Twelve South has long offered a PlugBug accessory designed to provide interchangeable plugs for travel purposes, but earlier this month, an updated version debuted that adds an extra USB port.

The new Twelve South PlugBug Duo is an ideal travel accessory because it adds international plugs to your MacBook adapter and it lets you charge accessories like an iPad, iPhone, and Apple Watch while charging your laptop.

plugbugduo2
Design wise, when it comes out of the box, the PlugBug Duo is similar in shape to the power adapter for a MacBook, MacBook Pro, or MacBook Air. To use it, though, the bottom portion snaps off to reveal a slide and hook mechanism.

plugbuginhand
Attaching it to a MacBook power adapter requires popping off the plug part of the adapter and replacing it with the snap-on PlugBug Duo component. It's a simple replacement that took me a few seconds to do.

plugbugpieces
PlugBug Duo is made from a bright red plastic material that's quite eye catching, and while the quality of the plastic doesn't quite measure up to the Apple power adapter, it's not far off.

plugbugwithadapter
The PlugBug Duo can serve as a permanent replacement for the plug portion of the power adapter, for use both at home and when traveling. Size wise, it lines up well with the 87W MacBook Pro charger, but it's larger than the 29W/30W and 61W chargers for the MacBook and 13-inch MacBook Pro.

In my photos, for example, I've attached it to the MacBook charger. It's wider on the right side than the power adapter and it adds more than an inch of bulk at the top due to the two USB ports, but it takes up less space than separate charging bricks for my iPad and iPhone.

plugbugtakenapart
The PlugBug Duo does add extra size to a power adapter, but I didn't feel like it was so bulky that it became less portable.

It's worth noting that with the PlugBug attached, you're not able to use the Power Adapter Extension Cable. If you want to use the Extension Cable, you will need to remove the PlugBug to attach it to the power adapter. I don't normally use the Extension Cable, especially when traveling, so I didn't have a problem with the tradeoff.

There are two USB-A ports on the PlugBug Duo, one that's 2.1A and ideal for charging an iPad and one that's 1A, which is suitable for an iPhone or Apple Watch. You can also use the 2.1A port to more quickly charge an iPhone, but this isn't an adapter you'll want to use for something like two iPads. I found it particularly useful for charging an iPhone in the 2.1A port and an Apple Watch in the 1A port.

While you can use the PlugBug Duo at home to add extra USB ports to your power adapter, where it really shines is travel. It's useful not having to take along extra power adapters for all of your devices. As with the standard power adapter, the prongs on the PlugBug tuck in when it's not in use (this is limited to the U.S. and China adapters).

PlugBug Duo is ideal for international travel because the plug portion snaps off and Twelve South ships it with several other interchangeable adapters that can be used in other countries.

plugbugoptions
There are adapters for Europe, China, Australia/New Zealand, North America, and the UK, with more than 150 countries covered in total. I didn't travel out of the country during my time testing the PlugBug, but I can say that it's pretty simple to swap out the plugs when needed.

Even if you're not traveling abroad, PlugBug Duo has the potential to be useful just because it lets you charge a MacBook and two other accessories at one time.

plugbugalternateplugs
I do wish that Twelve South had included some kind of little pouch to keep the adapters in place when not in use, but with no pouch, I'm using the box, which does have convenient cutouts for each one.

I also wish that the PlugBug Duo had a place to wrap up the cord when packing it up for travel, but Apple's own USB-C power adapters don't offer that functionality either so I can't complain too much.

PlugBug Duo worked well with the two USB-C power adapters I tested it with, but it's also compatible with all MagSafe 2 power adapters, all MagSafe power adapters, and the 12W iPad power adapter.

Bottom Line

The PlugBug Duo is a great little travel accessory that offers a lot of utility, offering up different adapters for travel and two USB-A ports so you don't need to carry around additional adapters for the iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch.

plugbugdesign
It's not cheap at $50, but the utility that's offered seems worth the price if you travel on a frequent basis.

How to Purchase

The PlugBug Duo can be purchased from the Twelve South website for $49.99.

Note: Twelve South provided MacRumors with a PlugBug Duo for the purpose of this review. No other compensation was received.

Top Rated Comments

macduke Avatar
38 months ago
For the size you can get an Anker PowerCore Fusion charger which has a 5000mAh battery and dual USB ports with a plug that folds away for $30—often cheaper on sale—and it even comes in red like this weird thing, lol.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01K702S66/



Attachment Image
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DipDog3 Avatar
38 months ago
MacRumors had an article on this just two weeks ago. Did we really need another article for this piece of junk?

https://www.macrumors.com/2018/08/23/twelve-south-announces-plugbug-duo/
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bruinselmann Avatar
38 months ago
I’ve never understood why Apple didn’t just add one or two USB ports to its MacBook charger.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
PowerBook-G5 Avatar
38 months ago
Let me tell you...the PlugBug is a piece of junk! I ordered one a few years ago, and it was dead on arrival. I contacted TwelveSouth and got a replacement, which was also DOA. At that point, I gave up with the product. I also wasn't a fan of the plastic they used. It didn't seem very high-quality. My previous experiences with this type of device from TwelveSouth have left a bad taste in my mouth, and I'm certainly not going to bother with the company anymore.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
McG2k1 Avatar
38 months ago
For the size you can get an Anker PowerCore Fusion charger which has a 5000mAh battery and dual USB ports with a plug that folds away for $30—often cheaper on sale—and it even comes in red like this weird thing, lol.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01K702S66/

Please stop making sense.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
kycophpd Avatar
38 months ago
Why did I read Butt Plug when I read this article?
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

iPhone 13 Always On Feature

iPhone 13 to Bring Over a Major Feature From the Apple Watch

Wednesday July 28, 2021 2:21 am PDT by
Apple's upcoming iPhone 13 lineup will feature an always-on display akin to the Apple Watch Series 5 and Series 6, according to recent reports. In his weekly Power On newsletter, Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman, who often reveals accurate insights into Apple's plans, said that the iPhone 13 may feature an Apple Watch-inspired always-on mode. The Apple Watch Series 5 and Apple Watch...
REC ASA CODE2016 20160601 205816 2745

Elon Musk Reportedly Demanded to Become Apple CEO as Part of Potential Tesla Acquisition [Update: Musk Denies]

Friday July 30, 2021 9:04 am PDT by
Tesla CEO Elon Musk reportedly once demanded that he be made Apple CEO in a brief discussion of a potential acquisition with Apple's current CEO, Tim Cook. The claim comes in a new book titled "Power Play: Tesla, Elon Musk and the Bet of the Century," as reviewed by The Los Angeles Times. According to the book, during a 2016 phone call between Musk and Cook that touched on the possibility of ...
duracell battery bitter coating

Apple Says Don't Buy AirTag Replacement Batteries With Bitter Coating

Wednesday July 28, 2021 11:08 am PDT by
Since AirTags were just released earlier this year and are expected to have a year-long battery life, it may be some time yet before AirTag users need a replacement battery, but when the time comes for a refresh, Apple is warning customers not to buy batteries with a bitter coating. AirTags use coin-shaped CR2032 batteries, which happen to be a size that's easy to swallow. Some battery...
nothing ear 1 buds 1

Nothing 'Ear (1)' True Wireless Earbuds Launch to Take on AirPods Pro With ANC and Unusual Design for $99

Tuesday July 27, 2021 7:57 am PDT by
Nothing, a new brand from OnePlus founder Carl Pei, has today officially launched the "Ear (1)" true wireless earbuds after months of anticipation around the company's AirPods Pro rival. The Ear (1) features an in-ear design, Active Noise Cancelation, Bluetooth 5.2, IPX4 water resistance, and a charging case with Qi-compatible wireless charging and a USB-C port. Fast pairing is supported on...
General Apps Messages

Android iMessage Competitor Puts Pressure on Apple

Friday July 30, 2021 3:15 am PDT by
Google and the three major U.S. carriers, including Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile, will all support a new communications protocol on Android smartphones starting in 2022, a move that puts pressure on Apple to adopt a new cross-platform messaging standard and may present a challenge to iMessage. Verizon recently announced that it is planning to adopt Messages by Google as its default messaging...
Apple Leak Feature

Apple Demands Leaker Reveals Sources Under Threat of Being Reported to Police

Wednesday July 28, 2021 6:53 am PDT by
Apple has sent a cease and desist letter to a leaker based in China as part of its continuing attempts to curtail leaks of unreleased products, according to Vice. A Chinese citizen who shared images of stolen Apple prototypes on social media was sent a warning letter from Fangda Partners, Apple's law firm in China, on June 18, 2021. An extract from the letter read:You have disclosed without ...
apple rtp land

Apple Preparing to Occupy 200,000 Square Feet of Temporary Space Ahead of New $1 Billion North Carolina Campus

Thursday July 29, 2021 9:14 am PDT by
Back in April, Apple announced a $430 billion investment over the next five years to create more than 20,000 new jobs as the company continues to expand. One significant piece of that plan is a new engineering and research center in North Carolina where Apple will be investing over $1 billion and hiring at least 3,000 employees. Assemblage of seven properties in Research Triangle Park owned by ...
iOS 15 General Feature Purple

Everything New in iOS 15 Beta 4: Safari Tweaks, MagSafe Battery Pack Support, Notification Updates and More

Tuesday July 27, 2021 11:47 am PDT by
Apple today released the fourth betas of iOS 15 and iPadOS 15, introducing additional refinements to the new features that are coming in the software updates. In these betas, Apple has introduced changes for Safari, Notifications, Focus mode, and more. Safari Updates Apple is continuing to refine the design of Safari on the iPhone, and in iOS 15, there are tweaks to improve usability. ...
new m1 chip

Tim Cook on Apple Deciding to Manufacture Components: 'We Ask Ourselves If We Can Do Something Better'

Tuesday July 27, 2021 3:04 pm PDT by
During today's earnings call for the third fiscal quarter of 2021 (second calendar quarter), Apple CEO Tim Cook was asked how Apple decides what components to purchase and what components to develop, and Cook said that Apple asks if it can be done better. We ask ourselves if we can do something better. If we can deliver a better product. If we can buy something in the market and it's great...
a15 chip

iPhone 13 and Redesigned MacBook Pro Chip Production Hit With Gas Contamination

Friday July 30, 2021 5:44 am PDT by
The most important TSMC factory that manufactures Apple's chips destined for next-generation iPhone and Mac models has been hit by a gas contamination, according to Nikkei Asia. The factory, known as "Fab 18," is TSMC's most advanced chipmaking facility. TSMC is Apple's sole chip supplier, making all of the processors used in every Apple device with a custom silicon chip. Industry...