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Laptops

Side Kick spools your laptop power cable out of the way

This accessory restores the cable-coiling ability Apple phased out of its MacBook power supplies.

Fuse Reels Side Kick

Fuse Reels' $20 Side Kick lets you wind up a MacBook Pro charging cable.

Stephen Shankland/CNET

Back in the olden days, before Apple switched its MacBook Pro laptops to USB-C MacBook chargers and phased out its quick-release MagSafe connectors, you might have appreciated how you could wrap your charging cable around the charger's two flip-out wings for tidy transport.

Apple dropped that feature, but Fuse Reels' newest Kickstarter project, called the Side Winder, brings it back. The accessory, about the thickness of a mobile phone, sticks to the side of your power charger. When it's time to go, you can pop it out and spool your power cord like winding up a yo-yo string.

It costs $20, though there's a discount price of $12 for early backers, and is scheduled to ship by June. It's for MacBook Pro power supplies now, but smaller relatives are on the way, Fuse Reels Chief Executive Logan Bailey said.

"We are currently working on cable management for the new iPad Pro, and the 2018 MacBook and MacBook Air," Bailey said.

The Side Kick pops down when not in use, though it does make the charger a bit thicker.

Stephen Shankland/CNET

Accessories aren't for everybody, but they can make your life a little easier. Crowdfunding sites, notably Kickstarter and Indiegogo, have played an important role in helping entrepreneurs bring them to market since they let interested customers underwrite development costs.

The Side Kick is a more compact alternative to the Side Winder, which Fuse Reels released in 2018. The Side Winder let you spool up 12 feet worth of charging cable, but the Side Kick just works with the shorter USB-C cable -- a better option for people who don't bother with Apple's removable extension cord. The Side Kick also works with non-Apple power supplies, as long as they're large enough.

After you spool up the cable, the Side Kick has two notches where you can tuck the cable end to keep it from unspooling while it's packed.

You can unplug the USB-C cable from the power supply if you want, but Apple's USB-C cables are less prone to fraying than its earlier charging cables, Bailey said. "We tend to just create a large loop first before winding it up to avoid the hard bend on the cable head," he said.

The Side Kick pops down when not in use, though it does make the charger a bit thicker.

The Side Kick pops down when not in use, though it does make the charger a bit thicker.

Stephen Shankland/CNET

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