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Tested: Mikegyver High-Speed USB-C Charger for 2018/2017/2016 MacBook Pro via Vehicle DC Power

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The USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 port of the Apple 2018 MacBook Pro (and 2016 and 2017 models) can charge at high speed in a vehicle with simple adapter. That’s because the USB-C specification allows for power delivery of up to 90 watts, far higher than the ~12 watts of USB 3.1 gen 2.

Most USB-C chargers are poor performers. Issues include low power charging, heat problems and sometimes noise/buzzing. Not the Mikegyver offering.

Shown below is the Mikegyver USB-C power adapter for high-speed charging via. A high-power USB-A port is also included for charging a device like an iPad or iPhone, as shown.

See also Mike McGyver’s blog, Mobile Connected Tech.

The Mikegyver USB-C power adapter takes its power from the 12V (to 24V) DC vehicle cigarette lighter socket, charging the MacBook Pro via a standard USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 cable (I used the cable that comes with the Apple power brick).

See the MPG test summary that follows the specifications below.

MacBook Pro with Mikegyver USB-C power adapter for high-speed charging via vehicle cigarette lighter socket

Specifications

You can charge your new Macbook Pro 15" touchbar from your Car at FULL Speed! Not to be mistaken for other lower powered USB-C (Type C) Car chargers. You will now also be able to charge your high powered devices (i.e. Macbook Pro 15" Touchbar) from external batteries that do not have true USB-C capabilities (all batteries on market today are not truly high powered USB-C PD). This will charge your Macbook Pro Touchbar without draining your internal batteries while you work on intensive applications! This versatile adapter has wide input range and can be used with any power source on the market.

Includes a standard USB port so you can charge both your USB-C Touchbar Macbook Pro 15" and iPhone/iPad at the same time!

  • World’s First True High Powered Car and External Battery USB-C (Type C) & USB-A PD QC3.0 charger adapter.
  • Unlike other Batteries or Car adapters that do NOT charge or partially powers, our USB-C solution is full powered with PD circuit which means you will expect your MacBook Pro Touchbar (or any other large devices) to recharge just like factory supplied AC adapter.
  • Connects directly to Car Cigarette ports. [MPG: super for travel, no power inverter!]
  • Also connects to most high powered external battery banks (set to at least 12v) and charges at full speed.
  • Charges USB-C devices like Macbook, Macbook Pro, HP, Dell faster then most on the market.
  • QC3.0 USB-A to fast charge your other devices at same time.
  • Wide input power range: 12-24vdc.
  • Includes cigarette cable and external battery cable connector.
  • Built in Safely and overload protection.
  • Compatible with all USB-C (Type C) devices like Macbook 12”, Macbook Pro 13”, Macbook Pro 15”, Lenovo Yoga, HP, Dell, Google, and also smaller devices like USB-C cell phones.
  • USB-C cable not included. [MPG: use the cable supplied with the Apple power brick]
  • Optional external battery sold separately and can be found here. Please choose "no device selection" during checkout process.

Specifications:

  • 60W + 18W (Total 78W)
  • Input: 12-24v, max 10A
  • Output: 60w USB-C: PD 5v3a, 12v3a, 15v2.4a, 20v3a.
  • Output: 18w USB-A: 3.6-5.5v,3a, 6.5-9v/2a, & 9-12v/1.5a.
  • Cigarette cable for car.
  • 5.5x2.5 to 5.5x2.5mm cable for external batteries.
  • Size: 3.3in x 1.9in x 0.9in, weight: 2.1oz

Tested

Get the about $49 Mikegyver USB-C Adapter/Charger at Amazon.

MPG tested the Mikegyver Macbook Pro Touchbar USB-C Car Adapter Charger using the 15-inch 2018 MacBook Pro. First the MacBook Pro battery was drained down to 17% charge so that there would be a high power draw for an extended period. The MacBook Pro was left on (not allowed to sleep).

The Mikegyver unit passed with flying colors: no noise, the charger unit barely got warm and the 2018 MacBook Pro charged rapidly even while in use.

The 60-watt power delivery is not rated as high as the Apple Power Brick (rated for 90 watts), but did appear to match the 60W over USB-C figure. Charging rate was subjectively rated as very fast given that there was an ongoing drain due to the MacBook pro being operated at the same time.

Given that MPG has to try really hard with artificial efforts to exceed a 60W power draw with the 15-inch 2018 MacBook Pro, it is unlikely that anything but CPU and GPU-intensive video processing of 4K footage or similar could exceed the power rating of the Mikegyver unit. The rare user with such a need should use the Apple power brick running off a pure sine wave power inverter (in my Sprinter van, I have dual 2000W pure sine wave power inverters, but 12V DC is a more efficient use of power).

At present I (MPG Lloyd) do not own a 2018 MacBook Pro, but when/if that comes about, the Mikegyver charger will be the go-to power source in my Mercedes Sprinter photography adventure van.

MacBook Pro being charged via Mikegyver power adapter using vehicle cigarette lighter socket
MacBook Pro being charged via Mikegyver power adapter using battery power
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