Models: Lightlinez XS
Compatible: iPad (4th-Gen), iPad mini, iPhone 5, iPod nano 7G, iPod touch 5G
Kenburg Lightlinez XS 12cm Lightning to USB Sync and Charge Cable
Although there aren't a ton of options out there right now, some third parties are actually selling shorter Lightning cables, alongside ones that are equal to or longer in length than Apple's. We've already reviewed Incase's 6” Sync and Charge Lightning to USB Cable, and now Kenburg -- a sister company to CableJive -- is shipping the Lightlinez XS 12cm Lightning to USB Sync and Charge Cable ($19). Despite the 4.7" listed length, the cable is actually longer than Incase's because of how it's measured. Rather than measuring it from end to end, the company is referring solely to the length of the cord between the two connectors. If you do measure from one metal tip to the other, it's about 7.5" long.
Available only in white, there are zero surprises with this one. There’s a USB plug on one end, and Lightning on the other. The housing around the latter plug is about as tall as Apple’s, but there’s more material on either end, making it 50% or so wider at 1 cm. This means that it’s going to be compatible with many, but not all cases. The cable itself is glossy, not matte like the one Apple uses, but overall Lightlinez XS feels just fine.
And, really, that’s all there is to it. For the same price as Apple’s two Lightning cables, you get one that’s significantly shorter, but not the shortest on the market. If a compact cable is what you need, and you’re willing to pay as much as you would for something longer, Lightlinez XS is worth considering, and merits a limited recommendation. For most people, though, the extra space a longer cable requires won’t be a real problem, and will be more useful in more circumstances.