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Cheapo chargers for those who like risk

Posted on by Jason Murray

More than meets the eye: The smooth white plastic case of the MacBook charger belies the complexity of the circuitry necessary to ensure safety. This level of protection costs money but it is a mistake to skimp on safety

More than meets the eye: The smooth white plastic case of the MacBook charger belies the complexity of the circuitry necessary to ensure safety. This level of protection costs money but it is a mistake to skimp on safety

Almost every week we read a story about some unfortunate whose house has burned down because of faulty charger. In almost every case the fault lies not with the manufacturer of the phone or device but with the bargain after-market charger that the owner assumed would do the job. It doesn't.

There's a strong tendency, particularly among the untechnical, to underestimate what goes into a really safe charging device. The complexity of a safe charger often justifies the higher price and it is decidedly false economy to buy an unbranded and ridiculously cheap copy.

The case is illustrated by this picture of the innards of a MacBook charger. The glossy white plastic outer shell gives not a hint of what lies within. And, because of this, it is very easy to be seduced by something that looks the same but is a welcome fraction of the price. The fact is that this charger is a complex electronic component in its own right, with built-in protection against overheating, short-circuiting and plain misuse. 

Righto.com is website that goes into detail about Lightning connectors, chargers and other peripherals that are often taken for granted. This article on the MacBook charger is a case in point and makes fascinating reading. 

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