December 9, 2022

Taylor Daily Press

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Tangle-free magnetic USB cables are available here

What if your cable could stick magnetically? SelfAnd form a neat file that doesn’t get tangled up in drawers and bags? What if they were good cables too, capable of charging and syncing all things via USB-C, Lightning, and more?

Well… you can now buy USB cables that extend part One! It’s cool enough that I really wish the cable manufacturers would sort out the rest of this crap.

Over the past few weeks I’ve been testing some very neat USB cables that can actually trick a magnetic coil. A brand called SuperCalla has captured the attention of the English-speaking world and is now sold by a large number of unnamed brands such as Amazon and Alibaba. And they are great fidget toys, just like SuperCalla Indiegogo Campaign Promised More than two years ago:

Photo: SuperCalla

As you can see in my picture below, they wrap just like a GIF! It’s not “self-packing” as some sellers claim, but it assembles easily at six feet.

The coil can be longer or wider depending on the number of magnets in each circuit – but these six foot cables will give you just enough to work with.
Photo by Sean Hollister/The Verge

It works by attaching magnetic beads and a silicone sleeve onto a thin cable, like this:

Look, it’s just a magnetic bead when you pull the silicone cover away. Both float freely on the cable.
Photo by Sean Hollister/The Verge

They can also keep to themselves in other ways:

You can double the cable by yourself.
Photo by Sean Hollister/The Verge

And of course you can attach it to all kinds of other ferrous metal objects and push the cables as far as you need. I now have one of these cables hanging from my metal microphone stand, another hanging from the corner of my wall, and another hanging neatly under the edge of my keyboard while my phone is charging:

The magnet sticks to the hard surface of the Razer keyboard. This won’t work with an Apple keyboard, for example, because it’s made of aluminum.
Photo by Sean Hollister/The Verge

Ready to catch? I bought four different types of these cables, and they are all huge sucks (This is a technical term) when transferring data, charging, or both.

This, which also has a built-in blue LED light and interchangeable magnetic tips for USB-C, micro-USB, and Lightning Most of my USB-C gadgets won’t charge at all, but I was able to transfer some files from an external USB-powered drive . Dimming 2.0 speeds and iPhone charging via Lightning. It also had a very weak coil magnet and felt cheaper than the rest.

magnet on magnet.

This is from USB-C to USB-C Charging went well, giving me 65W of USB-C PD power And It had the best magnets of the bunch — but it wouldn’t connect to the Pixel 4A or the external USB-C drive at all. They just didn’t show up on my desktop!

This is a USB-A to USB-C cable It was the worst. Just moving it disconnects everything I’ve plugged in, and it outputs 10 watts – not the 15-18 watts I usually see with a Pixel.

finally, This is USB-A to Lightning One It appears to be a SuperCalla cable, shown in the “Original SuperCalla” box, despite being sold by a brand called “Tech”. Slow charging, slow data, but at least it seems to be connected reliably to my iPhone at the moment.

But that’s not the only pattern I’ve found for untangled magnetic cable. I also bought This is an elegant accordion styleThis is perhaps the best of the bunch: It charged at 15W and felt better built than the rest.

The accordion cable may deform when disconnected.
Photo by Sean Hollister/The Verge

But playing with it is less fun, the magnets aren’t that strong and have a little weird shape when fully extended, because the joints always stay in place. Additionally, it beats USB 2.0 speeds of 480MB/s (or about 42MB/s in practice). I couldn’t find a C-to-C or Lightning version.

I’d pay very good money for a solid, reliable six-foot USB-C to USB-C easy-to-coil cable with strong magnets, 100W USB-C PD charging and at least 10Gbps USB 3 .x bandwidth.

However, the flexible strips and connections look durable.
Photo by Sean Hollister/The Verge

Or, if I’m really dreaming, how about 40 Gbps for USB 4? Let’s split it up and create the final cable – try it Built-in power meter while you are at it.

Now I’ve only found these cheap new $10 cables, which is a real shame. The magnet design deserves the best, and so do we.

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