Griffin BreakSafe USB-C cable review: Breakaway laptop power

Hardware Reviews / Reviews / Tech
Griffin BreakSafe

Earlier this year the Griffin BreakSafe USB-C cable showed up at CES 2016 and I was excited to get my hands on it. Since Apple switched to USB-C for their 12″ MacBook, I’ve been missing my MagSafe connector. The MagSafe connector is handy and keeps my MacBook Pro from being pulled off a table should someone trip over the cord. The Griffin BreakSafe works on the same concept but implements it with USB-C. Read on for our full review of the Griffin BreakSafe USB-C cable.

Specifications/Features

  • Compatible with Apple’s MacBook (12″) and other devices that charge via USB-C
  • BreakSafe is rated up to 60 watts (20 volts at 3 amps) power
  • Designed and tested to meet USB-C power standards
  • Data and video are not supported

What’s in the Box

  • USB-C magnetic connector
  • USB-C cable

Griffin BreakSafe

Design

The Griffin BreakSafe is nicely designed but there’s really not much to it at all. You have your USB-C side that goes into your charging brick and your magnetic side which snaps into the magnetized USB-C nub. The USB-C nub is the part of the design I want to concentrate on here. I found the nub to be a bit too large and bulky for my liking. I wasn’t comfortable with how far the nub stuck out of my 12″ MacBook.

I feel if someone were to accidentally drop the laptop with the nub inside it, it could easily snap leaving the business end inside your USB-C port. I think the design could definitely use a bit of slimming down. With that being said, the Griffin BreakSafe USB-C cable could also use a LED charging indicator letting you know when your laptop is fully charged, dead or partially charged. For the $39.99 price I would have expected that to be part of the package.

Overall the design is nice, it could use some slimming and maybe the 2nd generation will be a bit better in that regard.

Ease of use

Simple plug and play. Insert the nub into your laptop, plug other end into wall charger and snap magnetized end into place. Super simple to use and very easy to setup.

Griffin BreakSafe

Performance

The Griffin BreakSafe performed as expected on my 12″ MacBook. The Griffin BreakSafe is designed for laptops and I wouldn’t even try to use this with your smartphone. Given how bulky the nub end is, you wouldn’t want this dangling off your phone with the potential to break off in your charging port. Griffin states on the box it is for laptop use and it works perfectly with my 12″ MacBook charging brick.

Price/Value

While $39.99 isn’t an unreasonable price for the Griffin BreakSafe, I do think the design is a bit cumbersome and bulky.

Wrap up

This is a good start for Griffin, I think they could improve the design and give us something a bit slimmer with an LED indicator. If you’re itching to buy something like this, it’s not a bad buy but if you can wait for the next design from Griffin, it will hopefully be better.

Griffin BreakSafe USB-C cable
4 Out of 5
Nailed It
Really does help keep your laptop from being tripped over and pulled to the ground.
Needs Work
Laptop connector is bulky and sticks out more than it probably should, could be possible for it to break off the USB-C connector inside laptop. Wish it had an LED charging indicator.
Bottom Line
This is a good start for Griffin, I think they could improve the design and give us something a bit slimmer with an LED indicator. If you're itching to buy something like this, it's not a bad buy but if you can wait for the next design from Griffin, it will probably be better.
Design3.50
Ease of Use4.75
Performance4.00
Price/Value3.75
*We were sent a review sample of the Griffin BreakSafe USB-C cable for the purposes of this review.
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