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Buying a Magsafe Cable for Your MacBook

To operate your MacBook Pro safely, you need a Magsafe cable. This cord not only powers and charges your device but also disconnects from your computer without destroying the connector, socket, or MacBook. You can get inexpensive Magsafe adapters for MacBook Pro or MacBook Air on eBay.

What are some features of Magsafe adapters?

With a Magsafe cable, you don’t have to fiddle around with the cord to make sure it is aligned. The magnetic ring surrounding the connector snaps into place on the power port right side up or upside down for a fast, secure connection. Here are some benefits:

  • Disconnection for safety: Immediate disconnection when something causes excessive strain
  • Battery always charges: Charges the battery with the laptop powered off, on, or sleep mode
  • Can use notebook without a battery: Powers your notebook for operation without a battery
  • Durable cord: Less chance of the cord fraying and triggering a weak charge
  • Charging status displayed: Indicator lights display charging status (green for a full charge, amber for charging)
What types of Magsafe cables are available?

There are two versions of the Magsafe cable as well as a Magsafe airline adapter. Whereas the original Magsafe connector works with older (2009-2012) MacBook Pro notebooks, models made after 2012 like the MacBook Pro with Retina Display and the MacBook Air take the Magsafe 2 charger. Differences include:

  • Brick - A bulkier brick with the Magsafe 1
  • T-style cords - Disconnect when the cord is tugged in a downward motion
  • L-style cables - Detach if the cord is pulled down, forward, or backward
  • Airline adapter - Powers the notebook but does not charge the battery
Which devices use Magsafe cables?

Magsafe cables work with MacBook notebooks released before 2012. The 13-inch Pro requires a 60W charger and the 15-inch and 17-inch MacBook Pro – computers need an 85W device. Also, MacBook Air models use a 45W Magsafe II cable. Keep in mind, you may use a higher wattage with lower-powered notebooks. However, it will not cause a faster charge. The voltage output for each cord is:

  • 45W - Supplies 14.5 V of power
  • 60W - Provides 16.5 volts
  • 85W - Delivers 18.5 volts to the MacBook Pro 15-inch and 17-inch and 20 volts of power to 15-inch MacBook Pro Retina notebooks
What is a Magsafe adapter?

Released in 2006 along with the MacBook Pro, Magsafe adapters feature a magnetic connector to prevent computers toppling in the event someone trips over the cord. If the cable is yanked accidentally, the cord will automatically detach from the port. As a result, the notebook remains on its surface and there is no damage to the cable.

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