> The ''L'' shaped conductor covers the Ethernet and the Firewire port completely on the Macbook Pro if any type of protective cover-clamshell is installed on the 15 or 17'' designs. Reason being, the ''L'' shaped conductor hugs the body so closely it cannot establish a connection if 3/64" clearance is not provided...Anecdotal evidence supports the view that the 90º magsafe connector design that Apple has reverted to using is the safer of the two designs in terms of accidents as it reduces the chances of a 'shear pull' which made the ''L'' clip vulnerable to pull downs when the Macbook is left on slick or glass like surfaces.
Can't you just make the wire run to the back? (like in the 13In I'm currently using)
Or am I missing something? (Oh, ok, It's the "cover clamshell" that's the issue)
"If you see a cover clamshell on someone's macbook, he/she blew it"
And, instead of a magnetic connector, would a USB type connection function similar? I know that this type of plug stays in good enough so that it doesn't fall out, but can be pulled out without holding the laptop down.
If you're prone to tripping on cords, or have pets or small children, yes, absolutely.
I've owned two MBPs and a MBA (long stories) in the last two years. T-magsafe -> L-magsafe -> back to the new thin T-magsafe. The T-magsafe annoys me in that it's harder to use in my lap, but it's vastly superior in the reasons I like it: it keeps me from ruining my laptop and/or the female power adapter slot.
I recently acquired a Samsung Series 9 by fortune and am horrified at how the AC bit goes in the side and is already incredibly flimsy. On non-Magsafe laptops, you have the same issue, it's just that instead of disconnecting, it's ruining the internal AC adapter bit. It's annoying as all-get-out when it breaks, especially if it's out of warranty and you don't know how to use a soldering iron.
Don't get me started on touchpad drivers.
Now my sister's 11" MacBook Air has a much smaller touchpad for obvious reasons. But I see recent 15" or 17" PC laptops with touchpads that are just as small, maybe 3" diagonally. Having the large surface is so nice, I don't think I could go back.
Maybe that's a driver thing too. If large touchpads were always producing false input from being brushed by the palms, using the smaller touchpads may actually be beneficial for users.
So in some situations it's wonderful, in others its horrible.
But it's vastly better than any PC laptop connector I've ever used.
If it is just a quality control issue, that's still sad/problematic, but it's better than a design flaw.
I agree with that part. Doesn't take much at all if it's pulled from anything beyond straight on.
As I'm typing this, I'm trying to dislodge the L-shaped plug from my 13" Macbook, and it's truly impossible to do that by accident.
On the other side of the equation, I'm far from unfamiliar with tripping on the cord, but maybe that's just my clumsiness.
Isn't that counter to the whole purpose of the connector?
However, I'll grant you "truly impossible" is something better left to logic. The real world is not exactly famous for rendering many things "truly impossible".
Third world problems include poverty, epidemics, and starvation.
With every other brick I've seen the LED is on the brick itself and there is no LED indicator on the connector. You need double the LEDs and have to look under the desk.
Of course, it was a tasteless giant bright blue LED ring. So...yeah.
Friend of mine had the same thing. Duct-tape to the rescue :)
Translation: "I do not agree with David Pogue"
The phrase "speak for" is an idiom and is not meant to be taken literally.
"speak for yourself: expressing a desire to dissociate oneself from what another has just said or the assumptions behind it."
How many people put "can" in front of the idiom?
There was a Simpsons reincarnation joke that used the phrase:
Sideshow Mel: You only live once!
Apu: Hey, speak for yourself!
I reckon it's a genuinely tough engineering problem, since besides unintentional yanks, a laptop power cord gets plugged in and unplugged and hauled around in bags. But it's pretty surprising that they haven't been able to make this enough of a priority to solve it, given how much they charge for those adapters and how much they must have lost on recalls and lawsuits.
But honestly, the solution is simple enough: make the side that gets easily damaged replaceable, and let customers have free replacements every 6 months (and build that trivial cost into the original price of the adapter).
Had an L connector - I can either cover my ports or have it dangle towards the back. Towards the back, it picked up a lot of heat from the heat vents, because they run a lot because I use the laptop for heavy duty computing quite often.
I got some crap about "potential abuse - we'll switch it this time, but they're not meant to withstand abuse" (or something like that). This is normal every day use for 1 year. Old T style - have had multiple of them - never had this problem.
A near feather-like connection seems required to balance such a light computer.
Only a very slight difference to the connecting surface itself.
There is nothing inherently wrong with the T design (at least, in that it would outweigh the pros vs. the L design), and as others have pointed out, it has a number of advantages.
Speaking from personal experience, his exasperation is very over exaggerated. Sure, it's annoying, but I would much rather have it too weak than too strong.
My last MacBook Pro came with the old T connector. It was a massive improvement over standard laptop connectors, but I did run into the crossed legs problem. If I had my legs crossed and set my laptop between them, I had to angle the laptop to be parallel to my left leg; otherwise my leg would dislodge the connector.
My current MacBook Pro has the L style connector. It doesn't have the lap problem, but it bugs me that it covers some of the ports. I usually plug it in so the came comes towards me (more convenient the way I have everything positioned), but that blocks the FW800 port, so I have to swap it around if I want to plug a FW800 disk in.
I like the idea of going back to the T connector, but the idea that they weakened the magnets makes me think the cross-legged problem would be even worse.
I guess I'll find out when I replace this machine with a newer one, probably in a year or two.
I can drag the 11" Air across my desk by pulling on the power cord. It doesn't disconnect unless I pull up or down.
Looking back at Apple mice and their acceleration controls, I think Steve Jobs had a blind side here. Perhaps he was more coordinated than most people, so could compensate and was unaware of the various shortcomings of Apple mice.
Why on earth did they have to mess with that?
"The beauty of the MagSafe connector was that Apple had found precisely the right balance between attachment and detachment. Strong enough to hold the connector in place, weak enough to detach if it gets yanked."
Pretty subjective I think.
My next question is: what's next?
There are a few fallacies at play in your comment and you're far from the only one to have said similar things. First off, both the L and T shaped adapters have their pros and cons. I personally prefer the T shaped adapter. The author of this piece has taken his opinion and turned it into an indictment of Apple which I get because it is an opinion piece after all but as readers we should be able to see that this isn't true for everyone. The reality is that both have their pros and cons and Apple chose T shaped adapters. For as many people out there that complain there are just as many who prefer it (myself included). The product pipeline isn't going to go downhill for years. It's well known that Jobs left the company with several years worth of products that'll be rolled out. What there is to worry about is when that pipeline ends.
The last thing that people forget is that Apple has always made mistakes. Even while Jobs was at the company. For as many hits as they have they have a ton of misses. Overall they do a great job and the ratio of hits to missed hasn't swung in favor of misses at all yet. It's just that now that Jobs is gone people understandably wonder if "this is it" for Apple whenever they miss. Considering that it hasn't even been a year since Jobs passed and how strong an influence he had at Apple it's only natural for people to take criticism that would have happened with or without Jobs and frame it in the context of Apple going downhill since Jobs died.
Apple is as strong as ever. They make amazing products as usual. They fuck up sometimes... Also as usual.
I don't know what will happen at Apple, but I don't like lynch mobs. Give Tim Cook a chance... These are very minor items.
I was upgrading from an older Macbook that used the older T-shaped Magsafe, I never owned any of the L shaped ones.
Edit: Incidentally, I always assumed this is where Apple got the idea in the first place.
MagSafe (according to Wikipedia): 2006
The above CNN article: 2001
Not sure what to make of that.
I've had several issues with cable fray and connector damage with T shaped ones, mine grips fine and comes out when caught fine. Maybe I've got lucky.
If you're saying that Apple invented this, my mother had this on her deep-fryer in 1979. Nothing new. However, it's a good idea to add it to a laptop.
So, here's another data point or two... I've been very happy with the mag-safe adapter. It's one of those things that you don't need until you do. And if you don't have it, you could do some real damage.
I am, by no measure, infallible. Maybe I've just been lucky with notebooks.
Has there been any explanation from Apple on why they changed the design?