February 18, 2006

Apple: Worst Power Adapters Out There

Apple (AAPL) makes a lot of wonderful products with great quality: their laptops, iPods, Cinema Displays and the overwhelming majority of their products work very well, have long-lasting stability and simply do things better than the alternatives in the Windows world. However, they have not impressed me with the quality of their power adapters for the iBook and PowerBook lines. The adapters easily wear out, stop charging and can bend with any kind of force - meaning we are pushed to pay the "Apple tax" and re-up for another adapter or two per year in our house, even while the laptops keep chugging along.

In 2002, when I moved from Belmont to Palo Alto, I made a choice to ditch my home desktop and purchased the first laptop I'd ever had - a G4 Titanium PowerBook from Apple. With it came the standard software package and power cable. But when I made the switch to live the laptop lifestyle, I didn't expect the cord would become such a limiting factor. I've probably purchased four or more additional power adapters from myself or my wife since moving to laptops. We recently, doing a household cleanup, must've tossed out two more dead ones. Now, we know we have two working, one each for "his and hers", and we'll see how long that lasts. But so far, we've been unimpressed.

In parallel, I've utilized a Dell (DELL) laptop from the office over the last four years, and have never had trouble with the power cords. They're definitely an ugly piece of junk, but at least they work. Apple should learn how to ruggedize their cords - it's one place where function always wins out over form.

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