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Clutter buster: CDR-King 3-in-1 USB data cable

As devices have gotten smaller, so have the ports they use for syncing data and sipping power from laptops or AC power adapters. Prior to Apple’s shift from the 9-year-old 30-pin connector for its iPods, iPhones, and iPads to the new and much smaller Lighting connector, other devices had moved from their own proprietary connectors to Mini USB connectors then to Micro USB connectors.

I keep a small bag of cables — USB to 30-pin Apple connector, USB to Mini USB and USB to micro USB — with me all the time, to charge and sync the devices I have on me (or in my bag) — iPhone and iPad, Logitech Mini Boombox, Motorola S305 earphones. And it’s a pain to keep track of them, and bring them out when needed.

Enter the CDR-King 3-in-1 USB data cable. It’s a short (10-inches from end to end) cable, with a regular male USB connector at one end, and three different connectors — Mini USB, Micro USB, and 30-pin Apple connector — daisy-chained at the other end. You just keep them all connected to each other if you want to use the 30-pin connector, or pop out the mini or micro USB connector if you need that.

CDR-King 3-in-1 USB data cable

CDR-King 3-in-1 USB data cable

Three connectors in one cable: 30-pin Apple connector, Mini USB, and Micro USB connectors.

This gadget is actually a knockoff of the Innergie Magic Cable Trio. It looks, feels, and is actually cheap (Php120, or about half the price of a class A 30-pin connector knockoff in Greenhills). But it works. It synced and charged both my iPhone and iPad when connected to my laptop. It charged my portable speakers and wireless headphones from an AC-to-USB adapter. And after three weeks of daily use, it still works.

I see two possible downsides to this sync and charge cable: questionable durability (it might stop working after a few more weeks weeks, as has happened with some CR-King cables I’ve bought), and the fact that you can’t charge multiple gadgets at once. But at this price, I’ll probably end up with two, which should give me much more flexibility compared to packing three separate, dedicated cables.



Jason de Villa is teacher by day and a geek at all other times of the day. When he’s not teaching, he’s reading and writing about technology, looking for ways technology can help in education. His favorite noodles: Pancit Malabon Express.

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