Xync’s cable-concealing carabiner could double as a paperweight

xync-2

The Xync is handy, but a bit too bulky. Photos: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Moshi’s Xync packs a Lightning-to-USB charging cable into a handy, dangly carabiner-clip package, and adds a secret compartment on the side. But is it better than just carrying a regular Lightning cable in your pocket/bag? The short answer? Hmm…

The long version? Read on.

The Xync sure is well-put-together. In fact, in one way it might be a little too well-put-together –- the removable side panel is a bitch to actually remove. Inside is storage for a pair of SIM cards (nano and micro) and a SIM slot eject tool (or a paperclip), but to get the little hatch off the side requires either fingernails of steel or a slim knife blade. Worse, all the while you’re trying to prize the panel open, you think you’re about to break something –- and not just your fingernail.

This dongle dangles until needed.

This dongle dangles until needed.

Still, having those items to hand is, uh, handy. I usually use a SIMPLcase to carry my spare SIMs when I travel, but then I have to find somewhere to keep it when I arrive. At least the Xync is still useful when I get to wherever I’m going.

The Xync works like this: The L-shaped Lightning plug nestles into the body like a duck’s head tucks into its feathered back after you kill it. Once you’ve pulled the Lightning plug free, it unwraps halfway around the case’s rim, giving a cable that’s around 10 cm (4 inches) long. Then you slide the little metal knob along its slot and out pops the USB plug, just like a nerdy switchblade. Now you have a somewhat unwieldy (and too-short) charging cable.

Probably the part that makes you most likely to buy this gadget is the carabiner on the corner. That’s because carabiners are like the stationery of the outdoors. Everybody has an irrational love for them and – like pens and notebooks – you can never have enough carabiners. The clip on the Xync is tough, with a medium-strong spring, and it could be clipped to a keyring (although only if you hate yourself, or you’re one of those people who dangles every dongle possible off their keys – gonks, trolls, charms and any other crap you can find).

The carabiner convenience might make up for the Xync’s biggest problem – its weight. The unit – empty of SIMs and tools – crushes my scale with its massive 51-gram (2-ounce) bulk. I’m exaggerating a little, but while 51 grams doesn’t sound that bad, it’s more than the combined weight of a Euro iPhone charger and Apple Lightning cable (44 grams) and almost half the weight of the iPhone 5 itself (113 grams on my kitchen scale). Putting this in a pocket is out, but if you carry an overloaded backpack, maybe clipping it to one of the straps might be OK.

Unfurled and opened.

THe Xync, unfurled and opened.

So, would I buy one? At $40, nope. Actually, even if you gave me one, say for a review, I’d give it away afterward (which is exactly what I’ll do today). I like the idea of a travel cable that folds up small and carries my spare SIMs, but the Xync’s just too big and bulky. I can keep the SIMs and SIM tool in my wallet, and I can just keep the cable in my gadget bag.

That’s not to say that the Xync is a bad gadget. If you like the look of it go ahead and grab one – it’s well-made. It’s just that I don’t really see the point of it.

xync-with-micro-usb-connector-cable-data-sync-xync-keychain-sim-card-holder-micro-2464

Xync by Moshi ($40 list)
The good: Built to last, combines a few functions into one widget.
The bad: So well-built it’s actually kinda heavy.
The verdict: If you like the look of it, buy it. Just don’t expect a tiny, lightweight travel gadget.
Buy from Moshi

  • http://www.truffol.com Truffol

    Wonder if nomad will have a better solution.. though their carabiner is all renderings only at this point

About the author

Charlie Sorrel Charlie Sorrel is the Reviews Editor here on Cult of Mac. Follow Charlie  on Twitter at @mistercharlie.

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