Date: Tuesday , March 22, 2016
I talk to SilverStone a lot, but usually about computer cases and coolers or power supplies. I do not tend to discuss a lot of smart phone accessories, but that is exactly what came up a month or so ago.
By the way, what phones do you guys use? We recently launched these cool new cables that are reversible on both ends so they are super convenient to use.
Given that I do use a smart phone and I do hate every USB cable that I have ever used, my interest was piqued.
To make a long story short, these SilverStone CPU01 cables have reversible micro-USB and reversible standard USB connections. If you are like me, you are constantly struggling to get the phone plugged in correctly (especially in the car), and while full-size USB plugs are a bit easier to navigate, even those can be a pain in the butt to get right on the first try. The simple solution to these problems is to make a connection point that does not require fitment in a specific orientation. Voila, you have SilverStone's "CPU01" series of USB data and charging cord.
This quick video will show you how these work. The secret to making it work on the micro USB end is to make sure you get the detent click. I say secret, because unless you know, you might think the cables are defective. I had SilverStone send me 10 and I handed these out to friends and family. All of us had the same initial experience, these cables do not work well! The problem everyone was having was that we all were not seating the micro USB end properly; we need to make sure we get the "click in." The video above should make this all crystal clear however. Once I explained this to my test group, no one had any issues with the cable.
SilverStone does not own the IP on either of these plug end. The micro USB patent is held by TengQuiang Electronic Technology Co. The USB-A is held by another company. SilverStone told us that we would surely see similar products coming into the USA from different companies. As you know, anything from China can be of varying quality. Silverstone did state its commitment to keep its cords to a "good quality" standard.
From what I can tell after about a month, these cables do not seem to be cheaply made at all. Mine are holding up well and the detent mechanisms on the micro USB end do not seem to be getting any weaker. In fact all the cords we use seem to be good as new.
That brings us to the "bad news" portion of our review, the price. Currently, I have only been able to find these cables at one retail outlet besides ebay. The cables are currently priced at $15 each and I would suspect that price would come down when/if we start seeing these at retailers such as Newegg and Amazon.
You know if you something like a reversible plug USB cable for your phone is something that gets you excited or not. The SilverStone CPU01 cables seem to be very well built, but I am not sure I would have ponied up $15 each for the ones I use. That said, $7 or so seems totally justified if you have a use for these. The one that has come in handy the most has been the one I use in my truck. I can now just plug it in without all issue of trying to get it right the first the time. Knowing that I am not putting it in backwards allows a lot more confidence to insert it firmly as well. Hopefully we will see these cables at more retailers soon representing a bit better value.
UPDATE: These can be purchased at Amazon with Prime shipping. Also, we have been informed by SilverStone that these cables are rated at 2 amps.