I love Macs, but I consider myself level-headed when it comes to criticizing Apple — not an apologetic fan. That’s why I’m a bit surprised by the recent backlash against the new MacBook Pro notebook computers. I don’t share the outrage. Sure, the choice of older Skylake processors over the new Kaby Lake line is a let down, but for me it ends there. Perhaps controversially, where I disagree the most is with the recently abandoned MagSafe power connector.
It’s easy to understand why people are upset about the loss of MagSafe. It was a fun feature. Plugging the power into a Mac laptop provided the user with a gratifying, magnetically-assisted “snick” sound, and a handsome LED on the connector would then light up giving you instant feedback on the power level of your battery. It was a luxury that felt useful. It provided simple, nerdy pleasure.
The intended purpose of the MagSafe connector was to save your laptop from damage in the event that someone accidentally tugged on or tripped over your power cable. Instead of damaging the port, your connector, or sending the whole computer crashing to the ground, the MagSafe would simply pop out unscathed.
This was a noble cause, but I’ve been using MacBooks since the original MagSafe connector made its debut (and I used an Apple Powerbook G4 before that), and in all of these years it has never been necessary. Maybe I’m just an extra careful person, but as neat as MagSafe was, I never needed it.
Contrary to being a life saver, I found the MagSafe power connector to be dependably annoying.
Contrary to being a life saver, I found the MagSafe power connector to be dependably annoying. Why? It accidentally disconnected my computer from power many, many times. Instead of saving me from peril, it provided a consistent, nagging annoyance.
Say the power outlet was a bit far away from the surface where I needed to work. I would plug the MagSafe in, and the cable would stretch just far enough to connect. After working for a short period of time, I would adjust my seat and shift the computer slightly, and POP! The MagSafe would disconnect and completely disrupt my concentration.
Say I was working at a desk with other computer equipment on it: monitors, cables, external drives, speakers, etc. I found that the cable running to the MagSafe connector would often get a little tangled, and if snagged the right way, it would force the connector to become detached, and again break my concentration.
Perhaps these scenarios sound like edge cases, but for me, they occurred often enough that I decided I didn’t like the MagSafe connector a long, long time ago.
Another thing people are complaining about is the increased price of the new MacBook Pros. After they were announced I went on Apple’s website and configured the machine I would buy: a 13″ MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, i7 processor, 16GB RAM, 500GB SSD.
The price for the computer I wanted came to $2500. Sure, that’s a heck of a lot of money for a small notebook, but through the years, every time I configure the exact MacBook Pro I want they always come to $2500. I’m used to it.
Maybe it’s just me, but these new computers are as desirable as ever. Goodbye, MagSafe. I’ll miss your “snick,” but that’s about it.