This Cute Little PlugBug Will Charge Your MacBook And iPad At The Same Time

This Cute Little PlugBug Will Charge Your MacBook And iPad At The Same Time

Oh, this is slick. The PlugBug by TwelveSouth is an accessory for your MacBook that solves the problem of how to charge an iPad 2 and your laptop at the same time from a single outlet, and it does so pretty damn ingeniously if you ask me.

So here’s the deal. Apple’s got their MagSafe power bricks so protected by patents that it’s impossible to sell, say, an aftermarket MagSafe brick that charges a MacBook and iPad from the same bifurcating cable.

TwelveSouth got around this restriction in a pretty clever way. At the top of every MacBook power brick is a removable wall socket adapter, which you can even plug standard laptop power cables into. The PlugBug just snaps into the power brick adapter slot and offers a 10W USB port to simultaneously charge your iPad and MacBook at the same time.

I love it. Heck, I’m putting in my order now. If you want to do the same, it’ll cost you just $34.99 with free shipping in the US.

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  • Swisse

    Why not just plug the iPad into the mac?

  • Shravan Gupta

    because spending the extra $35 bucks just seems like a lot of fun maybe?? idk people love buying useless stuff

    this could be replaced by a dollar store power strip

  • djrobsd

    Yes, I agree, the Mac does charge the iPhone or iPad while asleep… Or you could just go to the dollar store and get a little T plug that turns 1 outlet into 3… but hey I guess this is cool so you don’t have to carry both your laptop and ipad chargers with you when you travel… Seriously though, $35 bucks?  Nah, pass.

  • Romeyn Prescott

    It does?  I’ll have to revisit that!  The last time I tried that (years ago, with my iPhone) the USB ports were dead when the MacBook was asleep.  Gotta try that again!!

  • firesign

    Try doing a little homework. The iPad 2 (not sure about the original iPad but I’m guessing it’s the same) draws too much power to charge over USB. It’s a little overpriced but handy to not have to carry around two power bricks, plus you only need one power socket when you’re somewhere that has limited outlets. It also means you don’t have to carry that $1 power strip around.

  • Genii

    Newer macs charge an ipad just fine.  It supports the 10w charge on every new model mac that is sold including the macbook air in the photo.  Requirement is it needs to be a High Powered USB 2.0 slot.  (sorry most pc’s don’t include this).

    Documented : http://support.apple.com/kb/HT

  • Dan Svoboda

    Not true mate. iPad 2 charges just fine through USBs of recent Apple laptops – ie. last year’s MBA.

  • Shravan Gupta

    t plug, power strip, see these are reasonable, this thing would be reasonable too if under $10, but at $35 its just dumb

    then again china will make us one for like $5 lol

  • Michael

    A port will stay alive as long as you have the device plugged in and then close the lid of the MacBook.

  • Bart

    And what about turning your MacBook on, and using that one to power your iPad/iPhone/iPod/a lot more? 35usd to spend on something else!

  • Mike

    It’s TwelveSouth guys, of course it’s overpriced! I’ve seen many cool products from this company, but I’m yet to see one that is actually affordable for what it does. $30 for a bit of metal that connects my trackpad and keyboard together; $40 for an iPad stand? Give me a break! I can’t work out how the company actually stays in business with these prices.

  • martinberoiz

    They should have made it with 2 usb sockets at least. For that price, why only one? 

  • firesign

    You are, of course, correct. My older 17″ MBP will not charge it (oddly, neither will my Dell Optiplex 980) but my 2007 MBP will.

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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