Apple’s MagSafe Duo charger is handy however dear

The versatile hinge within the center permits you to fold it in half for transport. (Stan Horaczek /)

Any gadget promising to scale back the many-headed hydra of charging cables sprawling throughout a nightstand is price trying out. Apple’s new MagSafe Duo charger does simply that, funneling a single Lightning cable into magnetic chargers for each the iPhone 12 (in all its flavors) and the Apple Watch. It’s a easy idea, nevertheless it comes with a excessive price ticket that taxes customers for desirous to get probably the most out of their new MagSafe-equipped units.

The MagSafe Duo charger will value you $129, and that worth solely will get you the charger platform in addition to a three-foot USB-C-to-Lightning cable. Like with the iPhone 12, you don’t get a charging brick, so that you’ll want to purchase a brand new one if you happen to don’t have already got one out there.

The form of charging brick you employ issues, too. For those who use the $19 Apple USB-C energy adapter meant for the iPhone, you’ll get wi-fi charging as much as 11W. For those who use a extra highly effective 27W or increased USB-C energy adapter (just like the one you’d get with an iPad), you may go as much as 14W. Both approach, it’s nonetheless going to be slower than the $40 devoted iPhone MagSafe charger, which works as much as 15W. The entire thing feels inelegant in comparison with Apple’s typical model.

Upon getting every part you want to get the charger setup, it really works properly. I used the standard 20W adapter meant for the iPhone 12 and located that it did cost barely slower than it does with the $40 MagSafe iPhone charger. However, wi-fi charging has by no means been very speedy within the first place. Plus, I sometimes use it whereas sitting at my desk or whereas I’m sleeping, so the slight slowdown didn’t have a lot of an antagonistic impact on my general expertise.

The Watch charger can sit flat or upright depending on how you want to power your device.

The Watch charger can sit flat or upright relying on the way you wish to energy your system. (Stan Horaczek /)

The design takes the form of two powered-up raviolis connected with a versatile hinge that permits it to basically minimize its footprint in half for straightforward transport. The surface materials is rubbery and tends to select up dust and dirt simply, so I think about it will rapidly begin to look soiled if you happen to’re often ferrying it round in your bag. It feels very sturdy, although, and I wouldn’t fear about breaking it simply.

Every platform has its personal particular objective. The telephone platform is pretty commonplace and the precise energy supply space seems to be like a typical MagSafe charger. The Apple Watch charger flips up and sits vertically so the watch can lay on its aspect and cost. All of it really works simply as you’d think about it will.

Whereas consistency and dependability are paramount for one thing like a charger, for $129, just a few extra superior options could be welcome. The product inevitably attracts comparisons to Apple’s ill-fated AirPower, which it killed again in 2019. The AirPower charger would have juiced up an iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods concurrently, whereas providing some extra in-depth details about the battery in every system. That’s the form of additional nice-to-have stuff that you simply count on to pay dearly for, however the Duo doesn’t actually supply it.

This is what it looks like with an iPhone 12 Pro Max and an Apple Watch 5.

That is what it seems to be like with an iPhone 12 Professional Max and an Apple Watch 5. (Stan Horaczek /)

Proper now, you will get Belkin’s PowerHouse dock, which prices each an iPhone and an Apple Watch, for $50. Additionally, Anker’s PowerWave 4-in-1 stand can cost AirPods and one other iPhone along with what the Duo can, and that’s solely $99. In fact, these aren’t fully wi-fi, and so they’re not practically as moveable, however if you happen to’re simply searching for one thing to take a seat in your nightstand, they may prevent some money.

Whereas I just like the Duo, it’s arduous to justify the worth for the second. Apple appears very dedicated to MagSafe as a know-how, so we may even see future variations of the Duo (or maybe even a Trio with AirPod assist) down the road with extra refined designs and cheaper worth tags. Till then, the $40 devoted MagSafe iPhone charger might be a greater guess for most individuals.

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