- Dave Smith
- Business Insider gave me a loaner laptop after my old MacBook Pro died suddenly.
- The replacement – a 13-inch MacBook Pro from 2017 with no touch bar – has almost everything I want from a laptop.
- My least favorite feature, though, is the USB-C cord that’s needed to charge the computer.
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The computer is powerful but also sleek, thin, and quiet. The keyboard and trackpad have been redesigned to be less loud, and while it took some getting used to, I like the new design quite a lot.
The computer also has a stunning and bright “Retina” display, which I love.
There’s only one thing about this laptop I don’t love – in fact, I kind of hate it. It’s the USB-C cord that’s needed to charge the computer.
USB-C might as well stand for ‘U Should Be Careful.’
- Dave Smith/Business Insider
The 2017 MacBook Pro features two USB-C ports so you can charge your laptop but still keep another device connected, such as a hard drive or camera.
But the included USB-C cord is not very long and won’t break away if (or when) you trip over it. As a result, my laptop has fallen from my desk or couch on more than one occasion, causing a few minor moments of panic before checking to see nothing broke.
The twisted nature of this USB-C cord is worrying.
- Dave Smith/Business Insider
The USB-C cord is also, right out of the box and by default, stiff and twisted in a way that I feel isn’t good for the cord, which you can see in the photo above. I can already envision this cord fraying at the corner, close to where it connects to the port, like so many other past power cables I’ve owned.
It’s weird that Apple abandoned a brilliant solution in favor of a regular USB-C cord. It’s the one part of this computer that feels very un-Apple.
Apple had it right with MagSafe.
For years, Mac laptops were fitted with Apple’s MagSafe solution, an invention in which the power cord would automatically detach when pulled or tripped over to prevent damage to the computer.
But Apple has been phasing out MagSafe recently. The last computer fitted with this magnetic power solution was the MacBook Air from 2017. Apple seems to be embracing USB-C – even last year’s iPad Pro features USB-C instead of a “Lightning” port for the first time.
Thankfully, it looks like MagSafe could return soon. A new Apple patent published earlier this month described a new-and-improved version of MagSafe that would work with all Apple devices – not just laptops – and it would be even safer and more power-efficient than before. You can read more about Apple’s new patented MagSafe solution here.
While USB-C is great since it can transfer both power and data along the same cable, I really miss the feeling of knowing my computer will be safe if anyone trips on the power cord. There are some MagSafe alternatives that work with USB-C MacBooks, but they’re not as seamless to use as Apple’s old built-in solution.
With any luck, Apple’s future laptops – and other Apple devices, too – will adopt Apple’s patented next-generation MagSafe, instead of settling on USB-C.