pogue writes. “The MagSafe 2 connector fails that balance test. Badly. The magnet is too weak. It’s so weak, it keeps falling out. It falls out if you brush it. It falls out if you tip the laptop slightly. It falls out if you look at it funny. It’s a huge, huge pain.”

Pogue writes, “The poorly designed MagSafe connector is infuriating. It’s the worst Apple design blunder since the hockey-puck mouse.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We’re still using the nice, aluminum, barrel- and L-shaped original MagSafe with our 11-inch MacBook Airs and, right now, now we’re dreading anything with MagSafe 2 on it. What’s your everyday experience with MagSafe 2? Same as Pogue’s, diametrically opposed, or somewhere in-between?

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Jeff A.” for the heads up.]

87 Comments

      1. It’s a dangerous thing to get between a Fanboi and his object of desire.
        The Magsafe was fine and didn’t need improving, kind of like screwing up scrolling, save and other recent Apple eff ups.

        1. How was scrolling screwed up? In Lion, Apple finally implemented logical, intuitive and natural scrolling direction (you slide finger upwards to move the content upwards). One no longer has to think whether one is scrolling on an iOS (or Android, for that matter) device, or on a desktop computer — they all scroll in the same direction, intuitively and logically.

          1. Logical? according to apple!

            Move your fingers up and the page goes down? Awesome.

            Even better – break every convention since xerox – isweappro.

            – that being said it’s a move to reflect the growing tablet/smart phone market and it’s starting to make more sense, maybe unnatural scrolling is “logical scrolling” as it makes sense on a workstation

            1. Beatind a long dead horse here (almost a year-and-a-half old), but that’s OK).

              With the logical, intuitive, natural scrolling, as implemented finally in Lion, you move your fingers up (or slide your one finger up on the “Magic mouse”, the page scrolls — UPWARDS! It does NOT scroll down, as it does in Windows, and did in pre-Lion Mac OS.

              Try it and you will see.

              We were all conditioned (by decades of unintuitive scrolling) to accept that when we push our mouse wheel up, the page would scroll downwards, towards the beginning of the page. There is a logical explanation for this illogical, unintuitive and unnatural behaviour. Originally, mice had no wheels, and there was no trackpad to slide fingers on. We had the scroll bars on every scrollable window on the side (in Windows, they still exist!). The scrollbar represented the position of the current window relative to the entirety of the scrollable document. If you moved that scroll bar up or down, the document would scroll in the corresponding direction. While this was in opposite directions (you move the scroll bar down, document scrolls upwards), it was intuitive and logical, since the scroll bar represented the window in relation to the document itself.

              Eventually, mice got wheels, and eventually we got trackpads, and now we have a carry-over concept where we use the mouse wheel to move the scrolling document, but the direction of that movement was carried over from moving the scroll bar.

              Anyone who has tried natural scrolling has quickly adopted it because it is simply natural. There are fewer and fewer people who don’t have at least one touch-screen device (an iPhone, or similar, an iPad or similar), and for those, natural scrolling on desktop is even more natural.

              After switching, my office Windows desktop is positively distracting and illogical.

        2. Exactly. Thankfully it’s easy to disable the ‘natural’ scrolling direction, and make it work properly again, in Prefs. Save As? Ugh. Oh, and kudos to Apple for its Mountain Lion installer dutifully corrupting my 4x SSD RAID volume beyond repair. Steve Jobs must be doing violent backflips in his grave by now.

    1. I find the MagSafe 2 better as well. It’s nothing as weak as mentioned in the article above. Mine is really solid, I think that Pogue got a defective one to be honest.

    2. I find it is better, too. The first was good, the secord verion with 90 degree turn was very bad, and third version is back to doing the right thing.

      The second version could pull a MacBook Pro off a table before it would let good.

    3. A 1.5 star rating says otherwise. I think the cumulative experience of many persons is more reflective of the design and functionality of the new connector than a single person’s observation.

    4. In my experience it seems to vary from adapter to adapter (and/or device to device). Both me and my SO got new MBAs recently (13″ and 11″ respectively), and while mine works about as well as the one on my old MBP, hers definitely falls out much too easily. Using my adapter with her machine seems to work better, but still not perfectly.

      Looks to me like a manufacturing cock-up somewhere, not a design problem. Then again, it’s also a sample of precisely two devices…

      Anyone else able to see anything similar?

    5. Magsafe2 is WAY worse, it’s a laptop you can’t put on your lap because the power cord is angled to fall out. It’s retarded, and apparently so are you.

  1. Pogue is right. I love my retina MacBook Pro. But I hate MagSafe 2. It has nothing to do with progress going on. Just a bad design and weak like US bridges.

      1. Thank you for saying that. It’s like the old joke, “Isn’t it amazing that there’s just enough news everyday to fill all the pages of the paper exactly?”

    1. And in the first world we spend money and should get shit that works. Every society has problems that are annoying, if you wanna go deal with third world problems instead be our guest shithead.

  2. I have a Early 2011 MBP and love the MagSafe Connector (which MDN refers to as the silver barrel), when I saw the Magsafe 2, I was really dissapointed that they went backwards to the 2006 design. It’s the little things that worry me about Apple, not to the point of pulling the fire alarm, but enough misteps will eventually force you to change course, you will be on a new Vector (as Steve said in his Smithsonian tapes). I hope Apple course corrects.

    1. Being responsable for hundreds of MacBooks and macbook pros, the aluminum barrel was a welcome improvement.

      People tend to grasp the old one where the wire meets the connector and as a result, over time they fray and break. The barrel fixed this.

      Apple is starting to HP itself I fear. Backwards design steps, key players leaving and those new commercials are god-freaking-awful.

    2. I preferred the original white T-shaped connectors myself.

      The silver barrel version is more likely to pull a MacBook off the table if it’s pulled straight back. With the machines getting lighter and lighter, it could start becoming a problem.

    3. Pros and cons to both.

      I was using my 2006 MB with the T-plug, and just got the 2012 MBP with the “old” L-plug.

      The T plug I found much easier to manually put in and take out, since it had a better grip area. People were just stupid and pulling on the cord all the time–you aren’t supposed to do that for wall plugs, why do it for a computer plug?

      The L plug I always have to roll between my fingers to get it in, and taking it out properly I need to lever it out from the back, and my normal home setup doesn’t make that as easy as removing a T-plug.

      I don’t really care about it protruding out–normally I have it plugged into an external monitor and keyboard, so the adapter and USB plug juts out far more than the power cord ever does.

  3. I’ve had my new MBA 13″ now for about 3 weeks, from my standpoint there is no difference in the connectors. I’m mainly using the MagSafe2 adapter to connect to my 24″ Apple display, but when I have used the included power pack, no real difference. However, I do wish that they stayed with the barrel design rather than go back to the older design, but it doesn’t really matter. It works, I don’t think about it that much.

  4. I have had my new MacBook Pro for a month and have had no problem with the MagSafe 2 – I was surprised to read the comments of David Pogue. I do however find the adaptor to use the old power cable a pain.

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