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Review: Nomad USB charging cables

I tested the ChargeCard and ChargeKey charging cables from Nomad with the hope of leaving my normal USB charging cable at home. Here is what I found.
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By Eileen Brown, Contributor on
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1 of 10 Nomad

Nomad have released ultra portable USB charging cables to charge up your devices.  I received a ChargeKey and ChargeCard and carried them about for a couple of weeks. I did not test the NomadClip charger on a carabiner.

 

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2 of 10 Eileen Brown

The packages are small and would easily sit in your post box. Unfortunately the external packaging for the review units I tested meant that the delivery would not fit into my mail box at home.

Both arrived in a slim envelope with identical packaging and branding. The ChargeCard is at the top although you can not tell this from the initial opening of the packages.

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3 of 10 Eileen Brown

The internal packaging of both the Micro USB key, Lightning cable and the ChargeCard are exactly the same. There is no differentiation between the branding on the review units I received.

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4 of 10 Eileen Brown

Upon opening, I can now see the difference in form factor. The ChargeCard on the left is the same size as a credit card, and about 50 percent thicker at its widest point. I like the way that the USB contacts look. They are much more streamlined than the bulky USB connections. 

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5 of 10 Eileen Brown

Although the packaging stated that the product would be a Micro USB key, a lightning cable was inside the packet. I subsequently received the correct cable.

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6 of 10 Eileen Brown

Close up of the chargecard. From the images on the website it looks like I have been sent an earlier model to review. The USB connector is tightly seated in its slot and will not fall out with light pressure.

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7 of 10 Eileen Brown

A firm push releases the USB cable from its seating. The cable is not very long at all and might cause difficulty when connected.

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8 of 10 Eileen Brown

Chargecard connected to the USB port and Micro USB of my smartphone. Both connections are stiff and sit well in their slots.

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9 of 10 Eileen Brown

In order to seat the Chargecard into the USB slot it needs to be bent back 180 degrees from the card. The angle of the card and the inflexibility of the cable meant that my smartphone was not flat on the desk during charging.

Connecting it to my Surface Pro on its kickstand meant I had to stand the smartphone up on its end to reach the charge card which felt very precarious.

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10 of 10 Nomad

I much prefer the Nomad ChargeKey to the ChargeCard in the form factor I received. I prefer the slimline USB contacts on the ChargeKey I received instead of using full format USB.

I would only use the ChargeCard in the form factor I received in an emergency. However, the ChargeCard sits well in my wallet and will be there until I need it. The ChargeKey sits on my car keyring and can charge my phone from the USB charger in the car.  This is the form factor I will use the most.

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