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Power outages on MacBook Pros

Apple could be getting ready to replace MacBook Pro power adapters, according to one report, while other MacBook Pro users on Apple's Web site are complaining about battery life.

MacBook Pro owners are apparently having trouble supplying power to their computers both from the battery and from the wall.

AppleInsider is reporting that Apple is getting ready to introduce new 85-watt MagSafe adapters for MacBook Pros following a litany of complaints about fraying cables on the adapters. When they were first introduced, most customers liked the idea of flexible cables that would detach from the computer if subjected to excessive stress, preventing your nice laptop from flying across the floor of the coffee shop when somebody trips over the cord.

Reports that Apple's MagSafe power adapter has been prone to fray might be prompting the introduction of new models. Apple

However, the flexibility of the power cable has caused some cables to fray at the connection point after repeated use. Reports have surfaced over the past few months of MagSafe adapters that have started to smoke or even spark in certain cases. Some of those affected have reported receiving adapters with heftier cords, which might be what Apple is getting ready to ship to all MacBook Pro customers.

A CNET News.com reader reported having trouble finding 85-watt MagSafe adapters at Apple retail stores late last week, and the online Apple Store is currently quoting a two- to three-week delay in shipments of the 85-watt adapters, designed just for use with the MacBook Pro. Apple representatives did not immediately return an e-mail seeking comment.

In other MacBook Pro news, last week's battery update--coming six months after a similar one in April--doesn't appear to have satisfied owners posting on Apple's support discussions forum. Numerous threads have been started complaining about automatic shutdowns and batteries that have less capacity after the update was installed.

For the record, my MacBook Pro's MagSafe adapter cord is working fine, but I have been experiencing the random shutdowns when on battery power both before and after installing the latest update. I had figured the shutdowns were somehow my fault since I hadn't been practicing very good battery hygiene by draining the battery every so often and recharging. I've had my notebook for a year and a half, and I tend to leave it plugged in all the time. (I know, I know.)

However, several posters on Apple's site recommended checking the battery stats under the Utilities folder (Utilities to System Profiler to Power) to see if the Full Charge Capacity is holding up the way it should. I'll do that later tonight and see what I get.