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Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Add MagSafe to any USB-C MacBook or iPad

The new M2 MacBook Air is officially here and it brings a number of changes and improvements, including an all new design and the addition of MagSafe for charging. As we wrote this morning, however, the M1 MacBook Air is still the best choice for many people – and there’s even a way to bring MagSafe-style charging to it…

MagSafe for any USB-C device

Way back in 2016 after the introduction of the (my beloved) 12-inch MacBook, I reviewed a handy accessory from Griffin dubbed the BreakSafe. This little accessory offered a magnetic USB-C power cable, bringing MagSafe-style charging to what was Apple’s only non-MagSafe MacBook at the time.

I used this Griffin BreakSafe accessory for years, throughout my time with the 12-inch MacBook and the subsequent MacBook Pro models between 2016 and 2020.

Flash forward to 2022, and MagSafe is back not only on the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro but also to the new M2 MacBook Air. These are the most expensive and modern MacBooks sold by Apple today, and the more affordable M1 MacBook Air and M2 13-inch MacBook Pro still exclusively use USB-C for charging.

If you’re still using a MacBook model that exclusively features USB-C ports for charging and connectivity, however, there are still accessories out there that can add MagSafe-style charging to your Mac. In fact, these accessories work with any USB-C device, including the iPad Air, iPad mini, and iPad Pro.

Griffin no longer sells the BreakSafe, but I’ve since replaced my BreakSafe with this similar accessory from iSkey, a small accessory maker that has excellent reviews. In fact, this iSkey accessory is a notable upgrade from the Griffin version thanks to its support for many of the latest USB-C standards.

This dongle, which you can order for $24.99 (or $20.99 if you’re an Amazon Prime member), features a magnetic USB-C connector that goes inside your MacBook’s port. It packs support for 100W charging with USB-C Power Delivery, support for up to 10Gb/s data transfer, and 4K video output.

The iSkey accessory can work with any USB-C accessory and is available in silver and space gray to color match your Mac or iPad Pro. It features a 4.5 star rating from over 4,200 users and has proven to be perfectly reliable in my time with it as well.

(As an aside, I’ve also become a big fan of this USB-C cable that also includes a display to show you just how fast your device is charging.)

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