I’m starting to have a problem. I have a 2016 13” MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, and I keep forgetting my power cord at home. It’s not a problem when I have the laptop at my desk for a day then head out with it, but lately I’ve been out and about a lot.
I don’t want to necessarily need to plug and unplug my charger every day when I want to go somewhere with my laptop.
I can really see 3 options:
- Thunderbolt 3 dock (I have a 27” 4K display at my desk so this would minimize cabling too)
- USB-C Battery Pack
- Second MacBook Pro Charger
What solutions are you rocking that work well?
Getting the 2nd charger from Apple is a little pricey. I got this Aukey USB-C/A AC Adapter (currently $35 USD) to charge a USB-C battery but more often I use it for travel with my MacBook Pro. I throw this one in my backpack (because it is smaller and lighter) and leave the one that came with my MacBook Pro at my desk.
Just make sure you buy a long enough USB-C cable as well!
Depending on what you do on your Mac when traveling this may not be a viable option for you but I take my iPad Pro rather than the MBP. That way it is easy and I never have to worry about power.
Here is the Wirecutterks picks. You can get a second charger fairly inexpensively. This is the route I’ve gone.
Good find @katiefloyd!
For a few months last year I used the (more expensive) Anker version (currently $50 USD) of a 4-port adapter, similar to what Wirecutter chose. The 4-port models are more like the Apple charger: a 6 foot-Ish AC cable which connects to a rather large brick to which a USB-C cable is plugged in for powering the MacBook. The have the nice addition of three USB-A ports.
Benefits of the 4-port model:
- The AC plug plugs into tight power strips easier than the wider 2-port that plugs in directly
- The AC cable effectively makes your USB-C cable that much longer = further away from the plugin
- 3 USB-A ports for charging other stuff (however, the 2-port model still gives you one so, for example, you can have your phone and laptop plugged in at the same time)
In the end, though, the compact and lightweight form factor of a 2-port model won me over!
I have an Anker charger that comes with a 30W USB-C charger. So I get a nice battery that works well with the MacBookPros and a backup power adapter. While it doesn’t charge my MacBookPro as fast as the one that comes with the laptop, it is great as a backup. The battery charges my 15 Touch Bar laptop to 85% from 0.
Anker PD Charger
I also have the Anker 60w charger 5-port desktop charger with 4 USB - A ports and one USB-C port.
It’s very functional. I’d recommend it as a great charging station, especially for a desk. However, I will tell you that for travel, it’s a bit larger than I was expecting based on the photo. It’s probably not something I’d want to lug around every day, but would be a nice second charger for a second location.
This is what I use when I travel with my MacBook Pro. It also keeps me from bringing the blocks for my iPhone, iPad, Watch, and Nintendo Switch.
I also have a thunderbolt dock at home that has a different power cable and use the Anker at work in between trips. With these 2 extra charges, I get to keep the one that came with my laptop in my everyday bag incase it’s needed. I suggest getting extra chargers like the Anker and keep the lighter option in your everyday bag as a just incase.
I picked up one of these Chromebook/Pixelbook chargers from eBay. I keep this one in my office and travel with the official Apple charger.