Home Travel Tech This $20 Accessory Solved So Many Of My Travel Tech Problems

This $20 Accessory Solved So Many Of My Travel Tech Problems

by joeheg

I have no shame in admitting I travel with an ancient MacBook Air that we originally purchased in 2011. While I can’t do much on it besides write YMMV articles, browse websites and check email, it’s really all I need when I’m on the road. If we traveled more or if I needed additional computing power when away from home, I’d gladly pay for a more powerful computer.

I want to say that my biggest problem is that the computer is slow. However, I have a more significant issue: the power plug falls out of the socket.

That’s because the plug is part of the huge Apple brick. When I plug it into an airplane outlet, it only takes a little shove to displace it (and cause my laptop to quickly deplete its limited battery supply [And yes, I’ve already had the battery replaced once]).

I dealt with this problem by bringing a UK power adapter on flights, which gave the plug additional stability (a trick I learned years ago from Gary on View from the Wing.)

The power brick finally bit the dust on our most recent trip to NYC. No matter which outlet I plugged it into, the computer didn’t charge. I brought the laptop to the Apple Store on 5th Ave and borrowed a power adapter to ensure the problem wasn’t with the computer. When I confirmed it was the brick, I dropped the money for a new power supply (I know, why spend money on an ancient computer, but it will be worth it if I can get another year from it).

In addition to the new power brick, the kit came with an additional item which is a total gamechanger for me. It has an extension cable.

This cable plugs into the power brick and extends the distance you can be from an outlet. The three-pronged plug can be used in outlets where you couldn’t previously use the 2 pronged plugs attached to the brick, as this wonderfully designed set of outlets which were set into the desk surface.

If your brick is working, the plug is available to purchase from Apple for $20.  I’m not going to rant about why this isn’t a standard item with Apple MacBooks. I was way too happy plugging my computer into an outlet on our JetBlue flight and not worrying about knocking it off if I moved my foot a 1/2 inch to my right.

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