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Is Apple’s New Dual USB-C Compact Power Adapter Worth the Price?

Apple’s newly unveiled Dual-Port USB-C Power Adapters, officially on sale last week, is the company’s first attempt at dual chargers. Superficially, it may look like a typical compact two-port adapter, but its smart power-sharing capability may just be bread and butter.

Much of the hardware attention from the WWDC22 is focused on the redesigned MacBook Air and M2 MacBook Pro, with Apple announcing two versions of the dual USB-C adapter – which has been rumored since April.

Each of the new adapters has two USB-C ports, up to 35W and the same price tag. The only difference is the difference in design.

I have taken the compact version to check because it is a new included adapter with the redesigned M2 MacBook Air when configured with 10-core GPU and 512GB storage or higher.

New 35W dual-port (top) versus Apple’s 20W single-port USB-C adapter (bottom)

Strangely, the first thing that caught my attention was its weight. A little larger in size compared to Apple’s 20W single-port USB-C plug, the compact 35W dual adapter has some heft, which is understandable given its capability in such a small form factor and is considered Apple’s first shot at a dual charging adapter.

The design is nothing less than what you’d expect from Apple – glossy white, scratchy and smooth out of the box. But where this product shines is, what it can do on the inside.

Smart Authorization

As stated in the Apple Support document, both versions of the new dual adapter automatically distribute the normal 35W power based on the “power requirements” of the connected devices. Because MacBooks, iPhones, and iPads draw more power than Apple Watch and AirPods, a large share of wattage is shared.

For example, when you connect both the MacBook and iPhone, the wattage is split evenly between the two, both getting up to 17.5W. Power is split evenly between two smaller devices (ie Apple Watch and AirPods). But when pairing the preferred device with the smallest, the power is divided by 27.5W / 7.5W.

A feature gem that works best if your device is “compatible”.

New dual USB-C adapters have very limited compatibility with MacBooks. According to its product page, only the MacBook Airs and Outbound MacBooks are fully compatible from 2018-2022. I say “absolutely” because it still charged my 2020 M1 MacBook Pro and AirPod case at the same time, but it was a bit slow and didn’t seem to allocate power.

Management Price. Is it worth it?

Standard 35W Dual USB-C Port Power Adapter and Compact Edition Price $ 59; Not cheap compared to alternatives on Amazon. Of course, I don’t think the entire price tag is sustainable, but I think the ability to deploy wattage works well and differentiates depending on the device.

Apple is happy to see that it has more to do with the standard dual adapter – its large size can definitely mean more wattage while keeping the compact version at 35W.

What are your thoughts on the new Dual Adapters? Do you plan on taking one?

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