FastMacis TruePower AC adapter for the PowerBook and iBook is a durable and affordable alternative to Appleis own power adapters. Maybe not as pretty as Appleis offering, but that seems to be just fine with the people at FastMac.
The 65 Watt TruePower charger is compatible with the original clamshell iBook, iBook G3 and G4, the PowerBook G3, PowerBook G4 (titanium), and the 12, 15 and 17-inch PowerBook G4 (aluminum). It sports dual voltage, both 110 and 240 volts, extends 10 feet 2 inches from end to end. The cord length is long enough to get you to most outlets, but it is a bit shorter than the 12 foot 3 inches of Appleis power adapter.
The TruePower AC adapter, cord straps not included.
It does run warm, but no more so than most other laptop chargers, and it did feel somewhat cooler than Appleis adapter in my oh so scientific grab-the-adapter-and-feel-how-hot-it-is testing. The plug fit snugly in a PowerBook G4, iBook G4 and an original clamshell iBook G3, which is better than I can say for some of the Apple adapters I have tried.
Unlike Appleis adapter, the TruePower is rectangular. At first I thought the shape would make it difficult to fit in my laptop bag, but I was pleasantly surprised when I found it fit better than my Apple charger. Just to make sure it wasnit a bag thing, I tried a few different bags with the same results. The long flat shape just seemed to fit bag pockets better.
The TruePower adapter (left) and Appleis adapter (right).
FastMac claims the charger is perfect for road warriors that want an extra or replacement power adapter. To help drive the point home, the company has a video on their product Web site showing an SUV running over the adapter again and again. I couldnit bring myself to replicate that test, so Iill just have to trust that the charger really can withstand being run over.
The TruePower charger doesnit include a cable management system, which made the adapter difficult to deal with when packing up and storing in your laptop bag. I added a couple of Velcro straps which fixed the problem, but it would have been nice to see straps included. Also, the TruePower adapter doesnit include the charge indicator found on Appleis adapters. Youill have to check the Mac OS X battery menu bar indicator instead.
The Bottom Line
The TruePower AC adapter for the iBook and PowerBook may not look as sleek, but it is a great alternative to Appleis adapters. It is durable, compact, and costs significantly less than its Apple counterpart. Adding a cable management system, either in the form of straps or a small carrying case, would make this the perfect charger for anyone that relies on a portable G3 or G4 Mac.