Apple 85W MagSafe 2 Power Adapter for MacBook Pro with Retina Display (MD506LL/A)
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The 85-Watt A1424 MagSafe 2 Power Adapter from Apple offers a clever design to be the perfect travel charging companion by winding around itself for easy storage. The magnetic DC connector helps guide the plug into your device for a quick and secure connection. It also will disconnect if it experiences any strain, preventing the weakening of the cable over time.
From the Manufacturer
The Apple 85W MagSafe 2 Power Adapter features a magnetic DC connector so if someone should trip over it, the cord disconnects harmlessly and your MacBook Pro with Retina display stays put safely. It also helps prevent fraying or weakening of the cables over time. In addition, the magnetic DC helps guide the plug into the system for a quick and secure connection.
When the connection is secure, an LED located at the head of the DC connector lights up--an amber light lets you know that your notebook is charging, while a green light tells you that you have a full charge. An AC cord is provided with the adapter for maximum cord length, while the AC wall adapter (also provided) gives you an even easier and more compact way to travel.
Designed to be the perfect traveling companion, the adapter has a clever design which allows the DC cable to be wound neatly around itself for easy cable storage.
This power adapter recharges the lithium polymer battery while the system is off, on, or in sleep mode. It also powers the system if you choose to operate without a battery.
MacBook Pro with Retina display
85W MagSafe 2 Power Adapter; AC cord; AC adapter; printed operating instructions
Most helpful customer reviews
307 of 331 people found the following review helpful.
Great idea, Terrible execution---this cord has poor durability, is extremely damage-prone & is very pricy for such poor quality
While I love most of the design aspects of the MacBook Pro Retina, the MagSafe 2 is an exception. The MagSafe design is theoretically ingenious. But in real-world usage, the product Apple put into production has shown itself to be a poorly designed product. This MagSafe 2 adapter is equally disappointing in durability as the original. While certainly not desirable for a computer you have already spent a fortune on, one can greatly improve this durability by fortifying & strengthening the weakest areas of the MagSafe cord.
THE MAGSAFE DESIGN
Apple introduced the original MagSafe almost a decade ago now, with the MacBook and MacBook Pro from that era. The basic idea is that the adapter head of the power cord is held in place into the computer’s power port using a magnet as the primary means of keeping the connection (rather than friction, which can loosen drastically over time & can make the charger/computer prone to damage if snagged or tripped over.) Theoretically, the MagSafe is supposed to disconnect from the computer PRIOR to the computer or cord being damaged.
Thanks to a symmetrical pin design, both the original MagSafe and MagSafe 2 can be used in either orientation (that is, there is no specific side for ‘this side up’ as either direction works.) Another feature of the MagSafe design is the use of a multi-color LED built into the adapter head, which tells the user when the cable is powered, as well as whether the battery is charging or charged.
The MagSafe powerblocks all have two retractable feet which pop-out to allow the thinner cord to be wound around them. However, this design is NOT ideal for such a thin co-ax cable (you do not want tight, twisting, angled, bent/folded, or narrow wraps for this, but rather a looser circle that does not twist the cord and can be gently bound with something like a velcro strap...when I wrap these up it is generally in a circle with about a 6-8 inch diameter. I find that this loose circle helps avoid the twisting/deforming which can lead to fraying.
Initially, the original MagSafe came with what is called a “T” connector. Later on, the original MagSafe switched to what is called the “L” connector. With the release of the Retina MacBook Pro came the MagSafe 2. The MagSafe 2 is almost identical to the original MagSafe, except the adapter head (the portion that plugs directly into the MacBook’s power port) has been made slimmer and has revered to the “T” connector.
*The original MagSafe and MagSafe 2 products are NOT directly interchangeable.
**The original MagSafe can safely be used on MagSafe 2 computers with the purchase of a MagSafe→MagSafe2 adapter.
THIS SPECIFIC MAGSAFE 2 FOR THE 15-INCH MACBOOK PRO
This particular listing is for the 85 watt MagSafe 2, and this is used on the 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro. It can safely be used with the 13 inch MacBook Pro and MacBook Airs that use the MagSafe 2 design (you CAN use a higher wattage MagSafe powerblock on a MacBook that normally uses one of lower wattage, but you CANNOT do the opposite.)
Like other MagSafe 2 designs, this comes with the powerblock (the DC converter & the thinner cable that has the adapter head which connects to the MacBook’s port), the standalone AC cord that can be plugged into the powerblock for a longer cord/grounding, and the AC converter. The AC converter and the AC cord can be removed and swapped out (I recommend using the AC cord whenever possible.) The AC cord is about 6 feet in length, and the DC cable about 5.5 feet.
PROBLEMS, DESIGN FLAWS, POOR DURABILITY, POOR LONGEVITY, DAMAGE-PRONE
The MagSafe system has some serious design flaws, which to date Apple has not addressed.
1) The rubber used on the smaller DC cable does not hold up well, and over time becomes brittle and can crack. It wears even more rapidly when frequently exposed to colder temperatures.
2) The area where the thinner cable meets the power brick can easily be frayed from usage, and moderate stress from a mild snag can cause damage that renders the MagSafe unusable.
3) The area where the thin cable on the power block side meets the adapter (the part that plugs into the port on the MacBook) can also easily be frayed from usage. Moderate stress placed upon it can cause it to literally snap off (in other words, the MagSafe design failed catastrophically because cord was damaged before the MagSafe’s magnetic design allowed the cord to be released.)
4) The thinner cord that goes from the power block to the adapter head is weak, easily severed, and easily stretched & damaged with normal usage.
5) Instead of improving the design to be more durable, Apple tried to get around this by making the magnetic bond itself weaker. Not only does this fail to improve durability, but it also makes a very annoying situation in that if you place your MacBook Pro on your lap when the MagSafe 2 is plugged in, your leg/knee will inadvertently knock the MagSafe 2 out of its port and disrupt power flow. This is extremely annoying and there are third party products designed specifically for this issue.
6) This cord can cost owners around $75-90…this is a lot of money for a product with such poor durability and short longevity.
IMPROVING THE DURABILITY & STRENGTH OF THE MAGSAFE CORD
After years of usage of the original MagSafe (and now the MagSafe 2), I have concluded that the only way to protect these delicate cords is to literally beef them up. It’s easy to do, it’s not expensive, it doesn’t look great cosmetically, but it’s extremely effective.
The most vulnerable points are both on the powerblock section, 1) where the cord meets the powerblock, and 2) where the cord meets the adapter head. Each of these areas have some thin heat shrink tubing on them already, but it isn’t very durable. You need to add to this to improve the rigidity of these areas so that when they flex they do not flex on such a sharp angle, and the force is more evenly spread.
As the pictures show, I use a combination of (good) electrical tape and split loom tubing. Starting at the area near the powerblock, I start tightly wrapping electrical tape around the cable, working until it is about 3-4 times as thick as it was originally. Working about 4-5 inches outward, I progressively reduce how much tape is used, so this tapers off (it will bend wider when flexed, and the stretchiness of the tape will keep it in place.) Then I place a split loom over this and repeat the process.
At the other end with the adapter head, I begin the wrap with electrical tape in the same way, starting at the area closest to the end and start wrapping downward, tapering thickness. I do not make this nearly as thick as the other end as it would be too bulky to manage.
Then, I place the entire powerblock cord into a split loom (optional.) This protects the entire cord from some of the damage it is prone to, plus it ensures it does not flex at such a sharp angle (which over time can weaken the cord.) (I also put the AC cord in a split loom, although this is not nearly as important given this wire is much thicker and uses much thicker insulation, making it much less prone to damage, plus it only costs about $8 to replace.)
Now, you have more protection on the two weakest points where damage generally occurs. In the event of a snag or tripping over the cable, less force will be placed directly only the weak points and it will be better distributed. When adding a loom, you also avoid the damage that can easy happen with such a thin (co-ax) wire. As you can see I used black tape and a black split loom, which doesn’t match the white color, but it really doesn’t bother me (you can find looms and electrical tape in white.) There are many different ways people do this, but I wanted to give a brief explanation of how I do it personally. This method has worked extremely well, keeping the cords clean, strong, and in perfect functional order. (*Some people use materials other than electrical tape but I would suggest using [good] electrical tape over other tape given this is an electrical application and the powerblock can generate quite a lot of heat, which good electrical tape is made to withstand.)
I love the idea of the MagSafe design, but I hate the execution that has resulted in a very delicate product with a build quality that does not do justice for the MacBook Air & Pro names. Apple should not have upgraded the MagSafe into MagSafe 2 as they did. They simply added a different adapter to a product in severe need of improved reliability and durability.
If you are a user who is often on the go, I strongly recommend beefing up your MagSafe cords. While the end-result isn’t going to be cosmetically pretty, it will make a huge improvement in durability, which is a functional advantage given a broken MagSafe cord could literally bring your productivity to a grinding halt.
To any Apple employees reading this review, I hope you guys fix these issues once and for all. These aren’t $300 netbooks that get kept for 6 months. Expensive hardware designed for long-term usage needs to have hardware accessories of comparable robustness, which the MagSafe and MagSafe 2 fail to accomplish.
240 of 262 people found the following review helpful.
We're Breaking Up
We're breaking up. Here's why: Charging me - the person who loved and supported you the most - nearly $100 for something that YOU KNOW will break within 1-2 years (and that's a stretch) is downright rude. The only reason I'm forced to shell out that kind of money for a this is because the first one I got kicked the bucket after only 8 months.
This isn't something new; you've been creating and selling shoddy, faulty chargers since I can remember, BUT you also kept telling me that the NEXT charger would be the solution. Across the board, from your iPhones to Macbook Pros, and even iPads; each of your chargers was not designed with love for your patrons- for me. Rather, you design and redesign each of them to break just after the warranty is up - out of love for your fat wallet.
I'm not even holding that against you. I understand. You're a company and you have to make a living; we all do. But just don't lie to me about this being the last iteration of terrible charger that I have to buy to make my pricey computer work. You're better than that.
You've changed, Apple. You used to be so creative, so innovative, and full of a certain je ne sais quoi. Now, you just regurgitate the same products, the same terrible quality, and make me pay for loving you for so long.
I think you should know that I still think you're beautiful on the outside. Your sleek designs and serif-free fonts always put a smile on my face; BUT - and I don't mean to hurt you with this - there's someone else. His name is "Google," and he's into me. I mean, really into me.
He gets me. He understands that I want products that work with seamless integration across multiple platforms, just like you did- back when you cared. The difference is, he's actually in the realm of my price point, and his products work. I mean, I can get a Chromebook for as little as $169, and if I need a new charger for that? Guess what: It's only $14.99. Ouch.
I'm really sad that it has to be this way, but Google opened my eyes to how a woman should be treated by her technology. I've got needs, and I finally feel strong enough to say I just don't think you can make the electronics I need to fulfill them.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful.
I'm a fan of Macs, but peripherals are most definitely not Apple's forte.
I've had multiple MagSafe adapters and systematically, they all fell apart. I can guarantee that the cable area next to the adapter that connects to the macbook will go from showing some wear and tear, to peeling off, to ultimately not working anymore.
This design is so poor that there are entire lines of products made to keep the MagSafe 2 cables from tearing off (just Google "magsafe 2 cable protector"). I don't know if there are any decent substitutes, but just know that this is a really mediocre product that you will need to buy again and again.