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NomadCard and NomadKey ultra compact USB leads for smart devices

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Posted 02-07-14 at 01:04 PM by Ian

Where's your phone or tablet's USB lead when you need it? If you're like me they're always somewhere else. And they take up so much space! I hate wired leads with a vengeance; the spaghetti effect always frustrates. So I came across Nomad and its ingenious ChargeKey and ChargeCard solutions.

In effect these are tiny USB leads for smart devices like phones and tablets or any other device that connects to a standard USB port for data and/or charging connections. Nomad supports Apple Lightning (recent iPad and iPhone models) and Micro USB (most non-Apple smartphones and tablets).


Nomad's ChargeCard is about size of a credit card and is designed to fit into a card pocket in your wallet. Built in is a standard USB connector and either a Micro USB or Apple Lightning mini connector.

Micro USB version

The micro connector forms one corner of the device and the full-size USB end pops out from a clipp-ed in position when needed.

Apple Lightning ChargeCard connected to an iPhone 5s

The ChargeCard is naturally thicker than a credit card - about three cards thick but as long as your wallet isn't too slim it should fit.

A ChargeCard can even be stored in your phone case if it has a suitable pocket.

There isn't a lot more to be said; it works and means you should not experience that 'where is my USB cable' syndrome as frequently as before.

Incidentally, Nomad Lightning 'cables' are MFI-certified so your Apple devices won't complain when used with them.


Even smaller and arguably more accessible than a Nomad ChargeCard is a ChargeKey. This is essentially a very short USB cable with a flattened design that can easily be attached to a keyring.

ChargeKeys are flexible so you can connect ports above each other.

Both ChargeKeys and ChargeCards have angled connectors and this works very well in practice.


Nomad's ChargeKeys and ChargeCards are ingeniously simple solutions that really work. If I have a reservation it's the pricing. You can get extremely cheap Micro USB leads for next to nothing but ChargeKeys and ChargeCards sell for around $29 or 20. MFi-certified Lightning cables are much more expensive so Lightning ChargeKeys and ChargeCards make a lot more sense. However, look out for discounts if you refer friends on the Nomad website.

Finally, it appears that Nomad is promoting different key and card products at the moment on their site which have metal-encapsulated USB connectors instead of the slimline versions we've tried.
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