25 January 2016

Anker PowerLine+ Micro USB: I never thought I could be impressed by a USB cable...

But Anker has made a believer out of me.

This PowerLine+ cable ships not in a cheap plastic pouch or a frustrating blister pack, but in a friendly, easy-to-open box. The cable is then tucked inside a high-quality carrying pouch, which feels like a heavy felt material, stays shut thanks to a magnetic closure, and includes a handy hook-and-loop strap stitched to the fabric for securing the cable. I initially scoffed at the pouch, wondering what sort of pretentious cable needed to be transported in such luxury, but I soon realized just how convenient this pouch could be. It obviously makes a great way for transporting the cable without getting tangled with other inferior cables, but you can also use the cable while secured in the pouch by simply pulling either end to the desired length. That makes it easy to use when you don't need the full six-foot length. The carrying pouch is definitely an unexpected bonus, and I'm really quite glad for its inclusion.

But the product in question here is the cable, not the super-useful pouch it comes in, and I'm pleased to report that the cable itself also far exceeds my expectations. The double-braided nylon sheath feels great to hold (soft and smooth) and also provides superior protection for the cable. The cable bends easily but surprisingly does not kink or crease, making it easy to switch between a folded storage style in the pouch or a coiled approach outside of it. It is very resilient. And the connectors on either end are the best I've ever encountered on a USB cable. The flexible rubber boot at the cable side of the connectors reduces stress at that critical junction point. And the connectors are also very high-quality and fit snugly (but not *too* tight) into all of my micro-USB devices. I particularly like the white plastic insert inside the micro connector - I'm sure it doesn't function differently from the industry-standard black plastic, but I think it looks hella cool.

Perhaps most importantly, the cable also works great for charging a variety of devices as well as for data transfer. Many other cables will also accomplish this core task of transferring electrical impulses from one end to the other, but few (if any) could match the build quality or durability of Anker's PowerLine+ Micro USB cable. This is by far the best made cable I have ever encountered. I will definitely be adding a few more of these to my collection.

You can pick up one (or more!) here.

Disclosure: Anker provided me with this product for testing and evaluation in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.

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