Magsafe AC/DC car airline adapter reviews
03/25/12 13:18 Filed in: Reviews
The #1 question we get is “Which one do I buy”?
For those who are impatient, read the following.
This is our Order of preference on which model we like:
1) Duracell AC/DC all in one adapter.
2) Targus Premium Laptop charger (AC/DC)
3) Universal ALL-IN-ONE AC/DC adapter
4) Kensington All-n-one with USB port. (discontinued)
5) iGo everywhereMAX. (discontinued)
6) Targus Car and Apple Adapter kit
7) Compact Mikegyver Power Travel Kit
8) Classic Mikegyver Power travel Kit
Recently we’ve been getting a lot of question regarding Boat use, we’d recommend #7 then #6. However if you will be using in other places such as Airplane, then the order of preference above applies.
End of summary. Read on for more details.
We want to mention that there have been plenty of knock-off magsafe connectors out on the market (including Grey/Black Market parts), and since Apple has a patent on it, NO one is allowed to sell them without Apple’s license. We have already contacted Apple and they will not license to anyone. Consider your purchase from the other places if you expect to get long term customer service, especially now that Apple is cracking down on those companies with lawsuits.
How are WE doing this? We buy Genuine Apple adapters, cut the magsafe cable off the Apple Brick adapters and graft them on to any multitude of AC/DC car adapters out there, giving you more options. If you want proof that we are actually doing this, just go to our Store parts page and purchase the Apple Brick adapter (it’ll come in the original box with the original Apple adapter, original ‘Duck’ head, and original AC cable) for a nominal fee, we’ll, we’ll even put a standard 5.5mm plug on it so you can plug in the Magsafe cable into it and use is as was again!
We are the first to pioneer this Magsafe conversion, and we’ll continue to be there for you down the road.
Now on with the review...
Who said there were no car or airline adapters for the Macbooks? CLEAN linear power for your Macbooks. We are NOT using inverters.
One of the most frequent questions I get is “which adapter is the best?”
Hopefully I’ll answer that question here. If you just want something that will work, then we suggest the “Classic Mikegyver Power Travel Kit”, “Compact Mikegyver Power Travel Kit” or the Targus Car and Apple Adapter kit. However, because we have to modify the patented magsafe connector from Apple, you’ll need to disconnect the magsafe cable from Apple’s AC adapter and plug it into the Car/Airline adapter. You’ll notice that we lock it at 16v because in 97% of the cases you’ll be just fine. Also, airlines provide limited power and 16v would be the best setting, without making the airlines upset.
Other adapters on the market claim to have the added benefit of auto switching dual voltage for the MacBook Pro, but there is a strong chance that it’ll overpower the 75w Airline breaker limit. Not a good thing, especially if you need to charge and use your dead MacBook Pro upon liftoff!
The Next set of adapters that we sell are AC/DC adapters. We call them our Better/Best selection. Please make no mistake, these are NOT inverters. Most people write me asking why these are so much more expensive when they can buy a car adapter (it really is an INVERTER) at XYZ place for less.
Without getting too technical, you are essentially converting car power (DC) into household power (AC), then using the Apple adapter to convert it back to car power (DC). Now does that sound efficient? No! Is it wasteful? YES! And no, I’m not an tree hugger, I just like being efficient.
I’ve heard stories where people would run out of power in no time and, in some cases, they can’t even use their MacBook Pros since their adapter trips the inverter breaker.
These AC/DC adapters have TWO inputs. One can be used to plug into normal household power. The other, which is more important, is Car or Airline power. The Car/Airline input just modifies the DC CAR power into the SAME power as your MacBook, but at a different voltage.
Which of these AC/DC all-in-one adapters do we recommend?
1) Duracell AC/DC all in one adapter. It has a USB port that will allow charging of the iPad. Although the specs say only 3 watts, it WILL charge the iPad. This 90w adapter from Duracell has a 3 year warranty, longest of all the adapters we carry. It will allow charging from any power source such as Home, Car, Air (with empower jack). It will also allow charging of both your MacBook Pro and iPhone, iPod, and iPad at the same time. Low power cut off for this adapter is 10v, with an 18.5v high power cut off.
2) Targus Premium Laptop charger (AC/DC). (not quite all-in-one, but has its own unique design)
This is the most advanced adapter as of this writing. It’s got a super slim AC adapter and a Super small DC adapter, it’s the same size as a standard cigarette plug, but crams all the circuitry into a standard size plug to provide the proper voltage to your laptop and accessories!
But there’s a drawback. It does NOT have an empower plug, so it’ll only work in airplanes that have the standard cigarette plugs. It does NOT have a USB port on its side, but it does come with a splitter and a iPod/iPhone,/iPad charging tip, so you can charge both your MacBook Pro and i-Device at the same time. DC adapter low power shut of ~7v, with no apparent high power shut off, but label says 16v max.
3) Universal ALL-IN-ONE AC/DC adapter. It is also Mikegyver certified to be able to charge and power BOTH your MacBook Pro and your iPad at the SAME time! Not a whole lot of accessories were ready for the iPad. The built in USB port on its side also allows you to charge all your other USB accessories too.
4) Kensington All-in-one w/USB. (Now discontinued). Like the above adapters, it allows charging from any power source (home/car(with empower jack)/air), but it’s a little big. The USB port only charges the iPhone/iPod, but NOT the iPad. If you are not a iPad user, then this will charge both your MacBook Pro and iPhone/iPod without problems.
5) iGo everywhereMAX. (Now discontinued). It is now smaller, but not quite as thin as the Kensingtons, but indeed lighter and smaller then the iGo 130w everywhere. As mentioned, it has more tips for other accessories on the market.
It also comes with the Dual power accessories for your other devices (tips for those accessories sold separately). While used from DC source, the iGo Max has a safety shut off at 9v and will turn itself back on at 11v*.
6) We happen to like the Kensington K33197(US)adapters (now discontinued too) because they are slim and light. It also has a long cord and in most cases, you’ll be sitting quite far away from the power outlet on your hotel bed.
It also has an optional Y-cable so that you can power both MacBook, and some other accessories. Speaking of accessories, the Kensington does have tips for accessories such as a USB power tip, but not nearly as many as the iGo’s.
When used from a DC source, the Kensington has a low power shut off below 12v, and will require you to manually unplug and replug in the cigarette plug to reset power to the MacBook.
This model has been officially discontinued by Kensington. It is harder and harder to find for sale now, but we still like it because it is still the smallest and slimmest all-in-one adapter charger we can find anywhere in the world. We'll miss this model.
Of course if you haven’t noticed by now, ALL our adapters that come from us can come with the Magsafe cable. Links provided to respective manufacturers are for information only. They do NOT sell Magsafe cables.
Happy charging away from home!
*cut-off range also depends on amperage available.