Review: Aviiq Ready Clips
There's not a lot of room for innovation when it comes to Dock Connector and USB cables, but a few manufacturers have decided to at least play with the form and go with flat cords, rather than round ones. That's precisely what Aviiiq has done with its Ready Clips; measuring about 5.5" from tip to tip, these cables have hard plastic casings at the plug ends -- including a raised clip at the Dock Connector, Micro-USB, or Mini-USB side -- and semi-hard rubber in between. They are available only in pairs with packages ranging from $20 to $30
Ready Clips have some advantages over traditional cables, but also some drawbacks. They’re certainly better suited for use with a laptop than a desktop computer such as an iMac and particularly make a lot of sense for those who travel. Rather than having to wrap up a multi-foot long cord and hope it doesn’t become undone or tangled, one can simply toss the flat cable into a bag or clip it on to a pocket. When plugged in, however, it’s more difficult to use the connected device as there’s not a lot of give; this would likely be more of an issue for an iPhone or iPad compared to other accessories that might be connected with the Mini- or Micro-USB cords. It’s worth mentioning as well that our testing showed that the Dock Connector version does carry 2.1 Amps for full-speed iPad charging.
However, we did find two more serious problems with Aviiq’s cables. Firstly, the glue where the plastic and hard rubber meet has a tendency to snap almost instantly when the cable is bent; this doesn’t seem to affect overall performance, but it’s not a great sign right out of the box. This happened with all three of the cables we received for review, and at both ends of each. Our second concern is with the pricing structure; the fact that only pairs, and not individual cables, can be purchased is a disservice to customers, many of whom would likely only need a single cable for travelling.
Assuming that the production issues can be fixed, we’d certainly like to see the company offering single-cable packages. $15 for the Dock Connector or $10 for the others strikes us as high, but not crazy. Ready Clips make sense for certain users, and are attractively designed, but we just can’t recommend them while they’re prone to the breakage we’ve seen and while Aviiq continues to force users to buy the cables in pairs.