Madsonline Lucille Apple Powerbook/iBook AC Adapter

Power adapters. These bulky bricks are a necessary evil for electronics, even more so for gadget lovers. My gear bag is daily weighed down by several power adapters and when I travel my bag contains at least 5-6 adapters.

Many devices are now able to be charged via USB or Firewire, but on a laptop ports can be a premium. Additionally, many laptops do not charge external devices while in sleep mode.

My Un-met Adapter Need:

I have been looking to get another adapter to keep in my gear bag so that I do not have to constantly disconnect my existing one from my desk setup. Since space in my bag is at a premium, I wanted an adapter that was compact and could charge some of my other gadgets at the same time. After several years of looking I discovered Madsonline’s “Lucille” power adapter.

Features:
Charges G4 Powerbooks and white iBooks
Charges most USB and Firewire Device
Works with a variety of voltages (90-240V) for international use
12V DC firewire, 5V DC USB

First Impressions:

The Lucille is a relatively compact 65 Watt AC adapter which beaks down into two parts for easy storage. It has a good sturdy feel to it, without being too heavy. Additionally, this adapter operates within voltage input ranges of 90-240 Vac, which makes it useful for international travel with a plug adapter.

The power plug attaches to the laptop at a right angle, which ostensibly makes it less prone to cord injury. The 20 gauge wire is rugged appears to be able to withstand daily use.

The USB and Firewire ports are adequately spaced apart to be able to accommodate most devices. The voltage output for the Firewire and USB ports are 12Vdc and 5 Vdc respectively.

Usage:

For a few weeks, I’ve been using this adapter for day-to-day charging, and it worked beautifully. However, I wanted to put the Lucille to a more rigorous test: multi-day travel. So I packed the Lucille up and brought it with me on a weekend trip to Philadelphia and used it as my sole device for charging my 12″ Powerbook, iPod and Treo.

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While on my trip, I drained the batteries on all of my gadgets by the end of my first day. This seemed the ideal time to test the charging capabilities of the Lucille, so I plugged the Powerbook in and connected a USB cable from my Treo and a Firewire plug from my iPod to the adaptor.

The time to charge the 12″ Powerbook appeared to be identical to my original 65 watt power adapter. Also, the times to fully charge my Treo and iPod were similar to if they were charged from my laptop’s actual ports. However, when charging multiple devices, the Lucille does get a bit warm to the touch, but not more so than other device power adapters I have owned.

Overall, this is a great product that not only charges my laptop, but other devices as well. There is one major and one minor drawback with this product for me. The lack of mag-safe adapters for the Macbook/Macbook Pro is a major issue since I usually carry my 15″ MBP with me. According to the product page, the Lucille does not charge the Motorola Razr directly. However, I personally do not own a Razr so this not a major drawback for me.

 

Product Information

Price:88.0
Manufacturer:Madsonline
Retailer:Madsonline
Requirements:
  • Apple G4 Powerbook or iBook
Pros:
  • Cable wraps around adapter for easy storage
  • Matches Powerbook G4 silver color scheme
  • Charges the laptop and 2 other devices (one USB one Firewire) at the same time.
  • Reasonably priced
Cons:
  • Brick becomes a bit warm with use
  • No Macbook/Macbook Pro cable currently available
  • Does not charge the Motorola Razr
  • No car/airplane adapter available
6 comments… add one
  • Julie October 4, 2006, 9:08 pm

    Post your comments on the Madsonline Lucille Apple Powerbook/iBook AC Adapter review.

    http://www.the-gadgeteer.com/review/madsonline_lucille_apple_powerbook_ibook_ac_adapter

    Just click the POST REPLY button on this page.

  • johnsoax October 5, 2006, 1:13 am

    I was sold on this for my gear bag until I saw the price. I can get an original Apple charger for under $50, so it really isn’t worth about $40 to me to get a larger charger that has the USB capability, especially when i have a BoxWave USB AC adapter in my gear bag already.

  • Meredyth October 5, 2006, 1:31 pm

    I agree it is slightly more expensive than the original charger (which for the 65W version retails at $79, but for me, I was looking into purchasing extra AC bricks (~$25 for the Treo, ~$29 for the iPod) just to keep in my bag. Between the additional cost of adapters and the weight difference, I feel that the Lucille adapter is a good choice for me– I only wish that there was a Magsafe version for my MBP!

    What do you think of the Boxwave USB adapter?

  • chriszzz October 5, 2006, 2:55 pm

    Meredyth wrote:

    I agree it is slightly more expensive than the original charger (which for the 65W version retails at $79, but for me, I was looking into purchasing extra AC bricks (~$25 for the Treo, ~$29 for the iPod) just to keep in my bag. Between the additional cost of adapters and the weight difference, I feel that the Lucille adapter is a good choice for me– I only wish that there was a Magsafe version for my MBP!

    What do you think of the Boxwave USB adapter?

    You don’t have to get separate adaptors for every single device you have ! I have travelled extensively, and I only carry a AC-USB adaptor and USB charging cables to charge my iPod, digital wallet, PDA and Cellphone.

    The point is, one single USB adaptor + a tiny USB hub is enough to charge all the above devices. Sure, the USB adaptor usually maxes out at 1amp, so it will take maybe 2-4 hours to fully charge 2-4 devices. But that’s not really a problem since I do my charging overnight.

    Over here in Asia, a AC-USB adaptor costs US$5, weighs about 1-2 oz, and charges a gazillion devices. You can’t beat that for sheer value 🙂

  • johnsoax October 7, 2006, 3:23 am

    Meredyth,

    My Boxwave AC to USB adapter has never let me down. I was able to charge a Tungsten T3, a Dell Axim x50, a TX and multiple cell phones with it (one at a time of course). I already have USB chargers for each device, so if I didn’t have the Boxwave, this item might be interesting, but for the price, I will just buy a second power brick for the powerbook off of ebay or the like, and then I will have all the functionality, for cheaper, including buying the little extention cord to plug both of the adapters in at once ;).

  • johnsoax October 24, 2006, 8:49 pm

    So I found what I think will be the perfect travel charger for my Powerbook.

    MacAlly PSAC4

    My “ears” broke on my normal Powerbook charger this weekend. (you know, those flip out winding part).

    This charger looks great to take up a permanent spot in my laptop kit for my bumbakpak.

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