MagSafe 2: My love hate relationship with Apple's current power connector

Anyone who owns, or has owned a recent MacBook will be familiar with the MagSafe. Apple's take at the laptop charger, and something in my experience that comes with a very distinct love and hate relationship. The latest incarnation, MagSafe 2, one would anticipate being an improvement on the originals, the development of an idea.

But, instead, it's a product that drives many of us to frustration and despair. The reviews section of the Apple Store website is living proof of that. So how can something so good be so bad at the same time?

The loving relationship

Having come from a lifetime of generic Windows laptops – and even iBook and Powerbook efforts from Apple – where chargers had a less than strong survival rate, the Magsafe seemed like the answer to the problem. I first encountered it on a 2010 MacBook Air. Magnetic, slim and clinging to the side of the MacBook, personally speaking it cured the biggest issues experienced previously with laptop chargers.

Most previously had seen some kind of plug or pin that had to go inside the laptop charging port. And, through time or accidental fall, these would become bent, snapped off completely or the plastic housings could crack open and expose dangerous parts within. Indeed, by the end of the life of my own 11-inch Apple iBook the charger couldn't be removed, since it'd never go back in properly if it was.

And so the love affair with the Magsafe began. Easy attaching and detaching meant that whatever the hurry – or the fall – the charger easily detatched from the laptop. In a house with animals, sadly a falling laptop is always a risk.

And so, you'd think the Magsafe 2 would be even better, right?

So where did it go wrong?

Personally speaking, the Magsafe 2 is the worst possible 'upgrade' before we even get to the apparent issues and general consumer dissatisfaction with it. We've gone from a sleek little connector that barely protruded from the side of your MacBook to one that does, and one that one clumsy writer knocks out about 8 times a day. Granted, my MacBook Pro sits raised from my desk, which does seem to increase the issue, but still.

That never happened with the first generation, and with the relatively weak magnetic connection the smallest thing can knock it out. Kicking the lead under the desk, a friendly cat coming to say hello, brushing past it with your hand, everything seems to knock it out. Beyond being annoying – even more so by the end of the day – it can't be the best situation for the charger either.

Something possibly tied in to the frankly awful reviews the Magsafe 2 gets on the Apple Store site. Overheating, weak cables, fraying rubber coatings, there seems to plenty of issues frustrating plenty of people. And a replacement isn't cheap. My own gets very hot and sometimes refuses to actually charge my MacBook Pro when it's plugged in. Knocking it out is annoying, but faults in function are beyond that.

Your experiences

So, consider this a sort of crowdsourcing exercise. We're stuck with the Magsafe 2, like it or not, but how bad is it for you guys? Do you have annoyances, issues or all out faults with yours, or have you been lucky enough to have a trouble free life with what seems to be one of Apple's more contentious products? Let me hear your experiences in the comments below!

Richard Devine

Editor at iMore, part time racing driver, full time British guy. Follow him on Twitter and Google+