Nomad Key Micro-USB Charging Cable Hardware Review

Nomad Key Micro-USB Charging Cable Hardware Review

Mar 31, 2017

My barber recently unveiled a very welcome new piece. What was it you ask? Not a new chair, or a special hair wash bath. Nope… he new piece that got so much attention was a standalone charging bay.

Charge your devices while your head gets mowed.

Brilliant, and just goes to underscore one point: it’s a power hungry world, and we just live in it.

Look, we need our gadgets, and they need power. We’ve said it before: the person who creates a smartdevice with really long battery life will make a mint. Till then, give me some useful accessories that can help me keep my devices juiced.

Enter Nomad Key Micro-USB Charging Cable. It’s been around for a while; we wanted to see if it is still a relevant piece.

At first glance, the Key is indeed small: keychain circle in chrome finishing, and a small USB to micro-USB accessory wrapped in hard black plastic.

In usage, it works especially well with power banks (Nomad makes one, but we used our own).

The biggest plus is the mobility and relative ever-present nature of the solution; if there is a USB power source available, it’s possible to charge a device that needs requires micro-USB input. Nifty and convenient yes, especially for this times one might need to an extra cable beyond the one packed in the go bag.

On the other hand, the lack of length does relegate to primary backup use (or with an aforementioned portable power bank), because the device to be charged invariably has to be very close to the power source, almost prohibitively so.

Now, the obvious drawback is the advent of USB-C devices. Sill, for now, we figure the Nomad Key still does most of the hings that would make it quite useful in today’s mobile landscape.

Just as well.

Paracable Micro USB Cable: the Last Charging Accessory You Might Buy

Paracable Micro USB Cable: the Last Charging Accessory You Might Buy

Oct 25, 2016

Even with the diversity of Android — some might say “chaos” — there is one enduring principle: standardization of peripherals. It’s comforting to know that when it’s all said and done, the micro USB cable that I use for my tablets, portable chargers, bluetooth keyboard, wireless speakers, etc can be used on my main device. incoming standard USB C notwithstanding, micro USB rules the roost.

Mobile device batteries are getting better by the cycle, but we still are only as good as our last charge, so at home and on the road, a good, sturdy cable is a must-have. Yes, cables can be had for next to nothing, but for the most part, you get what you pay for.

So, is it worth investing in Paracable Micro USB Cable? Let’s see.

The review pieces Paracable sent us reflect two versions of its retail offerings; we got to check out a 5-ft “Continuum” cable and a 3-ft “Magma” one. Both show the attention to design; charging cable housed in fabric with aluminum tipped ends. The fabric is brightly set, and almost makes the cable seem like a true accessory rather than a tool.


But more about that fabric. If you guessed that the brand name sorta-kinda references parachute-inspired paracord, you deserve a salute. Yes, this derives from lightweight nylon rope that has seen time in space; it a tough bit of tech. In practice, it gives the cable a tangible toughness, but with a reasonable degree of give, such that there is no stretch, but it is flexible enough to not be brittle.

As a charging conduit, these cables have two features that make them especially desirable: they are Qualcomm Quick Charge compatible, and they can output 2 amps; in real life, they do actually do the deed. Thus, most of the current flagships should be well served by this batch of cables.

When it’s all said and done, these go along way in their quest to be the last cables one needs to buy; at just under $18 for the 5-ft version (and under $16 for the 3.2 foot version), they are an investment, but if they last nearly as long as one hopes, they just might be worth it.

And yes, they make certified iOS cable too, if you’re into that sort of thing. Ha.

TYLT FLYP-DUO Reversible USB Cable Hardware Review

TYLT FLYP-DUO Reversible USB Cable Hardware Review

Sep 10, 2015

We are a mobile society.

Or, to be fair, we are getting there. In any case, some thing seem to be becoming more commonplace, such as households with multiple mobile devices, and households with devices from multiple platforms.

Hey, I should know… this one has units from all major platforms, and then some.

Still, now, with the joy of multiple devices comes the challenge of keeping them charged. Since Apple uses proprietary cables, it does add an extra cable to be carried when an iDevice. Since I like to be prepared, it pays to have a lightning cable, and even if not for me, I do get a weird sense of accomplishment when I can provide a cable to a needy friend or colleague.

Ah, enter the TYLT FLYP-DUO Reversible USB Cable.

It sports a flat cable, but one that is noticeably less wide than the XXXXXXX; it retains the durable feel, with a covering fairly giving rubber and hard plastic. As expected, it comes in a host of colors, and the stately black option TYLT sent us reflects the unit well.


On the one end, there’s is the obvious USB end, and on the other, one gets a micro-USB end, and, interestingly enough, an attached micro-USB-to-lightning cable adapter, which kind of hints at the proposed functionality.

It looks to solve a couple of the first-world problems mentioned above, plus one more. First, it creates an intuitive hybrid accessory that can be used to charge and sync both Android (or other micro-USB sourced devices) and newer iOS devices. This is great on the go and even permanently.

As an added plus, the USB end has a nifty trick up its sleeve: it can be used in “upside down” position; to be more accurate, there is no wrong way to plug it in width-wise. This is great for folks like me who like to bumble around plugging things in the dark.

In practice, the piece works as expected. It can be transported easily, in bag or even in pocket, and it becomes close to indispensable very quickly.

Juno Power Kaebo Micro-USB Cable Hardware Review

Juno Power Kaebo Micro-USB Cable Hardware Review

Feb 24, 2015

You got the device, and now you want to keep it alive to keep you happy. First thing you think of? It probably should be about the charging cable. Now, most devices do come with their charge cables, but what if one wants something a bit tougher, and one that can go from device to device, charging and syncing on the way?

That’s where the Juno Power Kaebo Charge and Sync Cable comes in.

The retail package Juno Power sent us highlights a piece that looks atypically interesting for a power cable. It’s mostly gray finishing is book-ended by expected silver tips; these tips are aluminum though for increased functionality. The main body is fairly different in look and feel, as it consists of a braided cloth exterior that works in gray. It comes across as different, but not necessarily flashy.

If this cable claims to be sturdy, it is definitely an attribute one could go to the bank with. The construction does seem to afford it a discernible degree of durability, and this was apparent in my unscientific testing. I did a series of impromptu miscellaneous things to it with my overly eager son… things that were inspired by things he has wrecked charging cables in the past: tug-of-war, jump rope and even imaginary wild mustang lassoing. None of the rough-housing seemed to affect the cable’s integrity.


The cable looks to work as a charging cable, and also facilitates syncing data. I ran it in comparison to OEM cables we have, and there wasn’t a noticeable difference (with the exception of an HTC-supplied cable which seemed to charge a corresponding device faster). Sync-wise, I used it to pair a host of devices, from smartphones to wireless headsets to a smartpen, and it worked without a hitch via USB 2.0.

I really like the construction. It feels tough without invoking the heft of medieval armor, and because of its build, it reacts well to being stuffed and loosely rolled up. Its length is a huge advantage as well; at about 5 feet, it can access power in and through tight spots, and its inherent flexibility comes into play in several ways.

In the end, a good look can not replace raw functionality and, at least in the beginning, the Kaebo Micro-USB Cable doesn’t make that mistake. For those on the standard mobile device charging port train, it’s a pretty decent stop option ($7.99 on Amazon).

KERO Micro-USB Nomad Cable Hardware Review

KERO Micro-USB Nomad Cable Hardware Review

Aug 26, 2014

In today’s world, there is one clear paradigm that is almost universally true: mobility is the name of the game. We all wanna “do” (and “do” well) even when we are on the go. Why should we sacrifice the ability to get things done just because we can’t be physically tethered to a massive work station.

On the other hand, as the concept of mobility evolves, portability becomes just as important of a factor. Now, we also want accessories that match our devices with regards to the ability to be carried around discreetly. Yes, I can carry around a sync cable in my pocket, but the KERO Micro-USB Nomad Charge/Sync Cable is a cut above. In theory, at least.

The review unit KERO sent to us shows the unit in all its glory. It’s relatively small, at just 3″ in length, and stark white in color (it also comes in vivid blue). It is quite light in hand, and the rubber coating is not rough in the slightest.

It is packaged quite simply, and feels like it should be able to withstand regular use without flinching; it helps that the main cabling is quite flexible.


One of the defining features is the set of protective caps that are on each end. The micro side has a simple one, and the standard end doubles as a looped piece that allows it to be attached to something else, like a key-ring or smaller carabiner even. Since the caps aren’t attached to the main body of the cable, the key-ring side serves as a home base of sorts for the unit.

In practice, the unit provides a short leash to power devices that accept micro-USB cables. The short range actually seems to help with charging times; the little gizmo worked faster than my standard cables in my informal testing. It’s also capable of transferring data, which is definitely something that makes it valuable.


It’s biggest strength is probably it’s biggest drawback: it’s really short; as such, when it comes to smartphone and tablets, it just feels a bit better used with an portable power bank or a laptop versus an inflexible wall adapter; still, if being mobile is the end-game, a wall charger might not come into play anyway. I do wish the caps were attached; I have a propensity to lose such small things.

Here’s to affordable portability. The Nomad cable is so smart it’s almost crazy no to get one.

The KERO Nomad is available for $14.99 via the KERO website.