Magrig hopes to bring MagSafe to modern MacBooks and iPads

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Magrig Adapter is MagSafe for Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C
Add MagSafe-like capabilities to your Thunderbolt 3 MacBook with Magrig Adapter.
Photo: Magrig

Magrig Adapter lets USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 cables easily disconnect if they get yanked on. It’s a revival of MagSafe, which Apple used to build into MacBooks.

There are competing options, but most of these can only transfer power. Magrig, on the other hand, promises up to 40Gbps data transfers as well as 100W of power.

A tale of two components

This adapter consists of two parts: a USB-C connector that plugs into the Mac or iPad, and a USB-C port that a standard cable plugs into. The two parts hold themselves together with magnets.

This allows the two halves to disconnect if someone trips over the connected cable. Otherwise, there’s a risk of the computer being yanked to the floor. Or the computer’s USB-C port can be damaged when the cable is violently removed.

Apple’s MagSafe worked similarly, but Apple started discontinuing it back in 2016 when it switched MacBooks to USB-C ports for both power and data. The company has explored the idea of bringing it back, but not yet.

Magrig Adapter is MagSafe for Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C

Third-party attempts to revive this feature either struggle with data speeds or don’t even try. They limit themselves to transferring power.

Magrig promises that the magnetic connection its product employs still offers high-speed data. “Not only does it brings back the MagSafe feature that Apple discontinued, but by adding Thunderbolt 3 it far exceeds the original MagSafe,” notes Magrig.

Thunderbolt 3 uses USB-C connectors, and offers data transfers at up to 40Gbps — fast enough to drive a 6K monitor. It’s a feature of all Macs released in recent years. The 2018 iPad Pro doesn’t support it, but because this tablet has a USB-C port, it can still use Magrig Adapter for power and data, just not as fast.

Trying to make a magnetic adapter with Thunderbolt 3 is clearly a challenge. ThunderMag, a similar product launched last year, is still struggling to manufacture its creation.

A Kickstarter project

Magrig Adapter isn’t yet in stores. And it won‘t be unless it gets enough backers on Kickstarter. Anyone interested can order a unit for $49.30 (€44.15). That’s well below the eventual retail price of $89, but the product won’t ship until June.

This is an all-or-nothing project. If it doesn’t reach its goal of $10,300 pre-orders by March 29, everyone will get a refund.

The designers created a video to demonstrate their creation.