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Apple's New MagSafe Charger Packs Plenty of Power — And Nostalgia

The new 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pros can still charge via USB-C, but there's a big advantage to using Apple's new MagSafe 3 charger.

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Longtime MacBook users will recognize a familiar feature on Apple's newly announced 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pros. The two high-end laptops are decked out with a wide variety of ports, a function row of physical keys and — drumroll — a new MagSafe power connector Apple calls MagSafe 3.

MagSafe was a mainstay on all MacBooks that Apple produced from 2006 to 2016. Users loved the snapping sound it made when it magnetized to their laptop, not to mention its ability to quick release when somebody tripped over the cable — that way the cable wouldn't pull the laptop to the floor with it. Fortunately, MagSafe 3 looks and works basically identical to the old MagSafe.

The new MacBook Pros can still charge via their USB-C charging ports just like their predecessors, but there is a big advantage to charging over MagSafe 3: it's faster.

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Apple’s new MagSafe 3 charging cable is required to fast-charge the new MacBook Pros to their full potential. Apple sells it for $49.

Apple hasn't detailed the exact differences in charging speeds when using USB-C (Thunderbolt 4) compared to MagSafe 3 just yet, but it has said that using the MagSafe connector is faster. It will be able to juice the new MacBook Pros from zero to 50 percent battery in just 30 minutes.

The catch with these fast charging speeds over MagSafe 3 is that you have to use the USB-C power adapter (or one that's more powerful) that Apple includes in the box. The 14-inch MacBook Pro comes with either a 67-watt (for the M1 Pro with 8-core CPU model) or 96-watt power adapter (for the other M1 Pro or M1 Max models), while the 16-inch MacBook Pro requires you to use Apple's brand new 140-watt USB-C power adapter, which happens to be the most powerful adapter that it has ever made.

The new 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pros start at $1,999 and $2,499 and will be available on Tuesday (October 26), but you can preorder them now from Apple's website.

Click here to read about why Apple ultimately chose to make the new MacBooks bigger and heavier.

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