Apple has quietly improved the MagSafe power adapter it ships with portable Macs, introducing the same kind of adapter design it has until now only made available with the MacBook Air and, more recently, with the unibody polycarbonte MacBooks.

Hidden in among its recent upgrades to its portable line-up, Apple quietly updated MagSafe tips for the 85 Watt adapters which come with the 15 and 17-inch MacBooks, and the 65 Watt versions for the 13-inch MacBook and MacBook Pro.

The new tip is aluminum and sits in parallel with the cable instead of at right-angles. More importantly, the aluminium extends to offer some protection to the point at which the cable joins the aluminium – that point has been prone to fraying in use. These things cost $79.

Product description:

The 85 Watt MagSafe Power Adapter features a magnetic DC connector that ensures your power cable will disconnect if it experiences undue strain and helps prevent fraying or weakening of the cables over time. In addition, the magnetic DC helps guide the plug into the system for a quick and secure connection.

When the connection is secure, an LED located at the head of the DC connector will light; an amber light lets you know that your portable is charging, while a green light tells you that you have a full charge. An AC cord is provided with the adapter for maximum cord length, while the AC wall adapter (also provided) gives users an even easier and more compact way to travel.

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