Good quality alternative Magsafe 2 vendor?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by hakr100, Aug 7, 2013.

  1. hakr100 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 1, 2011
    East Coast
    I'd like to buy a spare Magsafe 2 charger for my 2013 MBA, and I suppose I'll pay Apple's over the top $70 price if I have to, but I am wondering if anyone has experience with any of the third party vendors of similar Magsafe 2 devices that sell for no more than half as much.

    I've read of problems with the Apple charger and of course of problems with the third party chargers. $70 seems awfully steep a price to me.

    So, any recommendations...specific alternative brand names, suppliers, et cetera?

    Thanks! :D
  2. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    The one thing I've never done was use a third party Magsafe or whatever power brick went with my laptops. I would most certainly say that if you lead with the knowledge of issues then say $70 is steep, you can't be surprised if it doesn't work or fries your machine.

    Be careful. I haven't any recommendations on good knock off magsafes.
  3. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    I wouldn't trust or recommend any non-Apple battery or adaper, due to the number of problems reported with "knockoffs". Also, there is no assurance that knockoff batteries and chargers have the same charging technology that Apple uses, involving the battery, the MagSafe adapter and the Mac's logic board.
    The link below should answer most, if not all, of your battery/charging questions. If you haven't already done so, I highly recommend you take the time to read it.
  4. hakr100 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mar 1, 2011
    East Coast
    I'll probably buy the Apple Magsafe 2, but I am a little offput by what Apple charges for the device.
  5. Mr Rabbit macrumors 6502a

    Mr Rabbit

    May 13, 2013
    Apple has a patent on the MagSafe design and has not licensed the technology to any third parties. The result of this is there are very few third party options and those that do exist are very (VERY) poor quality. There are some companies that will graft salvaged MagSafe connectors onto their own power supplies and resell them but this have always been very questionable in my opinion. In my several years as a tech / Genius I saw way too many (20+) third party power adapters that either melted, shorted out, casing came apart, etc to ever consider saving a bit of money instead of going with the Apple one.

    Apple's adapter is a bit on the pricey side but I've never (aside from a warrantable issue where one of the pins was stuck) personally had a problem with one and out of the 140~ Macs I oversee at work I've only had to facilitate replacements for a handful (3 - 5) of adapters. Of that handful only one was the typical strain relief issue, where the cord comes apart at either end of the adapter, the rest were all accidental damage. The strain relief issue is easily avoidable with a little care when using the adapter. Refrain from bending the connection at the power supply and at the MagSafe excessively and you'll be just fine.
  6. jmoore5196 macrumors 6502a


    May 19, 2009
    Midwest US
    There's probably one or two people in China who've had some experience with third-party power supplies ... oh, wait - they're deceased.
  7. AXs macrumors 6502a


    Sep 7, 2009
    You should be offput by how much they charge for everything in that case... except for a new OS I guess.
  8. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Aug 9, 2009
    Portland, OR
    I've bought tons of chargers for my many (~20) PC laptops over the years. Of those... I think that Apple's have been about the same price as official models from IBM, Lenovo, HP, Dell, etc. In fact... Apple's are probably a bit cheaper.

  9. hakr100 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mar 1, 2011
    East Coast
    I am to some degree. I was going to buy a Magic Mouse until I saw the price and tried it out at an apple store. Didn't like it that much. So I tried out a Logitech Anywhere MX Mouse for a little less than half the price, and despite the fact that it cost less, I liked it a lot more and bought...two of them. :D
  10. Jefe's MacAir macrumors 6502

    Nov 21, 2010
    Due to some third party charger manufacturer issues as of late Apple is supposedly going to offer a discount on their chargers. What chargers are included, I do not know as of right now.
  11. TheRealDamager macrumors 65816

    Jan 5, 2011
    I agree with all of the other advice you've received here - power supplies are not the place to skimp or take chances.
  12. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    That doesn't apply to MagSafe adapters. That's for iOS device chargers.

    Apple Launches Third-Party USB Charger 'Takeback Program'
  13. AXs macrumors 6502a


    Sep 7, 2009
    Welcome to the club. As I have posted in another thread, I pre-calculated projected actual overall cost of owning my i5/5/256 Haswell Air, which I got for $1500.

    After calculations, this machine would cost me about $3000 for 3 years of use.
    (Apple Care, MS Office Business, Parallels, Thunderbolt adapter to HDMI, Case... and so on).

    Yea... A lot of people think it's all about the laptop with Apple. nah... not at all. There's a reason Apple is gradually dropping the price of their laptops.

    They are slowly moving to a razor and blade business model... which basically is exactly what it sounds like - you buy the razor which isn't too expensive, but you've got no choice but to buy expensive additional blades.

    I doubt Apple is making much money from laptop sales alone... well definitely not as much as they were making 5 years or so ago (remember the original air was about $1800 for base model, and if i remember correctly - $1000 additional dollars to upgrade to 64GB SSD from the base HDD.


    Well, anyways, the point is that Apple no longer makes them BIG bucks from the laptop alone, but they still make good profits from upgrades. $300 to go to 512GB SSD from 256, $100 for 4GB extra ram, and $150 for a small bump in processor. They make good profits from these as well.

    But that's not where they make mo money. It's once you buy the Macbook, they've got you trapped in their walled garden for life. Every single apple accessory is ridiculously overpriced (compared to market standards of similar-same products).

    And Apple makes their own cables and ports. So you have to buy exclusively for Apple products. Every now and then they will change even their own ports and cables, so you have to buy more.

    Software is exclusive. You have no choice but to buy what apple offers... or run windows/linux on your Mac.

    This is a douche level move comparable to say Mircrosoft kept changing the usb port every 2-3 years, and have exclusive rights to sell the devices that plug in.

    No, instead, Intel-Microsoft and them guys make ports and cables as universal as possible.
    Can you imagine if USB3.0 was thinner and not backwards compatible with usb2.0 devices?

    Well, if it belonged to Apple that's how it would be.

    This is why I held out so long before buying an apple laptop. Sure, I had the ipod classic, ipod touch, and more recently iPad Retina... but never a laptop.
    I was always against apple.

    But I factored in the pros and cons, and I realized I needed to go OS X. I've been fudged by one virus or another during my years of Windows usage. Trojans, spywares. meh.

    I needed a top-notch device that I can carry with me around the world and use for any task which is work related. I figured $3000 was a fair price to pay for it.

    No, not $1500... but $3000. Also I 'm dead happy I don't have to worry about heat issues anymore. This is a masterpiece. $3000 for 3 years equals $1000 a year, fair price to pay for security, comfort, and most importantly - reliability. (of course awesome battery is superawesome).

    Okay I'm going to stop ranting. I just wish people factored in additional costs from owning an a mac. Expenses don't end when you bring the machine home.

    I'm not even going to mention how they utilize technology-push to get you to buy a Thunderbolt display, or now with the new Air - to get a time capsule (AC compatible).

    It's all about the blades, with Apple. And once you go Mac, you likely won't go back... hence all the student discounts and benefits. They're baiting you to be a Mac user for life!

    Apple Marketing is the ultimate.
  14. Mr Rabbit macrumors 6502a

    Mr Rabbit

    May 13, 2013
    The MagSafe is the only heavily guarded hardware patent that Apple has had in the past 10-12 years, meaning it's the only one that companies haven't made lots of cheap alternatives to. In regards to cables and ports, you're correct in that the iDevices use a proprietary port known as Lightning, and Apple does charge a bit more for their accessories that use that port. However what you don't touch on is that with iDevices Apple created (several years ago) the MFI (Made for iPod/iOS) program where developers and manufacturers could license Apple's designs and even gain Apple's backing in creating often significantly less expensive products. With Apple regulating it they keep the manufacturers in check when it comes to quality. I own three different MFI cables and they all cost me less than $11 each, almost half of the $20 Apple cables. My point is this, if you shop exclusively at Apple then you'll leave thinking "EVERYTHING COSTS 3X WHAT IT SHOULD!" but if you shop around online a bit, do some research, etc you can easily find much cheaper alternatives that are still good quality. You mentioned the Thunderbolt to HDMI adapter (TB is not an Apple standard btw), a quick search turned one up at Monoprice for $6.65. The MagSafe is literally the only exception I can think of to this rule in the past 10-12 years.

    In regards to software I don't agree at all. If you want iLife, iWork, FinalCut, etc then yes, obviously you have to go through Apple. But then again thats like saying "Well if I want to buy Office I have no choice but to buy what Microsoft offers" or "If I need to purchase Photoshop my only choice is to buy what Adobe offers", which is the exact same as it would be in a Windows environment. I deploy a hefty amount of software on the Macs that I configure at work and aside from the OS and iLife (which are preinstalled on your Mac) everything else comes from third parties like Microsoft, Adobe, Citrix, etc. Macs are in no way shape or form a walled garden when it comes to software.

    I could buy the razor/blade argument more from a service point of view since the components that make up your Mac are often proprietary (aside from hard drives and optical drives), which leaves you at the mercy of AppleCare or having to source used/refurbished parts through third parties. In the iOS world the razor/blade analogy is very appropriate because of revenue that the App store generates, which can only be accessed by one of their iOS devices.

    But no, not with their accessories. Aside from the MagSafe adapter (which honestly if you treat it with any amount of care will last the life of the machine) you can almost always find a cheaper alternative if you are inclined to do so.

    tldr; Apple only has two proprietary connections (MagSafe and Lightning) that require you to either buy their product or a product that has their stamp of approval, which is often a lot cheaper. There is no walled garden when it comes to software on a Mac, period. The Mac App store is NOT the only means for purchasing/installing software.
  15. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    So out of curiosity as to what other manufacturers were charging for their chargers, I looked up my work laptop (Dell E6410). $60 is what Dell charges for a charger.

    HP charges $69.99 for their chargers.

    Sony starts at $69.99.

    I guess I'm not seeing where Apple's $70 price is over-the-top, other than there's not any third-party knockoffs available. :confused:
  16. AXs macrumors 6502a


    Sep 7, 2009
    @Mr Bunny-

    Well put. Thanks for taking the time.

    Though, missed my point at particular places.

    Short pointer- When I say 'accessories', I don't mean just cables and plugs... By Apple's definition - Accessories is basically everything on top of your device. I say this because I basically bought MS for Home and Business from the Mac Acessories page. So lets include software (apps) in that category.

    Additionally, actually first I'd like to point out - you still need a different cable for each cable product. Nothing is inter-usable. I need a certain cable for my Air, I use a different one for my iPad, and then my sis uses a different one for her iPhone.

    It's ridiculous - Apple's products arent even inter-usable with one another.
    Get the point I'm saying? I now own 3 different Port X -> HDMI cables... Just for Apple products!
    And the ENTIRE point is that I can't use them for ANYTHING ELSE!

    I know how much chinese replicas cost. I used to trade electronics. I've been in the factories in Shenzhen and Guangzhou. I always had cables thrown in for free because they basically didn't cost a damn... just had to let my former producer use my DHL account. I bet he'd still send them.
    But yea, they're cheap knockoffs, and will function as cheap quality knockoffs.

    But you're verifying my point right here. People spend to get a Macbook, and forget about all the expenditures that come after. Whether a knock off, or original. And it will not work for anything else except for other mac laptops. Hell, I'm surprised they didn't change the Thunderbolt port (compatible with Mini display).:p

    Anyways, the point is that at the end of the day, even if it is a made in China knockoff, it still is going to work only for the particular apple device, or group of devices. The only I share is the 30 pin to usb cable for my iPod classic and iPad Retina...

    Don't get me wrong, I can get any major software I want from my dedicated tracker - office, windows, parallels, logic pro... list goes on.

    I don't have to pay a dime for additional softwares. But as I have clearly stated, I am paying this money for reliability. If I wanted cracks I would have bought another PC. I probably have every essential cracked software for the past decade in my 10TB collection.

    Again, I'm paying for reliability. No more "turn updates off" - "windows is not genuine"... I've been through all that already. This device is going to have no cracked software, nor 'cracked' add-on devices and adapters.

    But that's just my choice. As I said, I pre-calculated what I was paying for in total, and what I was going to get.

    I guess the only thing still 'cracked' is some of my entertainment downloads...ahem *cough* ahem (NSA Peepz- LEGAL SHARED MOVIES ONLY).

    I guess my evolution as a 'comfort' guy, and transition from a hardcore pirate isn't over just yet. Though I got to admit half the pirate in me died when I bought this Macbook Air and the ridiculously expensive softwares.

    Gonna buy a genuine Windows for the first time in my life this weekend (though I may give ubuntu a longer use till I determine whether I will stick with Parallels or use Fusion).

    I guess 5 years from now, i might just be getting all my media from iTunes, but in the famous words of King What's his name from Lord of The Rings- "that is not today!":p

    Ahhh. Another overly long post. Okay I'm going to tone back. End of the day, as long as you're happy with what you have, no one can make you doubt otherwise... Whether it's a $300 chromebook, or $3000 mac. End of the day, it is our heart, spirit, and most importantly - our mind, that identifies who we are, and dictates who we may be.

    Goodnight peepz.
  17. Mrbobb macrumors 601

    Aug 27, 2012
    I was going to try a third party charger until news of electrocutions in China. U take ur chances! In a budget? Try a used one in good condition.
  18. hakr100 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mar 1, 2011
    East Coast
    I ended up ordering an Apple 45 watt spare charger. I tried an Apple Magic Mouse again, and I still don't like it.

    Oh, and I sold my Apple Magic Touchpad or whatever the heck it is called to a user here yesterday. Mine was low mileage...I used it once. I really don't like touchpads, and I've never used the one on my new MBA. :D

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17 August 7, 2013