Does Your New MacBook Have A Kinky Cord?

Have you recently purchased one of Apple’s shiniest, newest notebook computers? David, the proud owner of a new MacBook Air, noticed some thing strange about the power adapter that came with his new toy. It looked like there were was a kink in the wires, spiraling under the surface of the cord’s white coating. A replacement off the shelf of his local Apple Store had the same problem. Apple swapped out David’s computer for a brand new one so his could be sent to engineering for tests, and the third adapter had the wire kinks too. Is there some kind of Apple blight going around?

He happens to blog about Apple products, and wrote about this revolving door of adapters:

Last week we discovered odd kinks forming in the thin cable of the MagSafe 2 power adapter that shipped with the mid-2012 11-inch MacBook Air we purchased. You can see them in the photo above. We went to a local Genius Bar and Apple replaced the adapter with one off of the store shelves.

The replacement adapter had the same problems so we decided to call AppleCare and afterwards Apple requested the return of the MacBook Air and the second adapter for an engineering “capture.” The engineers at Apple capture products they need to examine to correct manufacturing problems.

Apple exchanged it with another MacBook Air of the same model new in the box. Much to our dismay the MagSafe 2 adapter in the new machine began to show kinks in the cable like its predecessors. So we called AppleCare back and this time they replaced the MagSafe 2 adapter from store stock.

The makes the fourth adapter we’ve had since we bought the first MacBook Air over a week ago. We just started using it today and we’ll have to see how things turn out with it.

The big question is whether or not other customers who purchased new MacBooks with MagSafe 2 adapters are experiencing the same problems or not.

Well, new MacBook owners: how do your adapters look? Let us know.

Apple’s New MagSafe 2 Adapters Display Quirky Wiring Kinks [Infinite Loop Mobile]

Comments

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  1. phonic says:

    This is an Apple product, so they would consider this a feature.
    And you damn well better like it(TM).

  2. punkrawka says:

    I’m missing the “problem” part of OP’s post. Seriously, he’s been through four power cords because he’s concerned about their aesthetics? And he thinks it’s some kind of mistake even though all four have been the same way? Lots of power cords have multiple wires bundled under the cord’s cover.

    • Fubish says: I don't know anything about it, but it seems to me... says:

      Yeah. It looks like one of the insulated wires bundled in the outer insulation have moved a bit. It’s not a hazard. I guess Apple people gotta go for the aesthetics even in power cords.

    • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

      This – If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.
      I don’t see why OP would go through so much hassle just because the cord isn’t smooth O_o

    • SerenityDan says:

      That’s an Apple fan boy for ya. They don’t care how it works, just that it looks nice.

      • PSUSkier says:

        Not to mention this kind of takes it to a new extreme. It’s not so much that the PC got scratched, but a wire twisted in my power cord.

    • elangomatt says:

      My first thought was that it wasn’t an aesthetic thing so much as increasing the longevity of the cord actually working properly. If the cables are twisting around in the sheath then it seems to me that it might break faster. If one cable is wrapping around the others than it is getting slightly longer and would have be stretching somewhere. It could be putting a bit of extra stress on one end or perhaps that individual wire itself could break inside the sheath.

      Is this really a kink though? I’d call it more of an extra twist. I guess “extra twisty” just doesn’t have the same title appeal of calling something “kinky”.

    • RxDude says:

      All Apple products are unique because of their beautiful design and effortless functionality. Even though the OP presents no evidence or opinion that the cord might potentially affect the flawless functionality of his MacBook, the kinks in the cord are an aesthetic flaw in what should be a flawless design. The cord is different from the other unique, unwrinkled, MacBook power adapters out there. This difference in the power adapter opens the OP up to ridicule from all the other unique Mac users he hangs out with in independent coffee shops and converted warehouse spaces.

      This kind of thing would never have happened if Steve Jobs was alive.

    • Gravitational Eddy says:

      Have seen this before. It’s a flaw caused by the user.
      That power cord has been rewound the WRONG way.

      It’s similar (but not actually the same) to running a radial tire backwards
      (which usually happens when you self rotate your auto tires)
      What happens to the tire is that the belts of rubber get bunched by improper (wrong direction) torque and then “lump” up into a fail point where they aren’t laying flat against one another. This is that tire “slap” you hear on worn tires at highway speeds. It’s bad, and could cause you to lose the tire due to mechanical separation of the tread layers.

      The power cord is affected by the same wrong direction torque failures and although you aren’t going to die a horrible flaming death from an unexpected blowout at 75mph, you will still see the “bump” caused by layer separation.
      Cause?
      Winding up the power cord in the wrong direction.
      As an example, I’ve got a 50′ heavy duty extension cord that has these “bumps” all over it, throughout the entire length.
      They do not affect the cord use. The layers inside the cord are now twisted in the opposite direction to the way they were when it was made, thus it “kinks up” inside the sheath.
      Conductivity hasn’t been affected.

  3. hotpocketdeath says:

    This is what Mac users complain about?

    Talk about a well deserved stereotype they have earned.

    • AstroPig7 says:

      Right, because we can judge all Mac users by this one complaint. Excellent reasoning.

      • hotpocketdeath says:

        Sounds like I hit a nerve.

        • AstroPig7 says:

          Poor logic is a pet peeve.

          • Velifer says:

            When all we hear about iConsumers is raves about shiny things and whining when they’re not shiny enough, then it is logical to think that they might be a superficial, whiny bunch.

            • AstroPig7 says:

              Who is this “we”? The only place I’ve seen that sort of whining is on Apple fansites, but you can find similar nonsense on Microsoft fansites, Linux fansites, and fansites of nearly any sort.

              • Velifer says:

                This “we” is a first person plural pronoun, used in the above instance to include the author and others in the same category.

                And since we are seeing this whining on a non-apple fansite today, I question the validity of your second statement. Does this mean you did not read the original post, or that you are being *gasp* logically inconsistent?

      • Captain Spock says:

        Bout as accurate as the Nielsen ratings.

      • penuspenuspenus says:

        Sounds about right.

      • donjumpsuit says:

        Win users don’t have time to complain. They are too busy staring at the heels of the person in front of them.

  4. RandomLetters says:

    I have two adapters and they both look fine. I’m going to say this might all be on how the OP is rolling the cord up. If you don’t allow the cord to twist in your hand as you wrap it this can easily occur. I’ve seen examples of this in improperly rolled up extension cords several times.

    • Costner says:

      Exactly – if someone just wraps the cord up but doesn’t insert a twist for every revolution… it can result in some kinking of the cord.

      I’ve seen extension cords that have a permanent spiral in them all the way along the cord almost as if they were like giant phone cords… and this is all due to how they were wrapped. Over time the wires inside twist inside the casing resulting in a curl.

  5. Bagels says:

    it likes a little s&m

  6. Pimaxc says:

    Nothing is wrong. Anytime someone reports an issue with a brand new product at Apple big small, even customer inflicted (broken screens) with a brand new Apple product for the first month or so they send all of the samples back to engineering. It’s SOP.

  7. CrazyEyed says:

    I know it sounds like a troll post but not a single f*ck was given about this story. I guess if I paid for an overpriced laptop, I’d be as pretentious and petty as this person.

  8. The Brad says:

    Oh no not wire kinks! It’s like they negatively effect how the $1300 computer works since it can’t get all of the power kit needs to run.

  9. Rebecca K-S says:

    Huh. I never realized the power adapter had those wings for cord coiling. Woohoo, new knowledge! I don’t think I’ll use them, though. That seems like too tight of a coil for this cord.

  10. scoosdad says:

    Has the OP booked a trip on Orbitz lately?

  11. sherrietee says:

    I’m confused. They went back to that style of attachment for the macbooks? I liked the narrow magnetic side attachment for the power cord. It was much less likely to get stripped. As for the twisting wires in the photo, it’s probably operator error.

    • Hank Scorpio says:

      Yeah, something’s not right here. All of the new Magsafe adapters have the long connector with the plug on the side, not the T-shaped one like in the picture. They got rid of that design a while ago. The only ones that still have the T-connectors are cheap knock-offs.

      • Hank Scorpio says:

        Okay, I see now that this is regarding the Magsafe 2 they just came out with, and it looks like they did go back to the T-shape on the new ones.

  12. baltimoron says:

    I can’t even tell the difference between what the arrows are showing and those shadows near the clips. If every single cord he’s used has charged the computer, what is the problem?

    • AstroPig7 says:

      The problem is that a kink in the cord can randomly cause charging to stop or the computer to suddenly switch to battery operation while plugged in. This is a trivial annoyance if the user is next to the computer when it happens, but if it happens while charging the laptop overnight, then it can cause trouble if they planned to take the laptop out the following day.

      • baltimoron says:

        But the OP didn’t have any complaints about charging problems.

        • elangomatt says:

          The OP didn’t have any complaints about charging problems YET. I doubt the problems would show up right at the start of using the power cord. I’d think it would take a much longer period of using it before any problems exhibit themselves. More than likely by the time any problems started, Apple would absolve themselves of responsibility and make the user shell out another $50 for a new cord.

  13. dicobalt says:

    Most laptop power cords separate the cables into a flat sheath, I think this is a fundamental design problem with using round sheaths. I have seen plenty of extension cords do the same thing, I can’t say it’s really a problem though.

    • icerabbit says:

      Please clarify “most laptop power cords separate the cables into a flat sheath, …”

      As I can look at 6 laptops from different vendors in this office alone and not a single one has a flat cord. They’re all round going into the notebook, just like the Apple one as pictured.

      I doubt I’ve seen one notebook with a flat cord going from the AC/DC transformer into the laptop. The AC cord can be flat two wire or three wire, yes, but the part into the notebook? I don’t think so.

      Afaik, the only things with a flat cord plugging into the unit are small external peripherals like drives, speakers, switches, …

      • dicobalt says:

        Some power supply cables are round. Look at the cable on a lamp or microwave they often use flat cables. If you twist any round cables too much they will kink inside, with most cables you might not even notice it if they are high gauge (thin wires) with very little sheath and a thick and solid outter sheath. I don’t have a Mac but it looks like the cable in the pic is the same as any extension cord design, made to be extra flexible by making the sheath a little big. The smaller the sheath on a round cable the less flexible the cord will be. That’s why these cords should be flat if you don’t want kinking.

        • icerabbit says:

          I know different cords exist all with different solid or stranded wire, different internal and external sheathing and shielding, and their consequential specific advantages and disadvantages. Both in high voltage and low voltage.

          But, you specifically said regarding Apple’s round cable design which the OP seems to have an issue with that:
          ” Most laptop power cords separate the cables into a flat sheath ” suggesting that pretty much every notebook on the market has a different cable design than Apple does.

          So, I was wondering where you have seen all these flat DC notebook cables as in the Apple example? Even the most recent batch of notebooks that no longer have a 3ft round or flat 110V cord, but have a wall wart that plugs directly into the wall, have a round dc cable that’s what 18/2 or 20/2 with the two conductor’s side by side.

          Unless I am missing something …

  14. PMS_Witch says:

    I’ve never had a cord with an internal kink, then this spring I’ve had two! I bought an outdoor extension cord and it had a kink just like the one in the picture. Normally, I’d disregard something like this as insignificant, but since I would be using this cord to supply considerable current, I didn’t want to risk an electrical failure. As well, this cord would see mechanical stress too, since it would be dragged around outside.

    Since the money I paid for this cord didn’t have any defects, I expected the same for the merchandise, so I exchanged it.

  15. MoreThanWYSIWYG says:

    There is a problem with the manufacturing of the cord. I used to work as a quality inspector in a wire factory. The conductor below the braid was not held strong enough when the braid was woven around the cord.

  16. Foot_Note says:

    built in profit… have the adapters “die” to be replaced?$$$$$…

  17. Such an Interesting Monster says:

    And these idiots then wonder why they’re singled out to pay more on sites like Orbitz.

  18. ronbo97 says:

    I don’t get what the problem is. There are a bunch of tiny wires inside a conduit. As long as the power cord works, who cares ?

  19. Whtthfgg says:
    • AstroPig7 says:

      Niche blog is niche.

    • icerabbit says:

      Oh dear!

      The digital round dial Nest thermostat of course couldn’t be based on analog round dial thermostats like there are a dozen in my house! Which have been the industry standard (and cheapest) before square models with more features came along. Sjeez.

      … sjeez … :-/

  20. Costner says:

    This is the type of guy who would probably complain if the leaf design in this cappuccino resembled a Maple leaf instead of an Aspen leaf.

    Talk about #firstworldproblems.

  21. Smokey says:

    This is a common problem with jacketed cabling manufacturing. When cables are made and put on spools, the closer to the end of the spool, the more twisted the memory of the cable. Most of the time, these ends are cut off and scrapped but sometimes they are used. After a few days, weeks or months of temperature change, part of the wire will shrink slightly and cause this kind of warping.

  22. TheMansfieldMauler says:

    The kinks slow the machine down. The zeros can still get through, but the ones get stuck and start to back up.

  23. draven says:
  24. edicius is an acquired taste says:

    I was able to instantly identify that as an incorrectly wrapped cable. But hey, what do I know? I’m just a Windows PC user.

  25. ironflange says:

    I would expect more from an adapter that probably costs more than my whole computer did.