Monday, September 20, 2021

Nomad Universal USB-C Cable review: Four charging cables in one

Nomad’s Universal Cables aim to cut down on the tangle of cables at and around your desk by consolidating your charging cords. While there are a number of different styles, I’ll focus on the Universal USB-C Cable for this review.

Nomad’s Universal USB-C Cable has two plug options in either end. The end that goes into the charging block is a USB-C plug, but it also has a USB-A attachment that fits on top. The end that goes into your device is also a USB-C plug, but it has a Micro-USB attachment. So, the four possible configurations are:

  • USB-C to USB-C
  • USB-C to Micro-USB
  • USB-A to USB-C
  • USB-A to Micro-USB

This charging cable gives you a lot of flexibility for charging your MacBook, iPad Pro, or any USB-C charging accessories, as well as any Micro-USB charging devices. Therefore, you can keep fewer cables at your desk or in your tech bag.

One versatile cable offers four possible charging configurations.

The Nomad Universal USB-C Cable has a Kevlar® central core plus a double braided Kevlar® exterior for extra durability. The interior of the cable also has an RF (radio frequency electromagnetic radiation) shield for fast syncing and a PVC jacket for fire resistance. The cable supports up to five amps at 20 volts (100 watts) with a USB-C PD compatible charger. In my experience, the USB-C cable was able to charge my devices at about the same speed as the Apple cables, though just slightly faster. The cable feels quite solid — I experienced no wear and tear over weeks of use and expect it to hold up for a long time. Nomad offers a five-year warranty on their cables.

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The attachments go on easily, stay put, and remove easily when needed. They slide down the cable and out of the way when not in use. There is Nomad branding on each of the four plastic heads and a cable tie that slides up and down the cable. My cable is the 1.5-meter (5-foot) size. This is the middle size; it’s also available in a 0.3-meter (1-foot) and a 3-meter (10-foot) size.

If you need a Lightning plug too, Nomad also makes a USB-A to USB-C, Lightning, and Micro-USB cable. You gain the Lightning plug, but you lose the option to charge in the faster USB-C charging block. I wish Nomad made a single cable that would do it all, combining all of the plugs of both models!


Nomad Universal USB-C Cable: What I like

I like not having to keep as many cables on my already-cluttered desk or in my tech bag when I travel. Offering the flexibility on both ends is a nice touch: USB-C and USB-A on one end, USB-C and Micro-USB on the other. This means I can bring my USB-C charging block, but if I’m in an airport or someplace that has USB-A ports, I can still take advantage. I do travel with my Kindle sometimes, and that has a Micro-USB port so I don’t need to bring an extra cord if I pack my Nomad Universal.

Would prefer Lightning

Nomad Universal USB-C Cable: What I don’t like

Frankly, I use a Lightning plug for my iPhone far more than I use a Micro-USB. I’d have preferred a Lightning plug over a Micro-USB plug; even better would be if Nomad made one cable that did it all. But, to get the USB-C to USB-C and the Lightning plug, you have to buy two separate cables.

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Better cable management

Nomad Universal USB-C Cable: Bottom line

out of 5

Nomad’s versatile Universal USB-C Cable is, at its core, a USB-C to USB-C cable. But it has two handy attachments, one on each end, that slide out of the way when not in use: a USB-A plug on one end and a Micro-USB plug on the other. This gives you four possible configurations, and eliminates the need to carry around so many cables. Need a Lightning plug? Nomad makes a separate cable for that; a USB-A to Micro-USB cord with USB-C and Lightning attachments.

The fast-charging cable starts and ends with Kevlar®. Both the core and the double-braided exterior are made of this tough stuff.

Charge your USB-C and Micro-USB devices

Nomad Universal USB-C Cable

For MacBook, iPad Pro, and accessories

This braided Kevlar cable plugs into a USB-C or USB-A port, while the other end has a USB-C plug plus a Micro-USB attachment.

Charge your USB-C, Micro-USB, and Lightning devices

Nomad Universal USB-A Cable

For MacBook, iPad, and iPhone

This one plugs into a USB-A port, while the other end has a Micro-USB plug plus USB-C and Lightning plug attachments.


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