Monday, June 11, 2012, 10:40 pm PT (01:40 am ET)
Apple's new Retina Display MacBook Pro, MacBook Air sport slimmer MagSafe 2 portOn its quest for ever-thinner computers, Apple has created MagSafe 2, a slimmer version of its magnetic power port, for the next-generation MacBook Pro and the MacBook Air.
Apple on Monday unveiled its top-of-the-line 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display. The machine is just 0.71 inches thick, 25 percent thinner than the previous generation.
In order to achieve that thinness, Apple had to rethink the laptop's power adapter. "We even created a new, slimmer MagSafe 2 port to accommodate [the next-generation MacBook Pro's] thin, sleek design," the company wrote on its website.
The Cupertino, Calif., Mac maker also made use of the new port in the MacBook Air portables that it announced on Monday. The legacy 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pros that saw a modest upgrade at the Worldwide Developers Conference do not feature the MagSafe 2 connector.
Photos of the new laptops show more horizontal space and less vertical space around the magnetic connection, but it's not immediately clear exactly how much thinner the new port is.
Apple's new MagSafe 2 connector.
Another change for MagSafe 2 is the return to a "T"-style connector instead of the "L"-style that Apple has been using as of late. The company previously faced a class-action lawsuit over its T-shaped power adapter, eventually settling with consumers by offering either replacement adapters or refunds for replacement purchases.
The new MagSafe 2 adapters are not backwards compatible with previous generations of MacBook products, though Apple has added a $9.99 MagSafe to MagSafe 2 converter that will allow MagSafe 2-equipped computers to utilize MagSafe connectors on LED Cinema Displays, Thunderbolt Displays and first-generation MagSafe power adapters. Apple, however, does not seem to have released a MagSafe 2 to MagSafe converter that would let older devices use the adapter that comes with the new laptops.
An 85W MagSafe 2 power adapter (for the MacBook Pro with Retina Display) and a 45W adapter (for the new MacBook Air) are now being sold in the Apple Online Store for $79, the same price as first-generation MagSafe adapters.
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