I have written before, and will likely write again, about the frustrations of Apple’s MacBook Pros, which only offer USB-C ports. That’s why I’m almost mad to see something like the PowerUp, a new USB-C charger for Apple’s MacBook Pros (or anything, really) that is so obviously clever it’s annoying that it’s a third-party solution and not the in-box charger.
A USB-C charger with three legacy ports built-in
The PowerUp comes as a crowdfunded Indiegogo project from Homey Lab, and is essentially a USB-C charger the same size and shape as Apple’s old MagSafe bricks, but with a USB-C cable built in. The brilliant part, though, is the addition of three legacy USB 3.0 Type-A ports on one side of the brick, giving you easy access to regular USB ports without needing a whole bunch of USB-C dongles.
And while the PowerUp is designed to function as a charger first, it still works without power as a USB-C to USB-C adaptor if you’re away from a wall. The only downside is that the integrated USB-C cable is a little short, meaning you’ll need to rely on the longer AC cord to reach things. (Given that it’s a standard plug, though, you’ll have some options if you want to swap it out for a longer one.)
From a power perspective, the PowerUp is specced at a 72W output, which makes it more than powerful enough to charge Apple’s 12-inch MacBook and 13-inch MacBook Pro at full speed. The 15-inch MacBook Pro, on the other hand, ships with an 87W charger — that’s not to say that the PowerUp won’t charge that, too, but it might be slightly slower.
As always, it’s worth noting that Homey Lab is a new company doing a crowdfunding campaign, which means that it’s worth using your own judgement when deciding whether or not to back it.
The PowerUp is available to back on Indiegogo for $79 — right in line with Apple’s own $79 chargers which lack the extra USB ports. Homey Lab expects to ship the PowerUp in July.