In a world of ever-more-compact-and-potent chargers, Mobfree launched a surprising and innovative entrant Wednesday on Kickstarter. It’s XuperCable, a three-in-one gadget with three retractable connectors to fast-charge a variety of devices at up to a 100 watts
It’s a funny-looking critter with its tentacles (cables), but it’s quite useful. It sticks to surfaces, it rotates and its three cables unspool and retract — what could possibly go wrong? Not much, as it turns out. The company sent me a XuperCable to try out.
Mobfree XuperCable: 100W 3-in-1 Retractable & 360° Rotating Fast Charging Cable
Chinese startup Mobfree launched its crowdfunding campaign for XuperCable Wednesday on Kickstarter. (The company previously introduced other products the same way.) XuperCable’s innovative usefulness suggests it will meet funding goals and ship, but you never know.
XuperCable is somewhat deceptive in that it’s not a typical charger, it’s a trio of cables. You plug its own cable into any USB-C connector delivering power — preferably 100W or more to get the full capability — and you stick XuperCable on a surface, ready to deploy its USB-C, Lightning and micro USB charging cables to thirsty devices.
XuperCable sticks to a surface and its body rotates on its base. All the cables are flat to discourage tangling. They unspool as one cable and split into three with different connectors.
Each connector gets about 17cm (6.69 inches) of its own cable once split off from the main retracting cable, which is several times that length (about 49 inches).
You can use XuperCable to charge laptops, tablets, smartphones, gaming consoles, digital cameras, earbuds charging cases — anything that needs one of those three connector types.
100W Power Delivery for quickly juicing up laptops
Using an advanced E-Mark chip, XuperCable supports up to 100W Power Delivery via USB-C. That can fast-charge devices, including iPads and MacBooks.
In fact, Mobfree said XuperCable charges a 13-inch MacBook Pro to 65% in 30 minutes. Of course, XuperCable needs to be connected to a 100W or stronger PD charger in order to do that.
Connecting it to my go-to Anker GaN Prime 150W charger — which pumps 100W via USB-C — I found XuperCable could top up my M1 Pro MacBook Pro from half full in about 40 minutes.
I noticed when it made fairly quick work of topping up my iPad Air (5th generation) that the Anker charger connected to it got warm to the touch, but not alarmingly hot.
Short device cable, long retracting cables for charging other gadgets
Mobfree said the full range of the cables is 75cm to 175 cm, or 29.5 inches to 69 inches. That’s mostly from the cables you pull out of the device, not from the device’s own charging cable.
That would be my main criticism of XuperCable. The device’s charging cable is about 52cm, or 20.5 inches. Because I like the idea of connecting to a charger plugged into a power strip on the floor and sticking XuperCable on the desktop or a dresser where I typically run cables up to a silicone cable stay, I find the short-ish power cable disappointing.
However, I can stick XuperCable on the floor and run its cables up to a cable stay pretty easily.
I also found the cable retraction a bit iffy at first, but quickly discovered the key is to tug the cable and then let it go. Then it will retract into the device all the way to the divider where the three cables separate.
My only other quibble is that I can’t think of any device I need to charge via micro USB. Apparently, everything I charge uses USB-C or Lightning connectors. I probably have a digital camera with a micro USB port in a drawer somewhere, but that type of cable is definitely on its way out. (So is Lightning, for that matter). A USB-A connector or adapter for my earbuds charging cases wouldn’t hurt on a future version of XuperCable, either.
Features and specs:
- Charge three devices at once with three retractable cables: USB-C, Lightning and Micro USB.
- Adhesive base sticks to surfaces.
- 360-degree rotation on the base.
- Flexible charging angle.
- MSC technology for safe charging.
- USB-C output: 100W max.
- Lightning output: 20W max.
- Micro USB output: 18W.
- Micro+Lightning+Type-C: 3.5A max.
Price: Super early bird, $26; early bird $29
Where to pledge: Kickstarter