Griffin’s BreakSafe Cable provides accessible Magnetic USB-C Charging, but With a few Drawbacks

Griffin BreakSafe 1

even though Apple these days refreshed its 12-inch MacBook lineup with a quicker SSD, new sixthtechnology Skylake processors, and longer battery life, the Retina Macbook’s USB kind-C input stays thenotebook‘s single port, apart from a 3.5mm headphone jack. just like the launch of the primarytechnology device in 2015, many fans lament no longer best the incapability to apply traditional inputs without wearing around an adapter, but the safety problems found in a charging cablelacking Apple’s trusty MagSafe technology.

To that quit, at CES this yr Griffin era introduced a thirdcelebration option to the shortage of a magnetic charging cable at the 12-inch MacBook, referred to as the BreakSafe Magnetic USB-C electricityCable. The $39.99 package comes with a six-foot cable and small metal dongle, which is ready 3/four of an inch long. Setup is simple: the cable is capped by a USB-C output, which users plug into Apple’s packaged-in wall outlet brick. The dongle is plugged into the USB-C slot on the MacBook, so users can then price thepocket book using BreakSafe’s briefrelease magnetic connection.
much like MagSafe, BreakSafe’s purpose is basically to prevent the MacBook from tumbling down off offurnishings — or kicked along the groundwhen something snags the charging cable connected to a wall outlet and the computer itself. The messaging is centered on computers (and charging powersimplest, as information and video aren’t supported), however the company does observe that theconcept transfers to USB-C supported smartphones and capsules as nicely.


The dongle facet of Griffin’s new accessory hews closely in size to the Satechi type-C USB Adapter I reviewed remaining yr, however with the brought bonus of a extra ergonomic design. With its rounded edges, the BreakSafe comes out ahead of Satechi’s adapter in experience, despite the fact that Griffin isproscribing users to one well-known silver shade that become barely lighter than my space grayMacBook. users with a Gold, or the new Rose Gold, color alternative might be afflicted extra through the dongle’s clashing color so near their favored MacBook colorway. The dongle has a mark at the pinnaclefacet to remind customers which side is going up when plugging it into the MacBook, although USB-C does permit reversible inputs so it does not an awful lot rely (a small Griffin brand resides on the alternative side). That gray line does need to line up with a similar engraving on the charging cable; in any other case the BreakSafe’s opposite polarity pushes the 2 magnetic ends aside and fails to result in arate to the MacBook.

it truly is the first minor problem — of only some — with Griffin’s MagSafe alternative. Apple’s proprietaryera permits customers to plug their MagSafe cables into their notebooks in either orientation; even the later-technology L-formed MagSafe can be attached in opposite, albeit with the strength cable blocking someUSB ports.
BreakSafe does not offer this sort of feature and as such isn’t as slickly clean to use as the first-celebration opportunity. Griffin knowledgeable me that the fundamental cause at the back of itsdecision to not make BreakSafe reversible became its attempt to maintain the connector as small asfeasible, even as nevertheless managing to provide magnetic appeal and charge to the MacBook.

The company described the small markings at the cable and dongle, and the reverse magnetic pushcustomers get hold of while aligned incorrectly, as incorporatedprotection features” of BreakSafe,helping accustom users to regularly aligning the cable and connector. The device is a step above wantingto appearance or experience for the MacBook’s USB-C port to attach the cable, but it’s also a stepunderneath Apple’s seamlessly reversible MagSafe characteristic.

day by day Use

Griffin’s tough-and-tumble cable design, that is guaranteed for existence by way of the business enterprise, facilitates make up in areas wherein the accessory lacks. i’ve simplest been the usage ofBreakSafe for per week so I cannot talk to its longtime period durability, however in direct assessmentto Apple’s, the 1/3birthday celebration cable is some distance thicker and greater resilient to stressfulcoiling common in Apple’s skinny white cable. it’s miles slightly shorter at 6ft (1.8m), compared to Apple’s 6.5ft (2m) cable.
Powered off of Apple’s 29-watt USB-C power Adapter that’s included with each 12-inch MacBook, Griffin’s 60-watt BreakSafe cable has proven reliably fast charging speeds while the MacBook is each near dying, and just in need of a brief pinnacle-off. I ran a charging pace check over the weekend to compare it with Apple’s and, expectedly, the 2 came in around the identical time. BreakSafe fueled the MacBook from 35percentage to one hundred percent in 1 hour and 27 minutes, even as Apple’s blanketed USB-C cablefinished the same battery check in 1 hour and 25 minutes.

what is going to be the figuring out thing on Griffin’s BreakSafe cable for lots customers is the advent ofsome other minuscule accessory (12.8mm long to be specific) that desires to be saved song of if you want to completely use its features. The dongle is small in shape element, but recognizably thicker incomparison with Apple’s charger. when inserted into the MacBook, there’s a a precise protrusion and evena mild amount of wiggle whilst touching the BreakSafe plug, which gave me a few hesitation aboutmaintaining it attached when not in use. Of direction, doing away with the dongle whilst now not in usewould negate the whole reason for its lifestyles, because each time you plug it returned in you return to the authentic trouble of correctly aligning a USB-C plug into the MacBook. to duplicate a MagSafe-likeenjoy at the 12-inch Retina MacBook, you would need to maintain the BreakSafe dongle plugged into your MacBook at all times.

any such selection comes right down to private preference, however as a person who’s by means of-and-massive gotten acquainted with each day USB-C charging, the concept of adding but every otherkind-C accessory to a developing listing of requirements needed for my yrvintage 12-inch MacBook,specially while travelling, just is not well worth the problem. Griffin’s opportunity also feels tangiblymuch less magnetic than MagSafe. meaning BreakSafe will efficaciously disengage while users regionenough pressure on the cable, however I additionally discovered it to disconnect by chance without me even understanding. in the first take a look at, I left the cable plugged in and returned intermittently to check my MacBook’s charge level, and determined twice that the two efficaciously aligned magnetic endshad been touching, but no longer fully related.

This might be an man or woman problem (my MacBook changed into located on a status table whichturned into raised and lowered a few times all through the take a look at), but the thickness of BreakSafe’s cable appears to generate one poor on this regard, now and again pulling on the slightly-weaker-than-MagSafe connection and disrupting charge to the MacBook.

bottom Line

a person who is simply joining the USB-C global that Apple is forging with the Retina MacBooks couldlocate Griffin’s cable a decent alternative to the use of Apple’s included charging cable, and users whoroutinely use their machines in environments wherein the charging cord is probable to be pulled or tripped over will appreciate the peace of mind BreakSafe brings.

it is a satisfactory accent in any capacity, and running for $39.ninety nine, BreakSafe is likewise in large part competitive with Apple’s $29.99 USB type-C cable. it’s now not without some drawbacks, the biggest one being its lack of magnetically reversible charging, so in case you‘ve already gotten used to the USB-C setup it may no longer be well worth the attempt and fee to exchange back to a magnetic interface.