057 Comments

001

I’ve had two adapters fray and melt. It’s obviously not common though: unlike problems with heat or noise (which I don’t have), there’s no real uproar or anything about it on the net.

I’ve had no problem getting them both replaced for free, once from the Apple Store and once from calling them on it. Actually, they think the problem is with the Power Management Unit in my computer, drawing too much electricity.

So, I would go for it. Odds are way against you having any problems, and if you do, it’ll be fixed really quick. If this has been happening a lot, odds are they’ve even fixed it by now.

Author
Greg
Posted
Nov 2nd, 2006 11:38 pm
002

I have used my MBP since they came out, and this is heavy use, every day, leaving it on constantly, and carrying it back and forth to school every day, with the cord going under many different circumstances - and have had no problems. The cord is in good shape, though slightly ink stained from a pen that had a bit of an issue in my bag.

Author
Patrick Gage
Posted
Nov 2nd, 2006 11:56 pm
003

I’ve had one for, oh, about six months now. I haven’t had melting or fraying, but I did have the other problem, which is that the little pins which actually make contact are spring-loaded, and have a tendency, after a while, to get stuck while recessed into the plug. At which point it’s harder and harder to them to make clean contact with the socket on the MBP, and you get a flaky power connection. I ordered a new power adapter last month and it works fine so far. We’ll see how it holds up over time…

Author
James Bennett
Posted
Nov 3rd, 2006 12:14 am
004

(and actually, I didn’t pay for the replacement; I bought an extra to have as a backup, and the original was replaced by Apple)

Author
James Bennett
Posted
Nov 3rd, 2006 12:15 am
005

This cord problem seems to be quite isolated. I have the cord plugged into my white macbook nearly 24 hours a day and have not had an issue once.

Author
Kyle Schembri
Posted
Nov 3rd, 2006 12:52 am
006

Except when I’m asleep — which is just a scant few hours a day — I’m using my MB Pro 17”. I’ve had it since they came out and have an extra power adapter for my office.

This particular power adapter seems quite durable. It’s less flexible than others I’m used to so it doesn’t seem to have the problem of bending at 90 degrees from the plug-end — which has caused the death of several power adapters for prior powerbooks.

Isaiah

Author
Isaiah
Posted
Nov 3rd, 2006 1:46 am
007

I’ve had a MBP since March. I’ve dragged it all around London, working in different agencies. The power adapter has done a great job and apart from getting a bit grubby I have no problems to report.

Author
George
Posted
Nov 3rd, 2006 2:08 am
008

Been perfect for me since May. Constant use.

Author
Kyle
Posted
Nov 3rd, 2006 2:24 am
009

I’ve had my 17” since the week they came out with no problems what-so-ever. The charger base gets hot sometimes (normal), but no fraying or melting.

Author
Greg
Posted
Nov 3rd, 2006 4:35 am
010

I’ve had a 15” MBP since April. I use it for hours every day and I’ve never had a problem with the power adapter.

Author
Jez
Posted
Nov 3rd, 2006 5:15 am
011

I’ve had a 15” MBP since April. I use it for hours every day and I’ve never had a problem with the power adapter.

Same. I’ve also owned mine since january (crappy 1.8 mgz :( ) and i had no problems.

Author
Matt
Posted
Nov 3rd, 2006 7:47 am
012

Sorry for double post, meant april :)

Author
Matt
Posted
Nov 3rd, 2006 7:48 am
013

I’ve been using my MBP as my main workhorse literally from 7am - 5pm at work, then from 7pm - 10pm at home after that almost 7 days a week. This has been going on since I got it shortly after its launch. Up to now, I have not yet (touch wood) experienced any problems at all. Except for the slightly higher heat, it’s a pretty sweet piece.

As for the problems like batteries exploding, this and that melt, I think it’s pretty rare (only IMHO). My brother-in-law been using his for just as long but there’s no problems too.

Hope that helps.

Author
Wee Keat
Posted
Nov 3rd, 2006 8:35 am
014

I have a 17” Powerbook and a 15” MacBook Pro, and I have to say that I like the Powerbook power adaper better. I like the mag-safe, but I use my laptops primarily on my desk when plugged in so this feature is nice, but does not outweigh the fact that the white converter box thing is much larger than the Powerbooks. At least a 1/3 of the size bigger. I think it looks like a hard drive attached to your computer!

Author
stb
Posted
Nov 3rd, 2006 8:42 am
015

I have been using my MacBook 24/7 since june, and no problems with the power chord what so ever. Of course, I can’t speak for those on the apple store with complete meltdowns, but haven’t heard of any people I know with MacBook(Pro)s that have had any of these problems.

Author
Geir Arne Brevik
Posted
Nov 3rd, 2006 8:51 am
016

I can’t comment on the quality of the MagSafes in particular, but I can say that the ratings on the Apple Store can be woefully inconsistent with my experiences. The standard 65W PowerBook power adapters receive a rating of less than two stars, with near-unanimous complaints about poor quality, yet I’ve never had a problem with the three I’ve used.

I know that’s not terribly helpful, but I have Pavlovi…cally? decided to ignore Apple Store ratings.

Author
Justin Reese
Posted
Nov 3rd, 2006 10:59 am
017

My MacBook Pro’s MagSafe frayed (still usable, but kinda scary) within the first couple months, and Apple replaced it at no charge.

Author
SupaPuerco
Posted
Nov 3rd, 2006 11:34 am
018

I’ve also been using my 17-inch MacBook Pro for 8-10 hours a day, nearly everyday since May 5, 2006. This includes the use of two power adapters and lots of moving around between home, work, the local library, several camping trips, and a few business trips.

I haven’t had a single problem, not with the power adapter or anything else. This has been a very reliable machine. I would heartily recommend it.

Author
Dennis
Posted
Nov 3rd, 2006 11:39 am
019

I’ve been stress testing my 15” MacBook Pro since early May - day in, day out use, lots of travel, evenings and weekends not exempt - with three 85W adapters, and no problems. Both MacBook Pro and adapter do get warm….

Author
Dave Frank
Posted
Nov 3rd, 2006 11:44 am
020

I’ve been using my 15” MacBook Pro for about 6 months with no problems with the power adaptor. A coworker did however, have the fraying problem and had his replaced the same day. So it doesn’t seem to be too big of an issue considering if it does happen the replacement takes no time at all.

Author
Brandon Tennant
Posted
Nov 3rd, 2006 11:48 am
021

I’ve had a Macbook Pro since February and just last month had to replace the power adaptor because of fraying. Most of my use was at a desk, though my power plug is on the right so I have to string the power chord around the left sided magsafe socket.

Author
Greg
Posted
Nov 3rd, 2006 11:56 am
022

No fraying and melting here (just MLB/display/noise issues!), and I’ve had my 15” MacBook Pro since February 28th. There seems to be some severe twisting in the cable near the Magsafe end, but it hasn’t caused any issues.

I’ve also got a second power adapter for work, and it hasn’t had any problems either.

Author
Patrick Haney
Posted
Nov 3rd, 2006 11:56 am
023

I’ve had one since March, and have had zero problems with them. I love the MagSafe and while the cable does seem a bit more internally kinked than the thinner PowerBook cables, it does not seem that it would hurt the insulation unless you were to really abuse it. I pay attention to how it wraps, so, I’ve had no problems so far.

Personally, I find the MagSafe far more of a boon than the potential need to pay more attention to your cable wrapping.

Author
Daniel
Posted
Nov 3rd, 2006 11:59 am
024

I’ve had my MBP since they shipped. I’ve been through one power adapter. The “Stress” (HA!) boot at the MagSafe end came free of the rubberized cabling and AppleCare replaced it, gratis of course.

The point where any Apple power adapter plugs into the ‘Book seems to always be the weakest part of the whole shebang.

Every ‘Book (Pismo, TiFighter, 17 and 15 inch AlBook, and now the MacBook Pro) have all had to have the power adapter replaced at some point in their life. I’m being overly cautious with this replacement.

Author
Daniel Decker
Posted
Nov 3rd, 2006 12:01 pm
025

I’ve had my 15” MacBook Pro for about 6 months now. Had the same problem with the spring-loaded pins as James Bennett above on my first two adaptors within the first 60 days. Apple finally had me send the second broken one to engineering rather than the normal warranty people. But whatever the issue was I think engineering has fixed it since I’ve stopped hearing/reading about this issue. Haven’t had any problems with fraying or melting and use it all day every day around my two toddlers (the MagSafe feature has saved the cord and/or laptop from damage and tripping up my kids at least 10 times already).

Author
Greg Titus
Posted
Nov 3rd, 2006 12:02 pm
026

I bought the first one when they came out and I am into my second now, both 15 inchers, no problems at all. And yep, heavy user, germany 220 volt ;)

Author
thorsten
Posted
Nov 3rd, 2006 12:06 pm
027

I’ve been using my 15” MacBook Pro constantly since early May without any fraying or melting problems at all. Like others have said, the adapter gets warm sometimes — there was one occasion when it shut itself off because it was too hot (that’s what I get for leaving the adapter underneath a comforter!).

The cord on this adapter is definitely tougher than my PowerBook’s was, and it’s been holding up better so far. All in all, no complaints!

Author
Ben Mitchell
Posted
Nov 3rd, 2006 12:06 pm
028

I had to have my adapter replaced twice. The problem being that the plug that I utilize is to my right, and the adapter plugs into the left side.

Mind you, it isn’t pulled taught or even close, but for some reason the power cord just doesn’t like to be pulled in that direction, and eventually the cord starts to come apart from the end of the adapter, as is evidenced by the “lumpy” look of the end. Kind of hard to articulate well, but I can take a picture if you would like. I know that my friends have had that problem as well.

Author
Eugene Cook
Posted
Nov 3rd, 2006 12:18 pm
029

We’ve been using four MBP’s at work and carrying them home each night for six months. The cords are all in good shape.

Author
Tyler Hall
Posted
Nov 3rd, 2006 12:20 pm
030

I know 2 people with MBPros and neither of them have had any fraying…

Author
Joe
Posted
Nov 3rd, 2006 12:35 pm
031

I have an early 15” MBP, and had the same problem with pins as James Bennett and Greg Titus. As with them, Apple replaced my adaptor free of charge, and I haven’t had a problem since. I’ve had no problems with fraying, though I generally only use the machine at home, so it hasn’t gotten too badly abused.

Author
S. Ben Melhuish
Posted
Nov 3rd, 2006 12:42 pm
032

I’ve had a MBP since late spring, and I have to say, the Magsafe is a major improvement over the prior version - especially if you use the MBP a lot in ‘awkward’ positions (i.e. anything but sitting solidly on a desk).

I had a lot of problems with the G4 Powerbook adapters getting ‘loose’ in the socket - the adapter plug starts wobbling in the socket, until eventually it takes 30 seconds of fiddling getting the plug situated just right before the laptop gets power. This has happened with both Apple adapters and third-party, and on both AlBooks and TiBooks, and seems to get worse in positions where sideways stress is put on the connector (as in your lap, for example). The Magsafe adapter seems to be completely free of this problem, and I’d attribute that directly to the design. While I have read complaints about the cord popping free unintentionally, and have experienced the same thing myself, I’d far rather deal with that; putting it back in is a snap, literally, and I never have to mess with it to get a solid connection.

The brick is bigger, but that’s only a minor annoyance. The only serious beef I have with Magsafe is that so far there have been no third-party adapters; I don’t miss the simple replacements so much, but I want a Magsafe tip for either the iGo or Kensington universal adapter systems, and I’d also like to see something like MadsonLine’s Lucille (with auxiliary Firewire and USB charger ports).

Author
Travis Butler
Posted
Nov 3rd, 2006 12:48 pm
033

I have a MacBook Pro, and my wife has a MacBook. They both get heavy use and we haven’t had this problem.

However, we each have a second adapter at work, so the adapters don’t actually get moved around much.

Author
Matt Fitzsimmons
Posted
Nov 3rd, 2006 12:48 pm
034

I, too, have an early 15” MBP with an extra adapter and battery and have experienced no problems at all with the power cords, adapters or batteries. On the spare adapter I tie/unwind the cord around the holder about 2 times a day, every day and it is still in good shape.

Author
Arthur Langereis
Posted
Nov 3rd, 2006 12:49 pm
035

I have two said adapters, one for work and one for home and both are holding up fine, no problems or complaints.

Author
mark stull
Posted
Nov 3rd, 2006 12:56 pm
036

MBP in constant (12+ hours/day) use plugged in since April, no problems.

Author
Justin
Posted
Nov 3rd, 2006 1:07 pm
037

My first power adapter frayed. I phoned Apple, they sent me a new one and I dropped the old one in the box to send back. Minor inconvenience. No problems with my new one though.

Author
Jeffrey Aho
Posted
Nov 3rd, 2006 1:34 pm
038

I’ll echo Daniel Decker’s comment above. I had the same issue with my MagSafe adapter as I did with the adapter on my TiBook—the point where the power cord enters the plug on the computer side frayed within a few months. Apple replaced both adapters without any hassle, but the design of the thing is just silly. Instead of using that alternating-slot-thing you see on every power cord in existence, there’s just a slightly thicker ring of insulation.

Both of the replacements have yet to fray, however, so it’s not a chronic issue.

Author
Chris Biagini
Posted
Nov 3rd, 2006 1:41 pm
039

I’ve had no issues myself after heavy use for about four months, but I’ve heard from others who have had troubles and have been keeping a close eye on the connector.

Author
BJ Vicks
Posted
Nov 3rd, 2006 1:41 pm
040

I have two magsafe adapters for my MBP, one lives at work (came with, 2 months ago) one lives at home (bought a month later).

Each gets plugged/unplugged at least once a day (to/from work), if not more. Neither is showing any signs of distress or imminent failure.

Author
PatrickQG
Posted
Nov 3rd, 2006 2:01 pm
041

Had MBP since March. I pack and unpack the macbook/adaptor each day to and from work. No fraying for me. But one thing I do is I never use the adapter’s flip-out wire clips when packing up the power adaptor. I just coil up the cable loosely and always avoid placing undue strain on the cable during storage.

Author
neonzebra
Posted
Nov 3rd, 2006 2:05 pm
042

I am planning on taking mine back to get a new one under apple care… the sleeve just beyond the white plastic part is pulling away from the chord a bit and there is one little wire sticking out…

Author
dwightk
Posted
Nov 3rd, 2006 2:33 pm
043

I agree with many of the others: I’ve owned a MBP since May and haven’t had a problem with either of my adapters, nor have I had any of the other issues (such as the whine). We also own a regular MacBook and haven’t had any of those issues either. I don’t think this melting/fraying is a very widespread issue, as we really haven’t heard much about it on TUAW either.

Gorgeous site by the way.

Author
David Chartier
Posted
Nov 3rd, 2006 2:36 pm
044

I’ve had two Macbook Pros. The original one (the first one the Apple Store Yorkdale recieved) had an adapter that worked fine even with travel and being wound up repeatedly. The second one I got had an adapter where the wiring became disconnected from the MagSafe connector after less than a month of use. Apple did replace it eventually but it took a little effort as the stores do not stock the replacement part. I ended up buying a second bacup one during the wait in order to continue using the laptop. I’ve not had any experience with them melting tho. Oh and I don’t have a Macbook pro anymore… too many other issues :p The new Core 2 ones look nice tho and hopefully the quality control issues have been worked out.

Author
Kevin
Posted
Nov 3rd, 2006 2:39 pm
045

MBP 15”, used constantly since June—just starting to fray. I’m now very cautious when unplugging/packing; Probably could’ve been cautious from the start, but…

Author
Brandon Gooch
Posted
Nov 3rd, 2006 2:42 pm
046

my experience here

They did replace it though, but I had to try a few times. They seemed to get worried when I mentioned I burnt myself a bit.

Author
James Darling
Posted
Nov 3rd, 2006 3:11 pm
047

I have a MacBook (same MagSafe connector/cord w/ slightly bigger brick) since June and have used it extensively.. cable seems fine.

Author
Paul Stamatiou
Posted
Nov 3rd, 2006 3:31 pm
048

I have two of these adapters and haven’t had any problems at all. I use both everyday (one at home, one at work).

Author
Harold
Posted
Nov 3rd, 2006 4:41 pm
049

I’ve got two adapters: one that sits on my desk at my studio and one on the sofa at home. The one at the studio typically lasts much longer.

My experience is that power cords for my PowerBooks have lasted about a year before fraying and needing replacement.

I’ve had my MBP 17” for 5 months and one of my power adapters has already died. It is, of course, being replaced under APP, but it’s a little disappointing to see the quality of these worsening, not strengthening.

Author
jory
Posted
Nov 3rd, 2006 5:46 pm
050

My roommate and I both had 15” Macbook Pros and both had the magsafe connector’s go bad on us. It seems like Apple was aware of this issue and has fixed it in the Core2Duo version. I’ve got a side by side comparison of the new one and the old one is interested in seeing the difference.

Author
Sam Ingle
Posted
Nov 3rd, 2006 6:28 pm
051

I fix these kinds of computers for a living. At a guess, I probably see at least half a dozen MBPs a day, several days a week, since they were released at the start of this year. In my personal experience, I’ve come across not one person with heating/melting problems with the magsafe AC adapter, out of a sample set of hundreds. I think maybe one of my coworkers has seen it, once. I wouldn’t spend any time worrying about this issue.

(By contrast, I probably see at least a couple of the previous-generation power adapters that no longer work because the cable was pulled too hard over time and is now fraying at the plug end. They typically don’t burn or scorch except in the most abused examples, but they no longer deliver a charge, either. The new design definitely seems to be more robust.)

Author
anon.mg
Posted
Nov 3rd, 2006 6:37 pm
052

I have a Macbook and the power adapter cord frayed. Not only that, it sizzles. The frayed one is no longer working, and the new one I receive also sizzles.

The magsafe connector is a major nuisance. What seems cool at first has become utterly annoying. I’ve must have reconnected the thing a thousand times already because it’s always popping out inadvertently. I can’t imagine any benefit of this new design not being totally outshadowed by the drawbacks. If you move around at all, the magsafe connector WILL pop out.

Author
Vince Huynh
Posted
Nov 3rd, 2006 7:41 pm
053

I just got a new Core 2 Duo 15” MBP. Haven’t had a single problem with excessive heat, whine, fans, melting things, sizzling things, or inadvertently popping out things. Hopefully most of these problems have been fixed in the new laptops, though one or two should probably be attributed to luck.

Author
Kyle
Posted
Nov 3rd, 2006 8:12 pm
054

I haven’t had any problems with my 15” MBP (including the power cord) since I bought it in April. It does get really hot, though, especially right above the keyboard..

Author
Bill Dolan
Posted
Nov 3rd, 2006 8:57 pm
055

For what it’s worth I think that the connecters are either bad or good and the bad ones will fail quickly. My fiancee and I both have MacBook Pros and she had to exchange her power supply a couple of weeks after receiving the it because the insulation had pulled back. Neither the replacement nor mine has had any problems under much heavier use than the first one had before it broke.

Part of the problem is that the design encourages you to pull from the wire because the plug itself is so small and hard to pull directly out. Instead knock the plug out of the socket by pushing up or down directly on the plug and perpendicular to the surface of the computer. The people at the Apple Store replaced my fiancee’s quickly so it was never a problem, and unlike other people, I really like the design now that I’m used to it. If you get a bad one just get it replaced right away.

Author
Michael Boyle
Posted
Nov 3rd, 2006 10:41 pm
056

As others have said, it seems like it’s easy thing to replace—if yours actually goes bad. I would take those “reviews” with a grain of salt as well. In any forum or review (I’m sure you’ve come across this running the mint forums), in my experience, most people willl generally complain when there are problems—artificially magnifying the problem when in reality only a small percentage of users are actually experiencing it. Rarely will someone come back to write a glowing review of a product—only because they’re probably busy enjoying it! (Some even take writing “reviews” as trying to get tech support.) One of the pitfalls of researching stuff on the internet for sure…

Author
Dave (ST!)
Posted
Nov 3rd, 2006 11:27 pm
057

Thanks everyone. I ordered a 15-inch yesterday. My primary interest in the 17-inch was the 7200 rpm hard drive (faster hard drives are reportedly better for large sustained writes, common when recording audio). The extra screen real estate would have just been a somewhat-awkward-to-carry-around “bonus.” In the end I opted for an external 250GB FireWire 800 hard drive for less than the difference between the two MacBook Pro models.

Sweet, the extra battery and power adapter arrived while typing this. Way to be on top of distribution Apple!

Author
Shaun Inman
Posted
Nov 4th, 2006 9:26 am