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Hands-on: The Uno Cable is a magnetic all-in-one USB-C cable with USB-C, Lightning & MicroUSB

The Uno Cable sets out to solve a problem familiar to every gadget fan: all the different cables we need to carry with us to connect them to our MacBook. Uno can potentially mean carrying just one cable.

The Volta we have running in a promo does the job for those with older MacBooks with USB-A ports, while the Uno is designed for current models with USB-C ones …

I typically carry devices which span Lightning, USB-C and MicroUSB cables – meaning I need to carry at least three cables (plus an Apple Watch puck) even if I only need to connect one at a time.

The Uno Cable is a single USB cable with a MagSafe type magnetic attachment for three different tips:

  • Lightning
  • USB-C
  • MicroUSB

You can also add a USB-C to USB-A adapter for even more flexibility (not included).

Personally, I typically want to charge everything overnight, so I’m used to carrying a bag of cables in my carry-on. But the time when it would be really handy to have an all-in-one cable is if I’m just out for the day with my MacBook Pro, and never know for sure what I might need to connect.

For example, a long unplanned phone call might drain my iPhone battery, or an idiot driver might mean I want to transfer video from my cycle-mounted GoPro. I don’t really want to carry a bunch of cables on the off-chance I might need one of them, so being able to cover all the bases with a single cable is appealing.

The Uno Cable tips

The Uno Cable hands-on

The Uno Cable appears to be a decent-quality one. It’s braided with fray-resistant necks to maximize longevity and is backed by a 10-year warranty. It’s thick enough to handle Apple Fast Charge and Qualcomm Quick Charge (versions 2 to 4). And it has a blue LED to show when it’s powered.

My test of a USB cable is charging my Sony a6300 from my MacBook. That draws a fair amount of power, and not all cables cope; this one does.

Each of the tips attaches quickly and easily – and they are equally easy to detach. The one issue with any magnetic tip system is what happens if the cable disconnects but the tip remains plugged into the device? I was able to pull out the tip alone from all the devices I tried, but the company does supply a plastic tip-removal tool just in case.

Any downsides? One. Yes, you can carry a single cable, but you still have three tips. These are small and easily lost. I was able to leave the USB-C tip connected, plugged into a USB-C to USB-A adapter, and then the two other tips attached magnetically to that. It’s a reasonably good setup, but I do worry about the tips coming detached in my bag and potentially going AWOL. We’ll see.

The Kickstarter price is decent, at $25 (or $21 if you’re quick). Multi-packs are also available.

It’s a Kickstarter project, so the usual risks apply. However, this is the company’s fifth Kickstarter project; it has worked with the same supply-chain partners for three years; working prototypes exist; and it’s fully-funded. All-in-all, I’d be pretty confident the cables will materialize.

The Uno Cable is available for pre-order on Kickstarter, with an official price of $25 and a few $21 rewards left at the time of writing. Delivery is set for July. The retail price will be $39.

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Avatar for Ben Lovejoy Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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