As I sat on my couch writing the review of Apple’s new MacBook, my dog decided he wanted to sit next to me. To make his way to the couch, he did a short leap over my extended legs and he just happened to catch the MacBook’s power cable. His leap gave the cable a yank, and I quickly grabbed the laptop, preventing it from flying out of my hands.
I was lucky, spared from the MacBook crashing on the floor and any possible damage to the laptop. The incident was a reminder of the cleverness of Apple’s MagSafe connector on its MacBook Air and MacBook Pro laptops. USB-C may be a versatile connector, but it’s not a breakaway connector.
Fortunately, there’s Griffin’s BreakSafe Breakaway Power Cable ($40 MSRP and available on Amazon). It brings breakaway power cable connectivity to the MacBook and it could save your laptop from a mishap.
Don’t call it MagSafe
The MagSafe moniker and patent belong to Apple, so we’re not supposed to call Griffin’s cable a MagSafe connector. Griffin’s product is a “BreakSafe” cable; it has a magnetic connector as well as a 0.5-inch adapter that fits into the MacBook’s USB-C port.
Plug the adapter into the MacBook, and then connect the magnetic end of the cable into the adapter. The magnetic end fits in only one direction; if you turn it upside-down, you’ll feel magnetic resistance and you won’t be able to connect the cable. The underside of the cable connector and the adapter are marked with dashes to give you a visual cue.
Now, in MagSafe-like fashion, if the cable gets a good tug, the magnetic connector breaks away from the adapter plugged into the MacBook. Potential disaster averted. Whew.
What it is and what’s not included
The cable is for power only. It can’t be used to connect to, say, a hard drive or display. So the BreakSafe won’t completely replace the USB-C cable that came with your MacBook. In some instances, you may need to carry both cables. Of course, you can always revert back to using the USB-C cable for charging if you really need to keep the number of cables you carry to a minimum.
Griffin’s cable is black, while Apple’s charger and USB-C cable are white. Maybe that’ll bug people who want their cables and chargers to match. The black cable is actually a quick way to discern the BreakSafe cable from Apple’s white USB-C cable.
The BreakSafe does not come with a charger. It works with the charger than came with your MacBook. No big deal, really. Just a point to make clear.
There are very few times where I say you absolutely need to buy a particular product. This is one of those times. If you own a MacBook or plan to buy one, buy Griffin’s BreakSafe Breakaway Power Cable. It brings back a much appreciated feature of past Apple laptops, one that could save your investment.