Griffin BreakSafe Magnetic USB-C Power Cable returns MagSafe to your MacBook

“The MagSafe power adapter has probably saved me from injury — I trip on my cords often — on more than a few occasions,” Dong Ngo writes for CNET. “But with Apple’s notebooks now going all USB-C, new MacBooks are no longer made with MagSafe adapters.”

“For an accident-prone guy like me, that’s a scary thought. While charging your computer through an USB-C port is cool and convenient, if you happen to step on the cable, you could send your machine flying, doing some serious damage,” Ngo writes. “The Griffin BreakSafe USB-C cable [US$29.99 at Amazon] is designed to prevent just that.”

“The cable is spec’ed to charge any USB-C device (including non-Apple products, such as the Google Chromebook) that requires 60 watts or less of power, so it’s not ideal for the 85 watt 15-inch MacBook Pro (though it worked in my trial),” Ngo writes. “And it would be nice to have it in colors other than black, something that maybe matches the MacBooks’ colors. But for less than $40, this is a great accessory that will likely save your computer more often than you might imagine, especially if you have a small child.”

Check out the full review here.

MacDailyNews Take: This is a brilliant idea, if we don’t say so ourselves.

Now, we would love to see a tiny MagSafe adapter cap (or very short corded adapter) that sticks into the USB-C port for MagSafe power cords. That way we don’t have to regress in the name of progress.MacDailyNews Take, March 11, 2015, two days after the new MacBook was unveiled

43 Comments

  1. Just what the MacBook Pro needs yet another dong-le. Lol. I wonder when someone will start selling the special case that you carry around with your laptop bag so you can carry all the dongle’s.

  2. I have never ever tripped over my laptops cord. As such I don’t get all the love people have for Magsafe connector from a trip hazard perspective.

    What I do know is that many people have had issues with Magsafe staying connected. You’d have to say that this is ought to be it’s primary objective, to charge the laptop.

    So if it can’t do this properly having it removed seems to me like no great loss.

  3. The thing that has changed is that the engineers and designers are getting away with stuff they never would have with Steve. When the product is ready, and Jony Ives stares sleepily over his countless awards, sips another bit of scotch, and blesses the thing, Tim Cook says fine by me. How else can you explain getting rid of Magsafe?

  4. Apple hates cables. Always has. This has been a guiding philosophy in their design and engineering decisions since the earliest Macs (and arguably earlier).

    Moving to USB-C to consolidate data transfer and power on laptops makes sense in light of this, but it is hard to ignore how “un-Apple” it seems to abandon a well-thought-out (and still relevant) feature like MagSafe, when they could have easily incorporated it with USB-C. There are no other signs that Apple is cutting corners on other aspects of laptop design, so, what’s going on here?

    Here’s a thought – what if Apple is further along on bringing wireless charging to mobile and laptop devices than anyone realizes? And not just wireless contact charging, but wireless charging at distance (several feet). Apple is one of the few companies capable of pulling this off, and if they could, it would be a technology that would give them several years of competitive differentiation. It’s a prize worth throwing a ton of resources at, and a very neat explanation why Apple wouldn’t bother to retrofit USB-C with MagSafe.

    Now, put the theory of wireless charging at a distance together with Apple’s recent (and unceremonious) dumping of AirPort wireless routers. Where did those engineers go? Better question; “where have they been?”, as Airport routers have been languishing for a couple of years. Dumping the existing product line may be a trailing indicator that they’ve been baking up something with far more implications to the product line than a handy accessory.

    “Ok, let’s say your theory is true. Wireless charging still doesn’t eliminate the need for USB-C (and by extension, MagSafe), because it not only carries power, but does data transfer duties as well. Ha!”

    True, but again – Apple hates cables. If they can invent a wireless protocol that carries power, it probably isn’t a stretch that they would design it to also carry data (since we do wireless data transfer without much effort now). In the long run, such a solution could eliminate the need for cables for either of those functions for mobile devices AND laptops. Apple would see the elimination of that sort of cable (Lightning for mobile and USB-C for laptops) as a huge win.

    “Ok smartypants, what about Thunderbolt?” Sure, ok. If you can’t see that there’s nothing about Thunderbolt that couldn’t eventually ride on a wireless protocol, then yes, Apple could have a Thunderbolt port on higher-end devices for the time being. That wouldn’t in any way make the idea of transitioning away from Lighting and USB-C any less enticing for Apple.

    Just a theory, but one that explains a lot of recent behavior.

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