Apple’s new 140W charger can fast charge a lot more than just your MacBook Pro

The Verge - Tue Oct 19 12:27

Apple’s new 140W charging brick, which works with a new MagSafe charging cable to power the new 16-inch MacBook Pro, uses the USB-C Power Delivery 3.1 standard, Apple has confirmed to The Verge. As well as being included with the new 16-inch MacBook Pro, the brick is available separately for $99 (not including the USB-C-to-MagSafe cable, which costs an extra $49). Meanwhile, the new 14-inch MacBook Pros come with 67W and 96W chargers, depending on the exact model.

Using the USB-C PD 3.1 standard means Apple’s new charging brick will be cross compatible with other devices that use the same power delivery standard, which was announced earlier this year alongside the USB Type-C Release 2.1 specification. It also means that MacBook owners have the flexibility of using compatible third-party charging bricks with the new MacBooks.

The 140W charger has a single USB-C port.
Image: Apple

That hasn’t been the case with some USB-C laptop fast chargers in the past, which have had to go off-spec to offer charging speeds over 100W (the previous cap on the USB-C Power Delivery spec). My colleague Sean Hollister, for example, has a Dell dock that outputs 130W, but it won’t work with other laptops because there previously wasn’t an open standard to support it.

As well as its use of the USB-C PD 3.1 standard, Apple also confirmed that the brick is its first gallium nitride (GaN) charger, which means it’s using the material that allows companies to build higher-powered chargers that are smaller in size than their traditional counterparts.

As well as the specs of the charging brick, Apple also confirmed that any of the new MacBooks’ Thunderbolt 4 ports can be used to charge the laptops. On the 14-inch MacBook Pro, these ports can be used for fast charging; but fast charging the 16-inch MacBook Pro requires using MagSafe 3 and the 140W adapter because the Thunderbolt 4 predates the USB-C PD 3.1 standard and tops out at 100W. Lower wattage chargers will be able to provide power to the MacBooks, but Apple says charging may be slower or could even result in power drain if the laptop is using more power than it’s being provided.

Additionally, Apple says that the magnets used in the MagSafe 3 connector are stronger than the previous generation.

All in all, it’s great news for anyone planning on buying one of Apple’s new MacBooks; they’ll get a capable fast charger that can power other devices and also aren’t restricted to using Apple’s own brick to charge their laptops.