Accessory maker Shargeek has launched an Indiegogo to fund a 35W USB-C charger shaped like a small Apple Macintosh computer. The Retro 35 crowdfunding campaign page is very careful not to mention the name of Apple’s classic computer, but there is clear inspiration from the beige color scheme to the placement of the disk drive. The device will eventually retail for $49, with Indiegogo “early bird” pricing starting at $25.
As more and more phone manufacturers have stopped shipping charging bricks with their devices, aftermarket chargers are becoming more and more popular. Often these bricks offer extra ports or faster charging speeds compared to their first-party equivalents, but it’s nice to see Shargeek take a different direction and focus more on looks than specs.
That said, all of Shargeek’s images of the Retro 35 show it plugged into power strips laid flat on desks to make sure it’s facing the right way. But I’ll bet most chargers spend their time plugging into a wall outlet, which would require the charger to be set aside. That way it would still look cute, but less…aesthetic than Shargeek’s promotional images.
In terms of specs, this is a 35W USB-C charger, meaning it offers plenty of juice for lower-power smartphones, tablets or laptops like the M1 MacBook Air. It supports a range of charging protocols, including PPS, PD3.0 and QC3.0, and the screen is designed to glow in different colors depending on how fast it charges your device. Yellow means ‘normal charge’, blue is ‘fast charge’ and green is ‘super charge’, although it doesn’t say what specific speeds these colors correspond to.
The Retro 35 comes standard with prongs for US sockets, but there are adapters to make it work with UK, Australian and EU sockets.
Apple’s original Macintosh was a design icon and continues to inspire accessories to this day. A few years ago, we saw Elago offer an Apple Watch charging stand in the shape of a Macintosh, which charged Apple’s smartwatch while reusing the screen as a “screen” for a miniature version of the computer from the 1980s.
Obviously this is a crowdfunding campaign so all the usual caveats apply. But this isn’t Shargeek’s first crack in selling charging accessories, having previously released the Storm 2 and Storm 2 Slim power banks. That means that supporting the new project is not a complete shot in the dark. Otherwise, Shargeek hopes to ship the new Retro 35 charger in July after the crowdfunding campaign ends.