Thankfully the connection standards were reduced down to USB and most mobile phone and smartphone manufacturers, except Apple, are using micro USB as the standard for charging and synchronizing devices. But there's still a good amount of mini USB enabled devices in use, not to mention Apple's iPhone and iPad which come with a totally propriety connector. In worst case it means a user might has to carry up to three different cables. The other day, I came across a solution from Innergie which combines all the three previously mentioned connection types into one single cable. The Innergie Magic Cable Trio 3-in-1 USB Cable allows to charge and sync 99 % of today's devices with just one cable.
The multi-tip design features a non-removable but folding mini USB and micro USB connectors and an iPhone, iPad, iPod Dock Connector. Since each connector is connected to to the previously one and not removable or replaceable, the tips can hardly be lost and each connector requires the previously to bridge the connection. And by bridging the connections, it allows full synchronization and charging capabilities for supported devices.
The cable measures end-to-end, including the standard USB connector on one side and the three connectors on the other side, 20 cm only, which nevertheless makes it the perfect travel companion.
For it's US$ 19.99, Innergie's Magic Cable Trio is pretty expensive - for a USB cable. However, we have to keep in mind that it is virtually three cables and especially Apple Dock Connector USB cables are not to cheap as well; at least not the original one. Nevertheless, I valued the compactness and the easiness over the price since I'm travelling quite a lot which is the reason why I constantly try to optimize my "gadget bag". While I don't have any use for the Dock Connector, I have a lot of use for the mico and mini USB connectors because my smartphones use micro USB while my digital cameras and my MiFi requires mini USB. Therefore I'm always carrying at least two different cable with me.
In terms of quality, the Magic Cable Trio feels pretty solid, well engineered and manufactured. I would say it could easily lasts longer than just the three years, buyers have warranty (after registration). In my quick tests, it worked well with a couple of Android and Windows Phone smartphones and tablets from HTC, Samsung, Sony (Ericsson) as well as with my digital cameras from Nikon and Sony.
Again, the cable is a little bit pricy but definitely a recommended accessory for travelers.
Cheers ~ Arne