Which magsafe should I get?
April 11, 2011 6:50 AM   Subscribe

My girlfriend's Apple Macbook Pro power cord stopped working, and I want to replace it with something that's not $80. Which third-party magsafe power cord should I get?

There are what look like a million options out there. I want to get something that works pretty well, but it doesn't have to be as good as the original cord was--as long as it provides power and charges the thing in a reasonable amount of time. Does anyone have any experience with replacing one of these?
posted by prior to Computers & Internet (15 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
Is it still under AppleCare? If so take the cord to an apple store for a free new one. Probably worth doing anyways, if it is older. If I remember correctly, apple had a batch of bad cables, and they might replace those past warranty.
posted by rockindata at 6:57 AM on April 11, 2011

What rockindata said. I had a macbook power cable go bad ( frayed near the MagSafe end) and the Genius looked at it, said that's no good and grabbed a new one for me off the shelf.
posted by neilbert at 7:01 AM on April 11, 2011

Oh, I was past warranty when I went.
posted by neilbert at 7:01 AM on April 11, 2011

Aha! Did you bring any documentation with you besides the cable itself? I'm not sure she has any receipts or original papers from this thing...It's at least four years old, if that matters.
posted by prior at 7:10 AM on April 11, 2011

There are no third-party Magsafe power cords. Apple holds a patent on the technology and won't license it to anyone. Anything you see with a Magsafe connector not from Apple is actually made from an Apple power supply.

Anyway, if the Geniuses at the Apple store won't give you one for free, I've gotten good refurbished power adapters at the appropriately-named MacBookAdapter.com.
posted by zsazsa at 7:12 AM on April 11, 2011

I bought one of these a year or so ago so I wouldn't have to carry the adapter back and forth to work. Works great, charges the MacBook and everything.
posted by chazlarson at 7:15 AM on April 11, 2011

I bought a knockoff Magsafe from Ebay about a year ago, and it hasn't killed my battery yet. Caveat Emptor, of course.
posted by auto-correct at 8:28 AM on April 11, 2011

Wow. I thought Apple successfully got the Chinese knockoff manufacturers to stop making Apple power supplies but it looks like I'm wrong. What's in chazlarson's link is definitely not an official Apple power supply (there's a ferrite core on the cable, which Apple's cords don't have).
posted by zsazsa at 9:03 AM on April 11, 2011

I should point out that the first one I received was DOA. It was replaced, but if you've never ordered from DealExtreme before know that it's not Amazon when it comes to shipping speed. Expect it to arrive no sooner than a couple weeks after ordering.
posted by chazlarson at 9:35 AM on April 11, 2011

I use macally's after getting umpteen million apple replacements under apple care. Macally's that I have (2 different machines) have never crapped out or risked a fire!
posted by jbenben at 10:05 AM on April 11, 2011

It's also worth noting that there is a prior-art argument one could make in opposition to a patent suit; specifically, that these types of magnetic connectors have previously been used on small appliances such as deep fryers. So it may be a patent that Apple is somewhat leery of attempting to enforce.
posted by Alaska Jack at 10:42 AM on April 11, 2011

If the problem is a frayed/broken cable at the adapted, you might try to fix it yourself. Here and here are the directions that worked for me.
posted by Ian Scuffling at 1:00 PM on April 11, 2011

Has it stopped working because the pins are stuck in and won't come out? If so, you might try making an appointment and showing up. I did this last week, and they replaced it. I didn't bring my MacBook in, but I did take a picture of the serial number with my phone. When the Genius asked for my serial number to verify my support eligibility, I showed him the pic on my phone, and he said "I guess you wouldn't have bothered to take a picture if it wasn't covered under warranty, so no worries, you're good to go."

Mine stopped working because the pins got stuck in (which apparently is a common problem with the old design). I would take it out and whack it (hard) on the desk, and it would work again, until it was unplugged. Every time it was unplugged, it had to be whacked or it wouldn't work. Eventually I whacked it and the inside metal piece flew out of the outer white plastic piece.

So before you drop the cash for another one, show up at the store and see what they say.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 3:03 PM on April 11, 2011

DealExtreme has some knock-off ones that are apparently good: try this. It's $28.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 8:45 PM on April 11, 2011

Whoops, link didn't work. In any case, chazlarson beat me to it. Warning, DealExtreme shipping takes ages.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 8:46 PM on April 11, 2011

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