Twelve South PlugBug World Review

Twelve South PlugBug World

The Twelve South PlugBug World

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.

Twelve South PlugBug World

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.

Twelve South PlugBug World

This PlugBug has obviously been installed on a MacBook Air’s power block

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!

Twelve South-PlugBug World

The Twelve South PlugBug World in Action while I was in Spain

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.

MSRP: $44.99

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

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About the Author

Judie Lipsett Stanford
Judie is the co-owner and Editor-in-Chief of Gear Diary, which she founded in September 2006. She started in 1999 writing software reviews at the now-defunct; from mid-2000 through 2006, she wrote hardware reviews for and co-edited at The Gadgeteer. A recipient of the Sigma Kappa Colby Award for Technology, Judie is best known for her device-agnostic approach, deep-dive reviews, and enjoyment of exploring the latest tech, gadgets, and gear.

1 Comment on "Twelve South PlugBug World Review"

  1. I’ve found that I prefer the solutions where the plugs are on one unit with sliders or switches rather than separate attachments/plugs. It’s too easy to lose the pieces. It’s a little bulkier, but less likely to get lost!

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