The classic Swiss army knife multi-tool—crafted in the signature red and white colors from the flag of Switzerland—has a well-earned reputation as the consummate jack of all trades. It seems those facts were not lost on the engineers at Twelve South when they were designing the PlugBug World USB charger, a universal red-and-white charging kit for users of Apple iPads, iPhones, and MacBooks that can keep devices charged virtually anywhere on the planet where a plug receptacle is available.
Designed primarily to mate with all of the ubiquitous white MagSafe power adapters Apple has been shipping with their MacBooks, MacBook Pros, and MacBook Airs since 2006, the PlugBug World is supplied with 5 international snap-in plugs and can charge any of these MacBooks at the same time as an iOS device or any other USB-connected product that is happy with a 2.1-amp power port. A true transformer, the $44.95 kit is based around a replacement USB wall charger brick with a trio of ports, including the conventional USB power port, a female “duck-head” port on its top for connection to the correct power plug adapter, and a male duck-head port on its bottom for connection to a MagSafe power adapter.
Now, the incorporation of that top duck-head port also means you can attach, for example, the white Apple power cord from the MagSafe adapter in scenarios where wall plugs are not close enough to the desired charging location. And in the case of the bottom duck-head port, it can be used to dock, as a further example, the Apple 12V USB Power Adapter (that ships with iPads) to enable a second USB charging port, or even used for hanging the Apple Battery Charger module for NiMH batteries. Conversely, the 5 red-and-white PlugBug World snap-in plug adapters themselves can also be used apart from their mother ship and attached directly to a MagSafe adapter or other Apple devices so equipped.
This Swiss-army-knife universality of power access with the Twelve South PlugBug World for Apple device owners makes it the only kit they should need to keep their devices well-charged in the smart home, at a worksite, at a Starbucks, or virtually anywhere else in the world with a power receptacle. It has earned a home in our backpacks for trips of any length.
Tom Kolnowski is the Chief Content Officer & Founder of Digitized House Media, LLC, the publisher of Digitized House | Guide to the Connected Home. When he isn’t writing about smart home technology, sustainability, and high-performance architecture, you’ll find him exploring faraway destinations with his family.