While the new iPad Pro models are perfect for anyone needing a powerful iOS device, Mac users haven’t been left out of the ultra-portable party. The 12-inch Retina MacBook was introduced back in 2015 and recently received a refresh by Apple with an improved processor and better battery life.
A major feature, or drawback, depending on your point of view is the device’s single USB-C port for charging and other tasks. And unlike the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air line, the new notebook doesn’t feature the nearly ubiquitous MagSafe technology.
If you’re not familiar with MagSafe, it’s a magnetically attached power connector that will automatically detach from the MacBook when pulled, like for example if someone accidentally tripped over the cable. It’s saved many laptops, including a number of my old MacBooks, from damage and maybe even complete destruction.
But with progress comes compromise. And the MagSafe technology didn’t make the cut on the slim laptop.
Thankfully, Griffin has stepped up to provide its own solution. Aptly named the BreakSafe USB-C cable, this is basically an add-on MagSafe connector. There are two parts to the system – a small dongle that is inserted into the USB-C port and the cable itself. While the dongle can be inserted in either orientation, the cable end can only be inserted in one direction.
It’s a cable, so you won’t exactly need to block out an afternoon to get it setup. Plug the USB-C end to Apple’s power adapter and the other end to the dongle.
The breakaway action is very similar to Apple’s MagSafe as the amount of force required to break the cable off the dongle is minimal – and that’s an extremely good thing.
As you can probably tell, I’ve been really pleased with the 6-foot cable. But there are a few things to be aware of.
Most importantly, the cable can only be used for charging the MacBook and not any video or data transferring. For example, if you’re interested recording video from the fourth-generation Apple TV, you’re out of luck with this cable.
And even though the magnetic connector is small, it will add a bit of bulk to the side of the MacBook. It’s also only available with a silver finish, which might bother some with a space gray, gold, or rose gold model.
It’s also $10 more than Apple’s official USB-C cable. That might turn off some potential buyers, but the extra-added protection is well worth not having to replace a damaged MacBook down the line.
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- Similar to Apple’s MagSafe technology.
- Doesn’t require a lot of force for the cable to breakaway from the dongle.
- Provides a safety net against tripping over the power cable and damaging the laptop.
- Backed by a lifetime warranty.
- Can only be used for charging – not video or data transfer.
- Does protrude a bit from the side of the MacBook.
- More expensive than Apple’s official option.