It’s become a yearly occasion that in late February I’ll attend Mobile World Congress, and as a result I now have a yearly ritual of assessing my charger and adapter stockpile about a month before leaving. This year I traveled with a new tool in my arsenal, the Twelve South PlugBug World. What sets this charger/adapter apart from all of the others I own is that it plugs into the stock MacBook Pro power block, and it includes a built-in high-power USB charger that is perfect for quickly topping off my iPad mini. The fact that it can be configured to work in any country anywhere in the world is pretty sweet, too.
Included in the package are the red PlugBug adapter, five interchangeable charging tips, and a black storage pouch. Those of you who own a MacBook, MacBook Pro, or MacBook Air know that the included power block comes with a removable extended cable and a short folding wall charger that can be plugged into the upper left hand corner. It’s up to the MacBook user’s discretion which will be on the power block at any given time; this system is actually quite genius.
The PlugBug World takes advantage of the port that is exposed when the wall charger and extended cable are removed, because it slides right onto and into the exposed connecting plug; the five included tips will work in the US, Canada, Japan, Thailand, China, the UK, Hong Kong, Singapore, Continental Europe, Australia, and New Zealand.
Here’s what you can expect: if you have a MacBook Air, which uses a smaller power block, then the PlugBug World will fit flush — just as the original PlugBug Dan reviewed in 2011 did when he put it on his Air’s charger, and as the packaging on the PlugBug World shows.
When you install the PlugBug World on a MacBook Pro (which has a slightly larger power block) you will wind up with a slightly less symmetrical package, but the end result is the same — a world charger with a high-powered USB port built right in. Just about the only caveat I can think of is that now and then I did have to slide the two pieces back together, as the power block would occasionally jostle loose from the PlugBug; I blame the Euro wall sockets and how hard I sometimes had to push when installing or removing the power plug!
I had the original PlugBug, and I thought it was the perfect way to combine two chargers into one. The Twelve South PlugBug World takes that great original idea and makes it even better — yes, there is an included plug that will work in the US, but now I also have plugs that will work everywhere else. If you or someone you love is a world traveler and a MacBook user, then this makes the perfect gift!
The Twelve South PlugBug World is available directly from the manufacturer.
What I Like: The perfect world power adaptor for MacBook, MacBook Pro, and MacBook Air users; includes a built-in high-powered USB charging port for iPhones or iPads; the five included tips will work in the US, Canada, Japan, Thailand, China, the UK, Hong Kong, Singapore, Continental Europe, Australia, and New Zealand; fits perfectly flush with the MacBook Air power block charger
What Needs Improvement: The fit is a little less symmetrical when using the PlugBug with a MacBook Pro, as it uses a larger power block
Source: Manufacturer provided review sample