Scosche IPUSBM flipSYNC Keychain USB Charge and Sync Cable for iPod and iPhone
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- Ultra compact design fits on your keychain.
- Conveniently charge and sync your iPod or iPhone .
- USB 2.0 for fastest data transfer possible .
- Always have your cable with you.
- Built in key-ring loop for portability
- USB 2.0 allows for high speed data transfer
- Flip out style key chain connector
This item is available because of the Add-on program
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Never forget your dock cable again. flipSYNC is an ultra compact sync cable that fits right on your keychain so you can take it with you anywhere. USB 2.0 ensures that you get the fastest data transfer possible.
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However, they are not so clever with their choice of dimensions for the USB connector. The connector is much thicker than other similar connectors I have and it is an extremely tight fit in any standard USB receptacle. I measured several connectors of this type (without metal shells) and they are all 2 mm ±0.1 mm thick. The flipSYNK is 2.8 mm thick; nearly 50% thicker!
Since I am otherwise so impressed with the design, I decided to call Scosche customer service to see if this was some kind of manufacturing anomaly. But the rep said it was deliberately thicker for a tight fit so it wouldn't have any danger of falling out. Frankly my greater concern is that it would damage the connector in my $2000 laptop. It is so hard to push into a USB receptacle that I really don't want to risk trying. I have tested the snugness of all my 2 mm thick connectors and don't feel there is any risk of any of them coming loose with normal handling.
Since I do love the design other than this critical flaw, I have decided to file (or sand) down the connector to 2 mm and keep it instead of getting a refund. But I feel the extra thickness is such a serious flaw that I only gave it 2 stars; which I will happily raise to the full 5 if they ever fix this error.
I will add a photo to illustrate the issue.
Some of the negative reviews I mentioned pertained to the thickness of the USB connector and some people's issues trying to make it fit in their computers' USB ports. While it's definitely a tight fit, I have to say I had exactly zero problem getting it in the USB port of my MacBook Pro. It's a tight fit to keep it from accidentally being pulled out, but it's not so tight that you have to worry about damaging the USB port. That's just silliness or paranoia or both.
Long story short, it's a simple device that does exactly one thing and does it well. I'm constantly losing sync cables or leaving them at home. Either way, it seems I never have one when I truly need it. But, now, I have one on me at all times in a convenient little package. What more could you ask for?
The only caveat is that it is a little hard to get on or off a standard key ring. It basically suffers from the same difficulties with key rings that most car key fobs do. I skirted the issue by putting it on a smaller thinner key ring that then went on to my larger key ring with the rest of my keys -- again, basically the same thing they do with car key fobs.
The convenience factor of the FlipSYNC more than makes up for this one small thing, though, so if you're on the fence, do what I did and take the chance. It's not that much of a risk (got mine for $12), and I think you'll be glad you did.
On another note, it also frequently enters a "Cannot charge with this accessory" mode on my iPhone. I know this is an Apple-approved accessory as it bears the "Made for" and "Works with" logos on the box, so I might need to return it, or maybe its due to the fact that I'm not inserting it fully, risking that the inner "reed" of my USB port would be bent or damaged.
So far, however, I have used the device for successful sync (and some charging) of my iPhone 3GS, and I can still use those ports for other USB devices without issue, but I'm worried about what long-term issues could arise if I continue to shove and jam this thing into my expensive laptop (I'm sure people with less expensive laptops would be just as worried, its not JUST a Mac thing.)
To those people who were concerned about the thickness of the USB portion, I have found the same to be true of the really tiny USB drives like those that come as system restore disks for the MacBook Air (e.g. Verbatim Tuff n Tiny USB flash drives). It appears that the way they make these tiny devices durable is to eliminate the metal sheath around the USB contacts and then improve the durability and stiffness of the contacts by making the stem on which they are mounted just a tad thicker. Yes, it's a bit of a nuisance but you'll get used to it.
I plan to use this primarily as an emergency connector so the short size doesn't bother me and hopefully I won't run into the problem with loose contacts after multiple uses that others have described.
I liked this puppy well enough to order another couple for my other keychains.