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Griffin Technology GC17097 USB Mini-Cable Kit
|Price:||$2.95 + $4.99 shipping|
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- 4" (10.1 cm) mini-cables are compact and never tangle
- Dock mini-cable for iPod, iPhone, and iPad
- USB mini-B for cameras, drives, GPS, PDAs, and media players
- USB micro-B for cameras, mobile phones, and smartphones
- Compatible with: USB Charging Devices
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Is there anything that doesn't charge via USB anymore?
Griffin has re-invented three of our most requested connectors as easy-to-pack, no-tangle mini-cables.
Three universally useful USB cable adapters for your computer in one handy kit: USB to mini-USB (used in cameras, MP3 players and many portable USB devices), USB to micro-USB (used in smartphones and compact USB players), and USB to Apple's 30-pin Universal Dock connector (used in iPod, iPhone, and iPad). Compact and pocketable, these min-cables are great for laptops, mini-notebooks, and more. Tuck them handily into your backpack, handbag, or carry-on.
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Another advantage of their short length and rigidity is that the cables can't really suffer any wear from being bent around and tied up for storage. I know it sounds unlikely, but I've had my iPhone cable die mid-trip on me before because the cable just gave out from being twisted and bent around so much. Naturally, that can't happen with these. To me, being able to know that my cable is going to work is worth it.
Just to be fair, their short length means that you'll need to be close to whatever it is you're going to plug into. These aren't going to reach from a hotel wall outlet to the table. Rather, these are perfectly designed for connecting your device to a laptop while it's sitting on a desk.
In the world of materialistic gadgetry, the equivalent of "OM" is wireless technology, such as Bluetooth and Apple's Air Play (it never ceases to amaze me that I can activate my printer and run off pages of text "long distance," with a mere click of my iPod). But nothing is as dependable as a hard-wired connection--providing that it's a dependable cable to begin with. These shorties from Griffin are effective both at charging and synching, and you have a choice of three different connectors: 1. the "dock connector" is useful for older iPods and iPhones; 2. the "micro" connector is required for Kindles (readers and Fire tablets) as well as storage batteries and most Android devices; 3. the "mini" connector is seeing increasingly less use as people opt for phone cameras instead of a Canon, Nikon, Olympus, etc. digital camera. But for those of us who still use dedicated cameras and who retain a suspicion of the dependability of the wireless connectivity most new models offer, the mini connector is needed for "dumping" the contents of your camera into a computer's software program.
There is no Lightning connector in this collection, which will reduce its usefulness to owners of Apple equipment of the past 3 years. On the other hand, for $6 or $7 it may be easy to rationalize purchase of this set for only 2 of the connectors.
(As others have mentioned, the extra short cables can be annoying. Say you're charging a phone and trying to use it at the same time--actually, don't say it. Practice it. It's not that easy, balancing a phone and portable charging battery in one hand, being extra careful not to jostle them and dislodge the connection. You may decide that spending more on 4 cables, each 3 feet in length, is the more prudent, practical choice.)
While it worked it was nice and small, but it would have been nice if it could have been twisted or bent to accommodate other charging positions. I frequently use an external battery pack to charge my devices and it was awkward having the battery pack and the device strung together with an unbending cable. That takes up considerable room on a desk or tabletop. It would have been nice if they device and battery could have been stacked on top of each other, but that would require a flexible cable.
It was cheap, so I don't consider this a huge loss, but I won't be buying another one. I just don't see the advantage over a standard cable.