USB-C - truly reversible even for power brick?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by tbirdparis, May 30, 2015.

  1. tbirdparis macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 30, 2015
    #1
    Hey forum,

    Future Macbook owner here, have just been waiting for the dust to settle before placing my order...

    Anyway I've been spending time in my local Apple Store really getting to know the new MacBooks to make sure it's the right fit for what I want. So far so good. But I just discovered something weird:

    I was testing one out for a good 30 mins with the power disconnected, just to get a feel for how long it takes for the battery to start running down. When I reconnected the power cable, after a while I checked back and saw that it wasn't charging at all. The panel in the menu bar said it was on battery and not charging... So I tried reversing the cable and lo and behold, it started charging. I tested the same thing out on a couple of other display MacBooks and the same thing happened. I asked the staff (more than one of them) and they all seemed to know nothing at all about USB-C and just said, yeah I guess it must only work plugged in one way.

    So it's obviously no biggie, but... I thought the new USB-C standard was meant to be completely reversible? Or is it only reversible as far as data connections are concerned but not for the power cable?

    Can anyone who has a new MacBook confirm/deny this?

    Cheers!
     
  2. Brookzy macrumors 601

    Brookzy

    Joined:
    May 30, 2010
    Location:
    UK
    #2
    It is fully reversible on the retail models.

    Remember Apple Stores use a custom cable that has an anti-theft mechanism. This could I guess somehow interfere with the reversibility.
     

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  3. thitiv macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2011
    Location:
    Bangkok, Thailand
    #3
    Confirmed. Been using the machine for almost a month now.
     
  4. tbirdparis thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 30, 2015
    #4
    Thanks guys, pretty much what I thought. Indeed they had a weird anti-theft cable for the demo machines so it must be something to do with that.

    More worrying though is that I asked not one, but _four_ separate sales guys who happened to float by while I was trying the machines (ok I was there for a long time)! Not one of them gave me the correct answer, nor did they show the slightest hint of really knowing anything about the USB-C standard and weren't even mildly fussed to try and figure out why it didn't seem to be doing what it was advertised to do. This was at the flagship Apple store in Paris, you could be forgiven for expecting better than that!

    Can't wait to order my machine.. Funny how I thought I would automatically love Space Grey but in the flesh, the gold and classic silver seem to be more appealing. @Brookzy: are you still loving the gold or getting any hint of buyer's remorse?

    Cheers!
     
  5. Brookzy macrumors 601

    Brookzy

    Joined:
    May 30, 2010
    Location:
    UK
    #5
    That photo I attached is from an Apple store showing the special cable, it's not mine!

    However, by luck, mine is gold, and I love it. It's a different gold to the iPhone and iPad; a deeper colour. But it looks great. And it gets a lot of attention.

    Things I would like to change: more speed, more battery (but we'll always want that haha), a 720p camera, and a 14" option.

    Oh, and a minor thing, the headphone jack being on the right hand side is annoying. First MacBook with this. I use my MacBook while studying and listening to music, and I like to scribble notes while doing so. The headphone cable gets in the way (as I write with my right hand)! Wasn't an issue on the MBA, which has a left-hand-side headphone jack.
     
  6. tbirdparis thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 30, 2015
    #6
    Ha! Lucky guess then that you happened to have a goldie. I agree, in the flesh it's more like a subtle champagne colour, striking but somehow not as bling as it sounds. I like it, I think it also really depends on where you are. Here in Paris, everyone seems to just find the gold one chic and not at all tacky or attention seeking. But when I was just in NY, lots of friends felt like the gold would send the wrong message, like you were someone from Jersey with more money than taste. Personally I like it a lot and will prob go for that. Wanted to love the Space Grey but just find it a bit dull ultimately...we have enough depressing grey here in Paris already, no need to add to it.

    Interesting point about the headphone jack irritation, didn't think of that. Re power - did you get the base model? I'm thinking the 1.3, but mostly because I've read it's a different version of the Core M than the 1.1/1.2, and somehow gets slightly better battery life contrary to what you might think. Would love to see actual proof of this but no one seems to be reviewing and properly testing the 1.3 model yet...

    Cheers!
     
  7. Brookzy macrumors 601

    Brookzy

    Joined:
    May 30, 2010
    Location:
    UK
    #7
    I have a 1.2/512 model. Would have got the 1.3 but I didn't think it was worth the price, would have taken longer to ship (though I still had to wait a month), and I fully intend to upgrade to the second gen when it's out.
     
  8. TheHareBear macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    Location:
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    #8
    It is fully reversible.

    My 1.3 turned out to only power one way round and, after a month of waiting, I had it for a week and it is now being replaced and I have now been without one again for over a week :-(

    The cables in the store aren't special as I tested mine in store and it powered only one way round but the display laptops worked both ways round.

    Sounds like the ones in store may also have had the same problem?
    I could have had it repaired but with a brand new, expensive item, I don't want it opened up already.

    For those returning any items for replacement, be aware that Apple (UK at least), has changed its policy on how items are replaced. Until this January they would put a hold on your card for the replacement cost, send a courier with the new item and take away the faulty one, then remove the hold on your card once they had the item back. They will now not do this, will not ship to store to be swapped out that way, and despite claiming they will prioritise the replacement and that they have replacement stock in the UK, will apparently do no such thing... I've now had an £80 credit due to the wait thus far and being told a different story by Aftersales each day.

    Andrew
     
  9. tbirdparis thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 30, 2015
    #9
    Hmmm, that sort of sucks! And actually it's pretty disconcerting if it is really a hardware glitch and nothing to do with the anti theft cabling in the stores. I tried reversing the power cable on four demo MacBooks in the Apple Store today, and _all_ of them only went into charging mode with the cable inserted one way, not both. So could this be a sign that Rev A of the USB-C port is maybe a bit dicey right now..?

    Anyone else with a new MacBook ever having issues with it not charging if the cable is inserted a certain way?
     

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