Skip to navigationSkip to content

There’s an elegant fix for the awkwardness of Apple’s Macbook charger

Employees and customers during the official opening of the largest Apple shop in southern Europe, at Passeig de Gracia in Barcelona
Reuters/Albert Gea
“If you’d just move your elbow, we’d all fit comfortably”
By Joon Ian Wong
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

Apple has gone to great lengths to design a power adapter that’s as sleek as its super-thin MacBooks. The adapters are slim white bricks, and on the US versions, have pins that fold neatly away. But there’s just one problem: when the adapter is plugged in, it sticks out from the power point by more than three inches. That makes plugging in your MacBook difficult in tight spaces, like the back of a sofa, or behind a set of drawers.

Luckily, Apple made the plugs on its power adapter modular, meaning you can slip on different plugs for different countries. A new plug called Blockhead takes advantage of that by pointing its pins at a 90-degree angle to the power brick. That means the brick is now parallel to the power point, putting it almost flush against a wall. Here’s what that looks like in action:

Ten One Design

Blockhead is designed by a company called Ten One Design. They’re selling one for $19.95 and two for $34.95. The plugs will start shipping in late April, according to Ten One’s website. They’ll work for all MacBook chargers and 10W and 12W iPad chargers.

Blockhead isn’t the only clever power plug on the market. In 2010, a student at the Royal College of Art made waves by designing a folding, three-pin power plug, the sort that’s used in the UK. That project became a series of products branded Mu, and it got rave reviews when it started shipping in 2012.

Those of you struggling with MacBooks in tight spots outside the Americas or Japan, however, can’t get help from Blockhead in solving the problem. It currently only comes in the two-pin, NEMA 1-15, configuration.

📬 Kick off each morning with coffee and the Daily Brief (BYO coffee).

By providing your email, you agree to the Quartz Privacy Policy.