Tech News on G4
Nomad ChargeKey & ChargeCard - world's smallest USB cables
Apr 9, 2014
By Greg Gazin - Apple Gazin’ - G4 Canada
No matter where we go we always need to have some sort of USB cable nearby, whether it's to charge up our gadgets or sync with another device. The truth is, carrying them around can be somewhat of a pain. They can be too bulky, cumbersome or we have nowhere to put them. Well Nomad has come up with a solution - in fact two of them, ChargeCard and ChargeKey.
Technically, ChargeCard and ChargeKey are not really cables at all; they are connecting devices and work like cables but look like a credit card and a house key respectively. They both allow you to charge up your device when connected via USB and full-fledged data transfer when syncing to a computer or other compatible device.
Both ChargeCard and ChargeKey come in two models, one for Lightning connector compatible devices, like the iPhone 5, 5C & 5S as well as any iPad, including iPad mini and iPad Air. The other is a micro USB version that will work with most Android and Windows phones as well as your BlackBerry.
ChargeCard is compact and, as the name alludes, it's about the size of a credit card albeit a little thicker and not exactly square but still slim enough to slip into your wallet. When sitting landscape style flat in front of you, you'll find either the micro USB or Lightning connector at the one o'clock position that you can plug into your device. The other end, a stubby bendable rubber "tail" with a standard USB connector, sits flush in the centre of the card that you can easily pull out, contort and attach to the other end of your device. It looks sort of funny when you have it connected, but it works!
The ChargeKey looks more like an elongated house-key that has some resemblance to a hockey stick on one end and a canoe paddle on the other. The paddle-end, if you will, has a standard USB connector. The hockey stick end has a steel-reinforced coated key ring where the blade meets the stick and either a Lightning or micro USB connector, depending on the model for the blade.
Both gadgets use high quality Bayer plastic and highly pliable rubber, which appears to be designed to withstand a reasonable amount of abuse including extensive bending.
Besides the very cool and funky designs, what I like about both models is that they are small, sturdy and convenient and totally work as advertised. As long as you don't have too many credits cards, Nomad ChargeCard can slip into your wallet. It also fits nicely in a purse, portfolio or even in a shirt pocket.
The smaller Nomad ChargeKey can easily find a home, discreetly on any keychain. Its ring section is steel reinforced so you don't have to worry about it falling off and losing it– unless you're someone who's prone to misplacing his or her keys. On the other hand, if you're tight for space on your desk or plugging your charger into a wall high above the ground or wherever you happen to be, you may not want to have a valuable device like your iPhone dangling in mid air. Furthermore, if you're just looking for occasional functionality, if you need more than one for different devices, at $29 U.S. ($35 in Canada) apiece they can be a little pricey. On the other hand, it's well worth it and a must-have for peace of mind, for peeps like me who can never find a cable when I really need one.
There is a way to save money; the company offers free worldwide shipping on two or more units. As a bonus, if you share Nomad's offer and refer 3 friends who become customers, they'll send you a free one.
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