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Apple Notebooks Apple's notebook computers including MacBook Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air, PowerBook, and iBook.

MacBook Air - MacBook Air: USB Port - Powered?


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W6JHB

 
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Does the USB port on the MacBook Air provide 5VDC power? I ask this because long ago, in a distant galaxy, I had a Dell laptop. It did NOT provide power to the USB port - only signal. Thus, any peripheral expecting to be run from the 5V power of the USB port didn't work unless a powered hub was connected to it first. I'm looking at purchasing a piece of equipment that the manufacturer states "no external power supply needed; power is provided by the USB port".

Anyone know for sure on this?

Regards, Jim Bennett
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chscag

 
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All current MacBook portables provide power to their USB ports. However, there is a limit to the amount of power provided. If a USB device is attached that draws power exceeding what the port can safely handle, the port will shut down.

Regards.
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W6JHB

 
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Thanks for the quick reply! The device I'm looking at will certainly come with tech specs on the amount of current required.

Know where I can find out the max amperage (or milli-amperage!) that the USB port will be happy with? I looked around the Apple tech specs pages and they didn't get that deep into it.
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I would give Apple a call and ask, or better yet, walk into an Apple store and ask one of the technicians who work there. (Better known as a "genius")

Apple portables can usually handle a variety of USB devices that one would normally find being sold in stores. However, every once in awhile you'll run across a device that draws too much current even when powered from an AC adapter.

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MBA can do 1000mA I believe, while the rest of the notebooks can do 500mA

this is per port.

This is also why the superdrive for the MBA will not work with any other mac laptop, kinda dumb IMO.

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I think you will find the usb port on the Macbook Air when powering the Air Superdrive puts out 1.5 amps! Which is why the Air superdrive will not work on any other computer
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