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You are here: MacNN Forums > News > Mac News > Hands On: MicFlip Fully-Reversible Micro USB cable

Hands On: MicFlip Fully-Reversible Micro USB cable
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Apr 17, 2016, 07:09 PM
 
We live in a wireless world, surrounded by cables. Maybe it's just that there is more to say about Wi-Fi than about wires, or maybe there's just a physical limit to how much you can describe one cable, but they don't get a lot of attention. This one won't, either, but for good reasons. Nobody wants cables, we just want what they do, and the MicFlip Fully-Reversible Micro USB cable solves a gigantic problem.

Except the company Winnergear did have a look at the plug first, and it did come up with a solution. Rather than your failing to plug in the cable and then having to turn it over and try again like someone from the Stone Age, now you can just plug MicFlip in and go live your life, free of worry that you're not charging some device, and maybe you've just broken it anyway.



In other words, it has a fully-reversible plug on one end. Well, it's called fully-reversible, and what Winnergear has done is shape the plug so that it fits in either way. Possibly they've also done some work to the innards of the cable to make it function like this, but we can only take so much excitement at a time.

The MicFlip works. We could've just said that and moved on, but for two things. One is that actually we'd question the word "fully." It does indeed work both ways, but in our testing it was always very clear that it slotted in better in one direction than the other. We felt we were forcing it a bit one way. Still, no question: it does go in, and it does work when it's there.

The other thing that makes us want to say more than just "it works, it's a cable, we're thrilled" is that we not really be holding this up in air and calling it Excalibur, but this cable has proven quite handy. We tried chucking it in our travel bag, and maybe it's just that it's convenient to have any Micro USB cable in there, but we did find we used it a lot, and to charge up many things.

We'd say that this is first of all a strong, long, rugged Micro USB cable, and that the fact you can reverse it is secondary. After all, this is a Micro USB to USB cable, and the USB end isn't reversible, so you're going to be sighing at some point anyway.



The MicFlip comes in various colors, which again doesn't sound like something you'd send a postcard home about, but does make it very easy to spot in your bag. We've probably spent longer peering at cables trying to work out whether they're Micro or mini-USB than we have fiddling with which way around it goes, so to be able to immediately pick out the right cable and get on with it is good.

Well, it's nice. We're actually recommending this cable, yet we struggle to find words that adequately describe its benefits. Nonetheless, it has them, and at around $20 from Amazon, you can get cheaper, but we feel this one will last -- which is at least as important as being reversible.

Who is MicFlip for:
If you have raged against the barbarism that is the standard Micro USB plug, then you need help -- but you could also pick up one of these.

Who is MicFlip not for:
Anyone who lives entirely in the Apple Lightning cable world will find this useful at some time, they just don't know it yet. If it's only going to be rare that you need to charge something via Micro USB, like your external battery pack, then there are cheaper non-reversible ones available.

-- William Gallagher (@WGallagher)

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Inkling
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Apr 18, 2016, 08:05 AM
 
Thanks for the good news. It's ridiculous to force users to fiddle with plugs to get them in right. Now we need someone to come up with an easy-to-use replacment for that dreadful Ethernet jack. It was apparently designed long ago to be so hard to connect and disconnect so none but IT people would change it. That needs to change, particularly for people-dense and high security situations where WiFi isn't practical.
Author of Untangling Tolkien and Chesterton on War and Peace
     
PJL500
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Apr 18, 2016, 01:25 PM
 
These cables *have* to go. Crazy that both hands are needed to connect micro-USB, Lightening cables etc... what that means in a car???
     
Mike Wuerthele
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Apr 18, 2016, 02:05 PM
 
USB-C is the answer.
     
Makosuke
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Apr 18, 2016, 05:46 PM
 
@Inkling:

Thing with Ethernet RJ-45 jacks are, sure they suck, but anyone can make up a cable of arbitrary length between 1 and 300 feet capable of handling 1 gigabit speeds using nothing more than a spool of cable that costs under 10 cents a foot, some ten-cent connectors, a cheap crimper, and their bare hands. The same cable stock can be used between cheap wall jacks with nothing more than a small punch tool.

Heck, with some extra hardware and the right end devices, that cable can even carry power hundreds of feet. Put fancier devices on the ends and use slightly more expensive cable stock, and you can go to 10 gigabit speeds, equalled only by Thunderbolt.

Plus it locks in the jack, so you can be pretty confident it's not going to get accidentally yanked out.

If you're doing IT work on a smaller scale, this is *ridiculously* useful, and is one of the reasons the standard is so ubiquitous. No other cable technology can boast anywhere near the convenience of being able to build an extremely long, fairly high-speed cable onsite using extremely inexpensive parts and one cheap tool.

Sure, the connectors suck, but anything better is almost certainly also going to cost a lot more and require more specialized tools to terminate if it's possible to do so onsite at all.
     
   
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