MacBook power adapter add on chargers and other alternatives
Travelling with the Apple power supply you would like to have a few more ports to charge more devices? You can buy add on chargers for the Apple power supply and other alternatives.
TwelveSouth PlugBug Duo
TwelveSouth’s PlugBug is a small USB dual-port charger that delivers a total of 2.1 amps. With that the power supply delivers just over 10 watts charging power for both connections.
The PlugBug looks very good, however. The red color provides a good contrast to the white Apple power supply and also the mechanical integration is well solved. In addition, there are several travel adapters for all sockets in the world, all of which are available individually and can be plugged in separately. They, too, are visually appealing.
However, the specification “compatible with the Apple power supply” should not be overrated: electrically, both power supplies have nothing to do with each other. It is a purely mechanical adaptation, so that both devices can be connected to the 110 volt line. This results in a small inefficiency: Since both have to transform down from 110 volts, both also need corresponding components. If you simply buy a power supply that offers several outputs (see below), you not only save money, but also space and weight at the same time.
If you find the called 50 dollars too high for two USB ports with a maximum of 2.1 amps, you can also use a dual port charger from Anker, for example, which guarantees 2.4 ampere on each port for just under 17 dollars and only requires a second socket. But the PlugBug Duo simply looks very good…
Buy at Amazon: TwelveSouth PlugBug Duo
oneadaptr Twist World Charging Station
You like the idea that the plug bug has many different country plugs, but you don’t like the fact that they are all available individually? Then maybe the World Charging Station made by oneadaptr is something for you. It consists of a mechanical ingenious construction in which a suitable power plug for the respective country can be adjusted by turning. This gives you only one multifunctional plug to think about.
Furthermore, the smart connector comes with four USB ports, which together can have 4 amps. This allows several small devices to be charged in parallel, but the small power supply quickly reaches its limits with power-hungry specimens. It is also possible to plug in a MacBook charger, the corresponding connection is available. The Twist World Charging Station is just right for MacBook users who still have a model with MagSafe connection. For those who have already switched to USB-C, there are other alternatives.
Buy at Amazon: oneadaptr Twist World Charging Station
The smart alternative: second power supply and extra cable
As you can see, both variants are relatively expensive for the offered power and also have the disadvantage that they bring along additional size and weight, since they each independently tap the mains voltage again. In addition, USB performance is no longer up to date. The designs can be explained with a look back in time: in the days of the MagSafe Connector there were no alternative power supplies available and such attachments made sense.
Today, however, Apple supports the USB-C standard, so there are lots of power adapters that can charge the MacBook while still providing charging ports for other devices, all in a device that is much more compact than the Apple charger plus a plugin. We recommend the following examples, which bring along two USB-A ports or more in addition to the USB-C port. For your travel luggage we have already put together a few tips and tested the small Aukey USB-C charger with an additional USB-A port here.
Buy at Amazon: Aukey 60 watt USB-C power supply
The big brother is ideal if you need more power: the USB-C port delivers a maximum of 60 watts. That’s as much as the original Apple devices for the 13-inch MacBook Pros. But the 15-inch MacBook Pro can also be charged and operated with it. Only if you actually use the large MacBook to 100% capacity at all times and permanently 60 watts are not enough. You should then reach for two separate chargers. For normal everyday use, however, the large Aukey is completely sufficient. The two USB-A ports offer a total of 2.4 amps of power and can therefore also charge a single connected iPad quickly.
Buy at Amazon: Nekteck USB-C Power Supply
If you need one USB-A port more for many small devices (at available 2.4 amps for all three ports) but still want 60 watts on the USB-C port, you can use the smaller Nekteck model. This is even cheaper at 40 dollars. Compared to the TwelveSouth plug bug you pay ten dollars less, but you get one USB-A port more and one USB-C port with 60 watts of power. A very good offer.
Both power supplies support also with the original Apple USB-C to Lightning cable
For many users, a second power supply is probably the better alternative for a budget of around fifty dollars: you then have two power supplies, so that you can always leave one at your desk while the second one is always in your luggage without having to repack all the time. In addition, the USB-C power supplies with several outputs are quite powerful and efficient.
Buy at Amazon: Celtics Adapter Plugs
If you want to use other country plugs when travelling, we have the following tip: the power supplies listed above all use the Euro 8 plug for the power cable. So you can simply replace the European power cable with one for abroad. We recommend the Voltcraft set, which doesn’t even cost five euros. There are cables that work in the USA, Great Britain and Australia. Connectors in other countries are based on these or the European systems. A European cable and an extension cable are also included. All in all, this is one of the most elegant ways to make your USB-C power supply suitable for travel. It is not available anywhere though, so a set of power adapters like the one listed above also does the job and even lets you connect your other devices.
A little note about the mains voltage: In some countries this is 230 volts. Almost all modern power supplies can switch automatically. You can tell by the information “INPUT: 100-240 Volt” or comparable values. With modern power supplies, it’s all about adapting to the power socket. Older devices, however, which are only designed for one voltage, must not be adapted under any circumstances (not even with other multiplugs), as this does not end well.