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Monday, September 25, 2023

Apple’s new 12″ MacBook uses iPad-style power brick, brings new USB-C breakout accessories

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Alongside its all-new, ultra-slim MacBook, Apple on Monday also revealed some additional accessories including a redesigned power adapter that takes its cue from the iPad and a set of breakout adapters for the device’s lone USB-C port.

The 12-inch MacBook uses a 29-watt power adapter, nearly half the size of the 45-watt unit used on the 11-inch MacBook Air. The MacBook also eschews the one-piece design Apple has traditionally used for its power adapters, instead offering the brick itself and USB-C cable separately.

This means that consumers will no longer need to replace the entire $49 power adapter if they have issues with the cable, like frayed connectors or unfortunate animal-related incidents. Instead, they can simply pick up another $29 USB-C cable.

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Using USB-C also provides opportunities for reducing the number of cables running into the MacBook at any given time. The new USB connector allows for simultaneous connection of power and data.

Taking advantage of this capability, Apple provides a $79 HDMI adapter that allows for the connection of external HDMI-capable monitors, traditional USB devices, and power through the single port. A similar adapter adds VGA capability, while a $19 unit converts USB-C to traditional USB.

The unfortunate downside is the disappearance of the well-liked MagSafe connector, which is designed to break way harmlessly if yanked. It remains to be seen how far up the MacBook lineup USB type C will proliferate.

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