Apple Macbook Pro - recharging

Submitted: Saturday, Apr 17, 2010 at 09:29
ThreadID: 77776 Views:3052 Replies:6 FollowUps:5
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Hi Everyone, thanks to so many of you I received some great advice re laptops in a previous thread and I am considering buying an Apple Macbook Pro 15".

We will be away from 240v a lot and I want to know whether there is a reliable 12v adaptor suitable for Macs. I have done some research on the net but would love to hear what others use to recharge and operate their Macbooks.


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Reply By: Danger Mouse - Saturday, Apr 17, 2010 at 10:24

Saturday, Apr 17, 2010 at 10:24

I have a 15" MacBook Pro also - you'll definitely love it as a computer.

As to recharging, I simply use a 300W inverter that plugs into the cigarette lighter, bought from Dick Smith for about $80.

The MBP charger draws 85W so even a 150W inverter should work, but mine is a 300W and it works flawlessly.

Hope that helps,

Darren Muller
Danger Mouse
AnswerID: 413254

Reply By: Member Boroma 604 - Saturday, Apr 17, 2010 at 11:12

Saturday, Apr 17, 2010 at 11:12
Have just 2 weeks ago taken delivery of a 13" Apple Pro,
still on steep learning curve but can see lots of benefits and have paid for tuition which I start next week.
May I suggest you think seriously about screen size, last couple of laptops we had (Microsoft), were 15 inch and would not consider that size again for portability. Have taken the old one on airline many times and found it cumbersome.
Even though the Apple is thinner and most likely lighter, I am really happy with my decision. If I needed larger screen for home would buy one and put it on the desk .
Have inverter in our Caravan (150 Watt), so not a problem, as well 7 hour battery life they say.
Boroma 604.
AnswerID: 413262

Reply By: Bob of KAOS - Saturday, Apr 17, 2010 at 13:56

Saturday, Apr 17, 2010 at 13:56

I've yet to come up with a 12V supply for the MacBook or Mac Mini. So we just use an inverter which is an inelegant solution.

Using the Mac Mini you can use any size display you like, and is generally a cheaper solution than buying a MacBook or other laptop for that matter.
AnswerID: 413280

Follow Up By: Member - Glenda and Max C (QLD - Saturday, Apr 17, 2010 at 14:33

Saturday, Apr 17, 2010 at 14:33
Hi Bob, are you saying you only ever use your computer plugged into an inverter and/or when 240v is available? What size inverter and what is the current draw? I am likely to be on the computer for hours at a time with my photography - is this possible? What size screen do you use as I guess this needs power as well? Sorry to ask so many questions but I had not considered going on the road without a battery operated computer and your suggestion intrigues me... not least because it would be cost effective.
FollowupID: 683379

Follow Up By: Bob of KAOS - Saturday, Apr 17, 2010 at 20:38

Saturday, Apr 17, 2010 at 20:38

The external display runs directly off 12 V. I have used various displays from 8" to 15".

The MacBook can charge from the inverter when the car is running, but the Mac Mini has no battery so relies on inverter running. I have a dual battery set up so running computer for hours not an issue.

I have a small 150W inverter for charging all sorts of appliances, and a 600W sine wave inverter. The Mac Mini draws 110 Watts. The MacBook 13" power supply delivers 16.5 V at 3.75 Amps which is about 60 Watts.

To be safe I'd go for a 200W inverter at least, but as a 300W costs little more I'd go for that.

FollowupID: 683417

Reply By: Member - GRANT HID(NSW) - Saturday, Apr 17, 2010 at 15:22

Saturday, Apr 17, 2010 at 15:22
Hi,A new macbook pro is due out in a few weeks(longer battery life than old model,new processor) i will be ordering 1 with the anti glare screen.
Cheers Grant
AnswerID: 413286

Follow Up By: Danger Mouse - Saturday, Apr 17, 2010 at 16:20

Saturday, Apr 17, 2010 at 16:20
The new MBP was released on Wed this week. 7-10 hour battery life claimed. Check for details.

Danger Mouse
FollowupID: 683389

Reply By: Member - Serendipity(WA) - Saturday, Apr 17, 2010 at 18:45

Saturday, Apr 17, 2010 at 18:45
Hi Glenda

I have used Macs for years now and owned a few laptops. To charge them on the road the best I have found is an inverter. Just make sure you spend the extra dollars and purchase a 'pure sine wave' inverter. These will cost $200 to $300 for a small one new from eBay rated at about 300w nominal with a peak of 600w or around that level.

In the past with my first apple laptop I used a 150w square sine wave inverter to charge up on the road. After the trip my battery failed and I needed to purchase a new battery. (found a new bargain on eBay with apple badges but not from apple)

Of course you can use the pure sine wave inverter for all those other sensitive battery operated gear like cameras, phones, ipods etc.

Square sine wave inverters are just too rough for you newer modern electronics.


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AnswerID: 413300

Follow Up By: Bob of KAOS - Saturday, Apr 17, 2010 at 21:09

Saturday, Apr 17, 2010 at 21:09

Some batteries just fail prematurely. My daughter had a battery that died early and was never used on an inverter. So I don't think its the fault of the inverter. Only DC comes out of the charger. If anything a square wave input might affect the charger, but not the battery.
FollowupID: 683422

Reply By: patsproule - Saturday, Apr 17, 2010 at 20:47

Saturday, Apr 17, 2010 at 20:47
Try this: Car / Airline MacBook power adaptor & charger

No Affiliation.

Myself - I have a 17" MacBook Pro that I use with Final Cut Pro for video editing. I just use an inverter.
AnswerID: 413319

Follow Up By: Bob of KAOS - Saturday, Apr 17, 2010 at 21:28

Saturday, Apr 17, 2010 at 21:28
Thanks Pat

I just ordered a 120W power supply for the Mac Mini. At $120 delivered it seems reasonable.
FollowupID: 683427

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