MagSafe 2

David Pogue:

The MagSafe 2 connector fails that balance test. Badly. The magnet is too weak. It’s so weak, it keeps falling out. It falls out if you brush it. It falls out if you tip the laptop slightly. It falls out if you look at it funny. It’s a huge, huge pain.

That weakness is compounded by a second problem: a return to the “T” design of older MagSafe connectors. In other words, this thing comes straight into the side of the laptop — the cable shoots out at 90 degrees — instead of hugging the side with the cord parallel, like the old “L” connectors. As a result, it protrudes a half inch beyond the left edge. You can’t rest the left side of the laptop on your thigh. It’s constantly getting bumped. And since the magnet has all the grip strength of an elderly gnat, guess what happens?

I ordered a Retina display MacBook the moment Apple announced them, and received it shortly thereafter. I had it for about two days, when the following happened.

The MacBook was sitting on my desk. I moved it a few inches to the left. This caused the power cable to bump against a book sitting on my desk. Which, in turn, caused the MagSafe connector to fall out of its socket. The cable, coming straight out of the connector, then pushed it on top of my MacBook:

Not having noticed what had happened, I closed the screen. Apparently, the glass on Apple's new screens is really thin, because it immediately broke.1

Obviously, I should have been more careful. But with either an L-shaped connector or the MagSafe 1's stronger magnets, this probably wouldn't have happened. And perhaps the thicker glass on the older MacBooks would have survived this accident. Tiny design decisions can add up.


I'm not the only one.

  1. Interestingly, the people at the Apple store said they couldn't yet repair or replace Retina screens. This was on June 30. The broken MacBook is still sitting on my desk, waiting for Apple to figure out how to repair it. ↩︎

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