Apple has declared war on any port that isn’t USB Type-C. Indeed the latter might be the future of computing devices — it proposes one standardized cable that’s reversible and handles power, HDMI as well as data transport — but while that future fully materializes it’ll be a painful transition for Mac users.
One unfortunate casualty of this transition is the MagSafe charging adapter on the new MacBooks. Unsurprisingly plenty of third-party manufacturers have started offering their own alternatives, such as the BreakSafe from Griffin, but they usually require some compromise — the BreakSafe, for example, is for charging power only; data and video are not supported.
A new Kickstarter project aims to provide an alternative without the limitations. Billed as the most compatible and usable USB-C magnetic connector out there, the MagNeo offers charging at up to 100 watts, data transfer up to speeds of 10GB, video up to 5K, and it retains the reversibility of USB-C.
The tiny adapter isn’t much to look at but it’s small enough not to obstruct the USB-C port next to it — not small enough to use two adapter side by side, though. It can charge the latest 2016 MacBook Pros, USB-C equipped smartphones, support USB-C Hubs & Docks, and so on.
The campaign has raised $25,000 of its $35,000 goal with 630 backers and 36 days to go. A $29 early bird pledge will get the first 500 supporters one MagNeo adapter, and once that offer has reached its limit you’ll need to pledge at least $35 for one. As usual there are other rewards for those that pledge more.
Branch USB, the company behind MagNeo, expects to begin production in late January 2017 with the first units shipping out to early backers by mid to late February.