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Missing the MagSafe Charger in the New MacBook? Here’s Your Dongle

For all that the new MacBook Pro has gained—a Touch Bar, Touch ID, more power, a space grey variant—it has also suffered a significant loss. In exclusively embracing USB-C, Apple has abandoned its MagSafe charging technology. You know, that magical magnetism that constantly saves you from tripping your $2,000 laptop off the coffee table.

Worried about a MagSafe-less life? Don’t be. There’s a way out of this. One industrious accessory maker has recreated the experience for a USB-C world. It’s not MagSafe, but it’s the closest you can get right now.

Griffin first introduced its BreakSafe Magnetic USB-C Power Cable in January, as an appeal to buyers of the then-new, also sans-MagSafe MacBook. It consists of two parts: A tiny nubbin that plugs into your laptop’s USB-C port, and a cable that attaches magnetically in a manner similar to MagSafe. It’ll break off cleanly if you tug on it, saving you from catastrophic trips and tugs.

The BreakSafe has always been clever, but its usefulness was limited on the MacBook. Apple’s revamped entry-level laptop has only one USB-C port, period, doing double or triple duty as a source of power and connectivity. It’s dongletown. Which makes clogging that one port for charging exclusively an impractical proposal.

The new MacBook Pro suffers no such limitations. Its four USB-C ports (or two, on the entry model) mean you can keep one forever-stuffed with a BreakSafe, and still have ample room for additional peripherals.

The caveat here is that while BreakSafe looks like a reasonable MagSafe facsimile, it is not actually MagSafe. Apple’s patented that specific tech every which way. The most immediate difference is that BreakSafe isn’t reversible, meaning you can’t plug it in however you want. You’ll need to use the BreakSafe cord exclusively. And the little donglet it connects to also juts out slightly from your laptop, a perpetual wart, and a reminder that the MacBook’s best feature has been put to rest.

Still, a pale imitation of the original beats no imitation at all. And $40 seems like a reasonable price to pay to reclaim the true value of MagSafe: a little peace of mind.

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