Apple ditched MagSafe five years ago when it moved to USB-C charging on its new laptops, but MagSafe 3 brings the familiar quick-release connector back to this latest lineup of MacBook Pro laptops.
Other than their M1 Pro and M1 Max chips, the new 14-inch and 16-inch computers ditch the much-hated Touch Bar in favor of physical keys and bring back the additional ports (HDMI, SDXC) power users love. A less familiar addition is the new notch atop those Mini LED-packed 120Hz displays.
But for the clumsy people with cable-strewn desks, the return of MagSafe — what we’ve seen on iPhones just isn’t the same — might be the most important feature. According to Apple, the new MacBook Pros can still charge via USB-C also, but the updated MagSafe 3 plug delivers more power than before. Without providing detailed specs, Apple says that with fast charging, the MacBook Pro can charge up to 50 percent in just 30 minutes.
Apple’s spec page reveals that both of the new MacBook Pros will still come with USB-C charging bricks. The 2-meter MagSafe 3 cable has a USB-C plug to plug into the charger.
If you order the new 14-inch MacBook Pro, then you can expect to receive a 67W USB-C power adapter if your laptop has an 8-core M1 Pro CPU inside, or a 96W USB-C adapter if you order one with either a 10-core M1 Pro or M1 Max CPU (it’s also available as an optional accessory for the cheaper model). Anyone purchasing a new 16-inch Macbook Pro will get a 140W USB-C charger plus the 2-meter USB-C to MagSafe 3 cable.
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Alongside the powerful new MacBook Pro lineup that Apple unveiled yesterday, the company has also just unveiled the highest-power USB-C charging brick that it’s ever made — perhaps a testament to how much power these new MacBooks Pro really need to do their thing.
The new 16-inch MacBook Pro now includes a 140-watt USB-C Power Adapter, which puts out nearly 50 percent more power than the 96W adapter that was previously at the top of its lineup. It’s available separately for $99 in case you want to pick up an extra one, although you probably won’t need that much power for anything else in Apple’s lineup.
By contrast, the 14-inch MacBook Pro comes with a 67W adapter in its base $1,999 configuration — the one with the scaled-down 8-core M1 Pro chip — however bumping that up to even the mid-range M1 Pro will net you the 96W USB-C power adapter instead.
What’s particularly notable about the new and more powerful 140W adapter is that it’s the first of Apple’s power bricks to take advantage of the new Galium Nitride (GaN) technology that it’s had in the works since early last year.
While the 140W power brick is still something of a behemoth, it would be considerably larger if Apple were using traditional silicon rather than relying on GaN. While early rumours suggested Apple would use this to make its iPhone chargers smaller, we can now see that it had something else in mind.
The most powerful charger is particularly important considering Apple’s promise to allow a 16-inch MacBook Pro to fast charge up to 50% in about 30 minutes. These charging speeds have long been supported on the iPhone, of course, but an iPhone battery is also a fraction of the size of the battery found in any MacBook, much less the one that’s the king of all MacBooks.
New MacBook Pro Fast Charging Requirements
In fact, the new fast charging capabilities on the 16-inch MacBook Pro not only require the 140W USB-C Power Adapter, but can also only run over the new MagSafe 3 port, as the standard Thunderbolt 4 / USB-C ports simply can’t transfer the necessary voltage.
Unlike the old MagSafe ports, however, Apple now uses USB-C power adapters exclusively and bundles a USB-C to MagSafe 3 cable with its new MacBooks.
The secret here is that Apple’s new adapter has actually adopted the bleeding-edge USB-C PD 3.1 standard that was announced earlier this year, which allows for more than twice the maximum voltage of the prior USB Power Delivery standards — 48V vs 20V.
Combined with a standard 5A current, this allows a USB-C PD 3.1 adapter to reach power levels of up to 240W. While Apple hasn’t published the specs of its new 140W adapter, however, we suspect it’s using the lowest spec’ed voltage of 28V.
This is where MagSafe 3 becomes critical. Since the Thunderbolt 4 standard pre-dates the release of the USB-C PD 3.1 spec, it’s capped out at the 100W level of the older USB-C PD 3.0. Put simply, the Thunderbolt 4 / USB-C ports on the new MacBooks Pro can’t draw more than 100W.
Since USB-C Power Delivery specs are mostly backward compatible, you can still use the 140W adapter with the standard USB-C ports, but you won’t be able to take advantage of fast charging on the 16-inch MacBook Pro, as its sizeable battery requires more than 100W to pull that off.
Fortunately, this isn’t the case with the smaller 14-inch model, which can clearly fast charge the battery with less than 100W of power. After all, the new 14-inch MacBook Pro only comes with a 96W adapter, at most, which places it just below the 100W maximum that a USB-C port can handle.
You will need that 96W adapter to fast charge the new 14-inch MacBook Pro, however, which means if you’re going for the entry-level model, you may want to spring for the extra $20 upgrade. Apple seems to have cut a lot of corners in this base model 14-inch MacBook Pro, and this one really feels like it’s nickel-and-diming customers.
Of course, you still get a USB-C to MagSafe 3 cable with the 14-inch MacBook Pro either way, and since the MagSafe port can’t be used for anything else anyway, it would be rather odd to use a USB-C port for normal everyday charging. The MagSafe port also has the advantage of easily disconnecting without taking your MacBook Pro down with it, should somebody trip over the wire.
That said, the ability to charge over USB-C is still a nice bonus, since it provides more options for charging on the go. Unlike the old days of MagSafe, you won’t need to shell out for expensive Apple-made chargers if you simply want to toss an extra one in your bag.
Watch Out for Lower Power Adapters
Be aware, however, that while any USB-C PD-compliant adapter can deliver power to the new MacBooks Pro, those below a certain wattage will simply slow down the battery drain, rather than actually charging it.
Apple has yet to update its support article for Mac power adapters, so it’s unclear what these minimum wattage levels are, and it’s also going to be somewhat dependent on what you’re using your MacBook Pro for, since high-power tasks like 3D rendering that kick in all the GPU cores will consume significantly more power than simply checking emails or surfing the web.
It’s safe to say that you’re not going to get very good results with an iPhone power adapter, though, and as an educated guess, we’d say that 60W should be the bare minimum for the 14-inch MacBook Pro, while you’d probably want to go with at least 85W to keep the 16-inch MacBook Pro happy.
The good news, though, is that you don’t need to buy these from Apple. As long as you’re using a USB-C power adapter that supports the PD 3.0 specification, you’ll get up to 100W of charging over the Thunderbolt 4 / USB-C ports, which is more than enough to fast charge a 14-inch MacBook Pro or charge the 16-inch version at normal speeds.
You should also be able to use a third-party higher-power USB-C PD 3.1 adapter that delivers at least 140W to fast charge the 16-inch MacBook Pro, although for that, you’ll still need to use Apple’s MagSafe 3 to USB-C cable to connect it to the MagSafe port.
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MacBook Pro (13-inch, M1, 2020) - Technical Specifications
- Retina display
- 13.3-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit display with IPS technology; 2560-by-1600 native resolution at 227 pixels per inch with support for millions of colors
- Supported scaled resolutions:
- 1680 by 1050
- 1440 by 900
- 1024 by 640
- 500 nits brightness
- Wide color (P3)
- True Tone technology
- Apple M1 chip
8-core CPU with 4 performance cores and 4 efficiency cores
16-core Neural Engine
Battery and Power1
- Up to 17 hours wireless web
- Up to 20 hours Apple TV app movie playback
- Built-in 58.2-watt-hour lithium-polymer battery
- 61W USB-C Power Adapter
8GB unified memory
Configurable to: 16GB
- 256GB SSD
Configurable to 512GB SSD, 1TB, or 2TB SSD
Charging and Expansion
Two Thunderbolt / USB 4 ports with support for:
- Thunderbolt 3 (up to 40Gb/s)
- USB 4 (up to 40Gb/s)
- USB 3.1 Gen 2 (up to 10Gb/s)
Keyboard and Trackpad
- Backlit Magic Keyboard with:
- 65 (U.S.) or 66 (ISO) keys including 4 arrow keys in an inverted‑T arrangement
- Touch Bar
- Touch ID sensor
- Ambient light sensor
- Force Touch trackpad for precise cursor control and pressure‑sensing capabilities; enables Force clicks, accelerators, pressure‑sensitive drawing, and Multi‑Touch gestures
802.11ax Wi-Fi 6 wireless networking
IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac compatible
Bluetooth 5.0 wireless technology
Simultaneously supports full native resolution on the built-in display at millions of colors and:
- One external display with up to 6K resolution at 60Hz
Thunderbolt 3 digital video output
- Native DisplayPort output over USB‑C
- VGA, HDMI, DVI, and Thunderbolt 2 output supported using adapters (sold separately)
- Stereo speakers with high dynamic range
- Wide stereo sound
- Support for Dolby Atmos playback
- Studio-quality three-mic array with directional beamforming
- 3.5 mm headphone jack
- Line voltage: 100V to 240V AC
- Frequency: 50Hz to 60Hz
- Operating temperature: 50° to 95° F (10° to 35° C)
- Storage temperature: -13° to 113° F (-25° to 45° C)
- Relative humidity: 0% to 90% noncondensing
- Operating altitude: tested up to 10,000 feet
- Maximum storage altitude: 15,000 feet
- Maximum shipping altitude: 35,000 feet
Size and Weight
- Height: 0.61 inch (1.56 cm)
- Width: 11.97 inches (30.41 cm)
- Depth: 8.36 inches (21.24 cm)
- Weight: 3.0 pounds (1.4 kg)3
macOS is the most advanced desktop operating system in the world. macOS Big Sur introduces a bold new design and major updates to apps — taking macOS to a new level of power and beauty. Learn more about latest operating system
Accessibility features help people with disabilities get the most out of their new MacBook Pro. With built-in support for vision, hearing, mobility, and learning, you can create and do amazing things. Learn more about Accessibility
- Voice Control
- Increase Contrast
- Reduce Motion
- Siri and Dictation
- Switch Control
- Closed Captions
- Text to Speech
- Voice Memos
- Photo Booth
- App Store
- Time Machine
- Find My
- QuickTime Player
In the Box
- 13-inch MacBook Pro
- 61W USB-C Power Adapter
- USB-C Charge Cable (2 m)
Configure to Order
Configure your MacBook Pro with these options, only at apple.com:
- 16GB unified memory
- 512GB, 1TB, or 2TB SSD
MacBook Pro and the Environment
The 13-inch MacBook Pro is designed with the following features to reduce its environmental impact:5 See the 13-inch MacBook Pro Product Environmental Report
Made with better materials
- 100% recycled tin in the solder of the main logic board
- Enclosure made with recyclable, low-carbon aluminum
- 35% or more recycled plastic in multiple components
- ENERGY STAR® certified6
- Arsenic-free display glass
- BFR-, PVC-, and beryllium-free
- Apple’s Zero Waste Program helps suppliers eliminate waste sent to landfill
- All final assembly supplier sites are transitioning to 100% renewable energy for Apple production
- 100% of virgin wood fiber comes from responsibly managed forests
- Recyclable, majority-fiber packaging
Apple and the Environment
We’re committed to making our products without taking from the earth, and to become carbon neutral across our entire business, including products, by 2030. See Apple’s commitment
Declared noise emission values in accordance with ECMA-109
|Sound Power Level|
L W A,m (B)
|Sound Pressure Level|
L p A,m (dB)
|Idle||1.3 (K V = 0.3)||4|
|Wireless web||1.3 (K V = 0.3)||4|
- L W A,m is the mean A-weighted sound power level, rounded to the nearest 0.1 B.
- L p A,m is the mean A-weighted sound pressure level measured at operator position (rounded to the nearest 1 dB).
- 1 B (bel) = 10 dB (decibel)
- K v is the statistical adder for computing upper-limit of A-weighted sound power level.
- The quantity, L W A,c (formerly called L W Ad) may be computed from the sum of L W A,m and K v .
- The Wireless web test browses 25 popular websites.
- Configuration tested: Apple M1 chip, 8GB memory, 512GB storage.
- MacBook Pro with Apple M1 chip: Testing conducted by Apple in October 2020 using preproduction 13-inch MacBook Pro systems with Apple M1 chip, 8GB of RAM, and 512GB SSD. The wireless web test measures battery life by wirelessly browsing 25 popular websites with display brightness set to 8 clicks from bottom. The Apple TV app movie playback test measures battery life by playing back HD 1080p content with display brightness set to 8 clicks from bottom. MacBook Pro with Intel Core processor: Testing conducted by Apple in April 2020 using preproduction 1.4GHz quad-core Intel Core i5-based 13-inch MacBook Pro systems with 8GB of RAM and 256GB SSD; and preproduction 2.0GHz quad-core Intel Core i5-based 13-inch MacBook Pro systems with 16GB of RAM and 1TB SSD. The wireless web test measures battery life by wirelessly browsing 25 popular websites with display brightness set to 12 clicks from bottom or 75%. The Apple TV app movie playback test measures battery life by playing back HD 1080p content with display brightness set to 12 clicks from bottom or 75%. The standby test measures battery life by allowing a system, connected to a wireless network and signed in to an iCloud account, to enter standby mode with Safari and Mail applications launched and all system settings left at default. Battery life varies by use and configuration. See apple.com/batteries for more information.
- 1GB = 1 billion bytes and 1TB = 1 trillion bytes; actual formatted capacity less.
- Weight varies by configuration and manufacturing process.
- iMovie, GarageBand, Pages, Numbers, and Keynote are available on the Mac App Store. Downloading apps requires an Apple ID and a device that is compatible with the OS version required for each app.
- Data accurate as of product launch.
- ENERGY STAR and the ENERGY STAR mark are registered trademarks owned by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
- Apple defines its restrictions on harmful substances, including definitions for what Apple considers to be “free of,” in the Apple Regulated Substances Specification. Every Apple product is free of PVC and phthalates with the exception of AC power cords in India, Thailand (for two-prong AC power cords), and South Korea, where we continue to seek government approval for our PVC and phthalates replacement.
To access and use all the features of Apple Card, you must add Apple Card to Wallet on an iPhone or iPad with the latest version of iOS or iPadOS. Update to the latest version by going to Settings > General > Software Update. Tap Download and Install.
Apple will soon release the latest lineup of MacBook Pro computers, which come equipped with the new M1 Pro and M1 Max chips. Here’s what the battery life will look like on both the MacBook M1 Pro and MacBook Pro M1 Max.
MacBook M1 Pro battery life
The 14-inch MacBook M1 Pro can handle up to 17 hours of Apple TV app movie playback and 11 hours of wireless web searching, according to Apple. Apple’s new battery features a couple of different key aspects including:
- A 70 watt-hour (Wh) lithium-polymer battery
- A 67W USB-C power adapter comes with the M1 Pro eight-core CPU option
- A 96W USB-C power adapter ships with the M1 Pro 10-core CPU option
- USB-C to MagSafe 3 cable
The MacBook M1 Pro is also capable of fast-charging with the 96W USB-C power adapter.
MacBook Pro M1 Max battery life
The MacBook Pro M1 Max shares the same battery life with the rest of the 16-inch MacBook M1 Pro laptops, which means they all can last for up to 21 hours of Apple TV app movie playback and up to 14 hours of wireless web searching. The 16-inch models also have a few upgraded features from the 14-inch options that include a 100Wh lithium-polymer battery and a 140W USB-C power adapter. The MacBook Pro M1 Max shares the same USB-C to MagSafe 3 charging cable as the MacBook M1 Pro.
Fast charging is also supported on the MacBook Pro M1 Max and 16-inch versions of the MacBook M1 Pro with the included 140W USB-C power adapter.
The new MacBook Pro options launch on Oct. 26.
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You need a $20 adapter upgrade to fast-charge Apple's base model 14-inch MacBook Pro
Apple's new M1 Pro and M1 Max MacBook Pro models boast fast-charging capabilities for quick top-ups, but buyers of the base model 14-inch variant will need to spring for a power adapter upgrade to take advantage of the feature.
Both the 14-inch MacBook Pro and 16-inch MacBook Pro can be fast-charged with a compatible power adapter, and Apple includes such hardware in most purchase configurations. That is not the case with the base 14-inch model, however, meaning users who want to access quick charging capabilities will need to purchase an upgrade at checkout or buy a separate adapter.
All 14-inch MacBook Pro models require a 96W adapter to perform a fast-charge, which can take the laptop from 0% to 50% charge in about 30 minutes, the company says on its website.
As noted on a tech specs webpage, the 14-inch MacBook Pro powered by an M1 Pro with 8-core CPU comes with a 67W USB-C power adapter in the box. That part is good enough for "efficient charging at home, in the office, or on the go," according to the company, but fast-charging is a non-starter.
For base model buyers, the requisite 96W USB-C adapter that is included with configurations powered by an M1 Pro with 10-core CPU or an M1 Max chip must be purchased as a $20 upgrade. The item costs $79 as a standalone purchase from the Apple Store and is currently out of stock.
With the proper equipment, users can fast-charge the 14-inch MacBook Pro through either a Thunderbolt 4 port or MagSafe 3.
A report earlier today noted that 16-inch MacBook Pro owners can only fast-charge via MagSafe 3, as the laptop's power requirements exceed the USB-C Power Delivery cap of 100W. Unlike base model 14-inch versions, however, all 16-inch configurations come ready to fast-charge with a 140W power brick in the box.
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.
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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Little did we know that MagSafe 3 would be such a big upgrade for the 2021 MacBook Pro when the first rumors mentioned the magnetic charging port’s return. Apple has indeed brought back MagSafe charging to the MacBook. MagSafe 3 comes in the form of a USB-C-to-MagSafe-3 cable and USB-C power adapter. These ship with every 2021 MacBook Pro, from the cheapest 14-inch version on offer to the most expensive 16-inch version you can configure.
MagSafe 3 doesn’t only bring back the peace of mind when it comes to accidentally tripping on your MacBook Pro cable. It also delivers support for fast charging, which will replenish 50% of battery capacity in 30 minutes. That’s a great feature to have on a laptop that already promises amazing battery life. But not all fast-charging speeds are the same, as USB-C charging continues to be available on the new MacBooks. Yet USB-C charging can only go so far. That’s why you need to understand how the different charging methods work to ensure you get the right USB-C charger for your brand new MacBook Pro.
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Not all 2021 MacBook Pro chargers are the same
Apple says on its website that the 14-inch MacBook Pro supports fast-charge with the 96W power adapter. But if you buy the $1,999 14-inch model, which features an M1 Pro SoC with 8-core CPU, you only get a 67W charger in the box. So MagSafe 3 or USB-C charging will not deliver fast charging.
What you can and should do is select the 96W power adapter during checkout. For $20 extra, you get the same charger that ships with all the other 14-inch versions. That’s M1 Pro and M1 Max variants that have 10-core CPUs.
That way, you can take advantage of the top charging speeds available for both USB-C and MagSafe 3 for the 14-inch model.
The 16-inch MacBook Pro ships with a brand new 140W USB-C power adapter that’s also Apple’s first GaN charger for MacBooks. This charger will support even faster charging speeds than the 14-inch model. And in this case, MagSafe 3 delivers faster charging than USB-C. That’s because the MagSafe 3 cable sports a brand new charging tech.
The new MagSafe 3 charging standard
There’s been plenty of discussions online about the 2021 MacBook Pro’s fast charging abilities in the past few days. The mystery might have been finally solved, per 9to5Mac.
All USB-C chargers support a charging standard called USB-C Power Delivery (PD). This allows USB-C cables to deliver power at up to 100W. That’s why it makes sense to spend $20 extra and purchase the 96W power brick with the cheapest 14-inch MacBook.
But Apple helped develop a new standard called USB PD 3.1 Extended Power Range (EPR), which supports charging speeds of up to 240W.
The 16-inch MacBook Pro charger uses the USB PD 3.1 EPR standard but only goes up to 140W. But you need the MagSafe 3 cable to take advantage of 140W charging speeds. That’s because the USB-C cables that you can buy today do not support EPR. Furthermore, it looks like the USB-C ports on the MacBook Pros won’t support fast-charging over USB-C in the future when those USB-C EPR cables do appear.
That said, it’s unclear what happens if you use a 140W charger with MagSafe 3 with a 14-inch MacBook Pro.
Then again, charging speeds matter more if you constantly run out of battery juice. That’s hopefully something that won’t happen on the new MacBook Pro models.
Chris Smith started writing about gadgets as a hobby, and before he knew it he was sharing his views on tech stuff with readers around the world. Whenever he's not writing about gadgets he miserably fails to stay away from them, although he desperately tries. But that's not necessarily a bad thing.