Griffin expands BreakSafe magnetic cable lineup with 100W USB-C model, car charger, more

Posted:
in General Discussion
Accessory maker Griffin on Wednesday added four new models to its BreakSafe charging lineup with the 100-watt BreakSafe Hi-Power Magnetic USB-C Breakaway Cable, BreakSafe USB Breakaway Adapter, BreakSafe Car Charger and BreakSafe Wall Charger.




Third-party manufacturers like Griffin are quickly filling the gap left by Apple's MagSafe, a widely praised breakaway charging cable technology that appears to have reached end of life with the latest MacBook Pro models. Griffin's BreakSafe, while less elegant than Apple's integrated version, features a similar quick-release magnetic connector that protects laptops from drops due to cord yanks and other mishaps.

New for 2017 is the BreakSafe Magnetic Hi-Power USB-C Breakaway Cable, a 100-watt (20 volts at 5 amps) variant with USB-C connector that directly targets high-power applications like the 15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar. Like past BreakSafe models, the included two-piece magnetic adapter is engineered to maintain a constant electrical connection to power and serve data to a host computer. When strain is exerted on the cable, the connector breaks cleanly away.

In addition to the high-power USB-C model, Griffin introduced a standard USB-A version called the BreakSafe Magnetic USB Breakaway Adapter. Like the USB-C model, Griffin's USB Breakaway Adapter handles standard USB 2.0 power and data, making it an ideal solution for printers, disk drives and other legacy USB devices.




Finally, the BreakSafe Wall Charger and BreakSafe Car Charger introduce the breakaway concept to smartphones and other mobile equipment by integrating a female USB plug and accompanying charging system.

Griffin's USB Breakaway Adapter is set to sell for $19.99 when it goes on sale later this quarter. The Hi-Power Magnetic USB-C Breakaway Cable, BreakSafe Car Charger and BreakSafe Wall Charger all cost $39.99 and are due to ship in the second quarter of 2017.
Donvermo

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 14
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 3,430member
    Yeah, that's really not elegant at all. I'm glad it supports data, though. 

    Amusingly, the photo is only of the USB-A variety(?), illustrated on a Mac with a mag safe socket... [Edit: or a Mac-like generic computer rendering]
    edited January 2017
  • Reply 2 of 14
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 12,451member
    Oh dear lord. And people were wondering why Apple didn't release this w/ the new MBP.
  • Reply 3 of 14
    dysamoria said:
    Yeah, that's really not elegant at all. I'm glad it supports data, though. 
    I dunno, I don't think that making it easy to accidentally disconnect the cable to your external hard drive right in the middle of a data transfer is really what you want.
    pulseimagesStrangeDays
  • Reply 4 of 14
    jdwjdw Posts: 1,209member
    I think it's great they came out with this, although it is laughably huge compared to Apple's MagSafe of the past. And that's why I am leaping for joy over the fact I cancelled my 2016 MBP order to buy the better 2015 model instead.
  • Reply 5 of 14
    Oh dear lord. And people were wondering why Apple didn't release this w/ the new MBP.
    The difference is that IF Apple had done it themselves they could have more elegantly integrated it with the body creating a much nicer looking product.
  • Reply 6 of 14
    Donvermo said:
    The difference is that IF Apple had done it themselves they could have more elegantly integrated it with the body creating a much nicer looking product.

    When I first saw these Griffin BreakSafe products I was interested, but the reviews weren't very good (apparently the magnets are pretty weak and they come off too easily). Maybe these new, revised products are better in that respect... but they still look very ugly and clunky.

    For anyone who's interested in a new MagSafe replacement for their MacBook (Pro), it's well worth being aware of two new products in this category, both of which have got underway through Kickstarter and both of which look a great deal better than this Griffin offering. Both should be available this month (January). Here are the details:

    1. Snapnator

    To my eyes, this is the best looking and neatest option of the lot. The bit that stays in the MacBook is really small and stubby, and matches the design of the machine quite nicely.

    Note that Snapnator is POWER ONLY – no data – but I don't see this as a bad thing myself. I very much agree with the comment above, that the last thing you'd want is to break the cable to an external hard drive in the middle of a big write operation. All I personally want, really, is a breakaway power cord, which is what this will give me.

    It will be available in a choice of four colours to match the colour choices of the 12" MacBook.

    2. MagNeo

    If you like the look of Snapnator but wish it supported data as well as power, MagNeo is for you. This appears to be just as neat as Snapnator – if not even neater – but with a much more sophisticated connector that supports all functions of the Thunderbolt 3 ports on the new MacBook Pro.

    For my taste it's a bit ugly-looking at present despite its small, neat size, and I don't personally care for the large, ugly company logo stamped on top of it. HOWEVER, apparently they're redesigning its physical attributes to make it a better match for MacBooks prior to launch, so we'll have to see how that goes. As a connector, if it lives up to what they say about it, it sounds fantastic.

    MagNeo is also going to be available in a choice of three Mac-matching colours: Silver, Space Grey and Gold. Unlike Snapnator, they're not supporting Rose Gold.

    In summary…

    Both Snapnator and MagNeo are similarly priced, slightly cheaper than the Griffin offering (at least initially via Kickstarter). Both of them are MUCH neater and better looking than Griffin's product, and, if their claims about magnet strength and connector flexibility are indeed true, should work better too. I've actually backed both projects and ordered one of each, so it'll be interesting to compare them when they arrive.

    edited January 2017
  • Reply 7 of 14
    Uffff it is ugly as hell
    StrangeDays
  • Reply 8 of 14
    Donvermo said:
    The difference is that IF Apple had done it themselves they could have more elegantly integrated it with the body creating a much nicer looking product.

    When I first saw these Griffin BreakSafe products I was interested, but the reviews weren't very good (apparently the magnets are pretty weak and they come off too easily). Maybe these new, revised products are better in that respect... but they still look very ugly and clunky.

    For anyone who's interested in a new MagSafe replacement for their MacBook (Pro), it's well worth being aware of two new products in this category, both of which have got underway through Kickstarter and both of which look a great deal better than this Griffin offering. Both should be available this month (January). Here are the details:

    1. Snapnator

    To my eyes, this is the best looking and neatest option of the lot. The bit that stays in the MacBook is really small and stubby, and matches the design of the machine quite nicely.

    Note that Snapnator is POWER ONLY – no data – but I don't see this as a bad thing myself. I very much agree with the comment above, that the last thing you'd want is to break the cable to an external hard drive in the middle of a big write operation. All I personally want, really, is a breakaway power cord, which is what this will give me.

    It will be available in a choice of four colours to match the colour choices of the 12" MacBook.

    2. MagNeo

    If you like the look of Snapnator but wish it supported data as well as power, MagNeo is for you. This appears to be just as neat as Snapnator – if not even neater – but with a much more sophisticated connector that supports all functions of the Thunderbolt 3 ports on the new MacBook Pro.

    For my taste it's a bit ugly-looking at present despite its small, neat size, and I don't personally care for the large, ugly company logo stamped on top of it. HOWEVER, apparently they're redesigning its physical attributes to make it a better match for MacBooks prior to launch, so we'll have to see how that goes. As a connector, if it lives up to what they say about it, it sounds fantastic.

    MagNeo is also going to be available in a choice of three Mac-matching colours: Silver, Space Grey and Gold. Unlike Snapnator, they're not supporting Rose Gold.

    In summary…

    Both Snapnator and MagNeo are similarly priced, slightly cheaper than the Griffin offering (at least initially via Kickstarter). Both of them are MUCH neater and better looking than Griffin's product, and, if their claims about magnet strength and connector flexibility are indeed true, should work better too. I've actually backed both projects and ordered one of each, so it'll be interesting to compare them when they arrive.

    The MagNeo looks good. The only thing that gives me pause is when I looked into the BranchBox USB-C hub. It launched (supposedly) a year ago with "sales to 30 countries", but it can't be found for purchase anywhere, not even on their website, as it says "out of stock" with a price of $96.50. Does anyone know anything about the USB-C hub from Branch? I found ONE video review, but it took place while it was still in Kickstarter. Has this company actually shipped any products since Kickstarter?
  • Reply 9 of 14
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,748member
    Poor Steve Jobs must be rolling in his grave. This definitely should have been included in the MacBook design and is another example of how Apple's design team have gotten lost over the last 5 years. Having a data interruption could be bad, but so would having your laptop go flying across the room when someone trips on the cord (I'd argue that would be worse.) For the MacBook Pros you can easily use one port for power and another for data, but since Apple was to cheap to put more than one port in the base MacBook you're kinda hosed there.
    menacingphantom
  • Reply 10 of 14
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 12,451member
    jdw said:
    I think it's great they came out with this, although it is laughably huge compared to Apple's MagSafe of the past. And that's why I am leaping for joy over the fact I cancelled my 2016 MBP order to buy the better 2015 model instead.
    You're going to limit your device's future useful lifespan because MagSafe? Ok....
  • Reply 11 of 14
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 12,451member

    Donvermo said:
    Oh dear lord. And people were wondering why Apple didn't release this w/ the new MBP.
    The difference is that IF Apple had done it themselves they could have more elegantly integrated it with the body creating a much nicer looking product.
    Um, how do you explain the honking thing on the outside of the device? The part on the cable.

    I know this stuff all seems like magic, and Apple likes that, but the reality is it's engineering. If it could be done well, they would have. Contrary to popular believe, Apple doesnt hate you or try to dream up new ways to disappoint people.
    edited January 2017
  • Reply 12 of 14
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 12,451member

    MplsP said:
    Poor Steve Jobs must be rolling in his grave. This definitely should have been included in the MacBook design and is another example of how Apple's design team have gotten lost over the last 5 years. Having a data interruption could be bad, but so would having your laptop go flying across the room when someone trips on the cord (I'd argue that would be worse.) For the MacBook Pros you can easily use one port for power and another for data, but since Apple was to cheap to put more than one port in the base MacBook you're kinda hosed there.
    Oh, you and Jobs were close personal friends? Or are we talking another seance-style channeler, here? 

    Sorry, but we have no idea what he would have done since he's been dead for years. That tired trope doesn't hold any meaning or value in discussing the compromises of real hardware today. And historically, he had no sentimental problem with chopping features anyway. If you look at any of the above solutions, they have one thing in common -- comically large connectors. Clearly a compromise. Since these devices now get a day's battery or more, and in many cases will spend their entire day sitting on a desk, MagSafe holds less value than it once did. We don't decry it not being on iPads, arguably more likely to not be used at a desk. So decisions must be made. Vote with your dollars. But I'll be voting for it, when my MBP is due for replacement.
    edited January 2017
  • Reply 13 of 14
    jdw said:
    I think it's great they came out with this, although it is laughably huge compared to Apple's MagSafe of the past. And that's why I am leaping for joy over the fact I cancelled my 2016 MBP order to buy the better 2015 model instead.
    You're going to limit your device's future useful lifespan because MagSafe? Ok....
    Actually apple "limited the device's future lifespan" by literally having no internal component be upgradeable.
  • Reply 14 of 14

    MagNeo

    UPDATE: I've just had an email from the company, showing the redesigned MagNeo. The new version is a BIG improvement on the original design, in my opinion. Now it looks a lot more like Snapnator, with rounded sides, but possibly even shorter and neater.

    Anyway, it's looking really good. I think the choice between the two will come down to whether you want JUST a power lead (i.e. something to hook up to your power brick) or a connector that can do data as well (such as if your power comes from an attached monitor. There are arguments for and against each approach, so it's nice to have the choice.

    edited January 2017
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