It's very rare nowadays to see Kickstarter project blossomed into a mature product after the crowdsourcing campaign is over. But there are pleasant exceptions with Nomad being one of them. I was intrigued by this project since last year, even before they changed their name officially to Nomad, and had a chance to test their early sample. Now I received their finished mature product which in addition to ChargeCard also spanned a variation in a form of ChargeKey, and I was very impressed with improvements. Let me share with you what I found.
Our lives became a lot easier when all the new gadgets converged to use micro-usb port with common usb to micro-usb cable. We all have at least half a dozen of usb cables at home, varying in colors and length, to charge our gadgets and to transfer the data. But what about when we are on a go? How many times did you realize that your laptop and smartphone is there, but you forgot your cable? Or you got the external backup battery, but there is no way to connect it to your phone? Why does this happen? Simply because these cables are bulky and PITA to drag around when we are traveling. Even if you attempt to get a shorter cable, there is a chance you will loose it. So how do we get around this problem? Nomad guys came up with a very clever solution to package this "short cable" into a shape that will conveniently fit with our everyday lifestyle.
We all carry a wallet with credit cards and a set of keys. Taking that into account, they came up with two very simple products: ChargeCard and ChargeKey. Each one arrived in a similarly packaged envelope with only a company name on top of it. Pulling up to open the cover reveals a product inside with a greeting of "Say hello to your little friend!" that would put a smile even on Scarface! Starting with ChargeCard, it actually has a footprint slightly smaller than a regular credit card and a thickness of a few credit cards stacked together. In comparison to their early samples, I really appreciated how they tapered down the edges of ChargeCard to make it easier to insert into the credit card pocket of your wallet. Micro-usb cable is in the corner pointing out with easy access to connect the card to your smart device or accessory, while full usb port is placed on the attached flexible short cable inside of a rubber coating stored in the middle of the card. ChargeKey is a variation of ChargeCard where only the flexible cable part is used, and the product itself is shaped in a form of a key which can be attached to your keychain.
I found the build and the material to be of a very high quality. The actual usb and micro usb connectors are made out of hard plastic molded to a rubbery coating of flat cable hosting the wires. Without a doubt it looks really cool, but the main purpose of these cables is to charge and to transfer the data. Let me tell you, it works as good as it looks!!! Data transfer was flawless connecting my Note 2 to the laptop, and I especially appreciated the tight fit of the connectors where I didn't have to worry about cable pulling out of the laptop or my phone. Next was a charging test. Note 2 comes with 2A charger and a cable capable to charge at full speed. The performance of ChargeCard and ChargeKey was identical to my OEM usb cables, providing charging at full speed!
Overall, I was very impressed with a build quality, with a design, and with a performance of this product. Some might argue that at $29 this is pricey. I do agree, it would be pricey for a regular usb to micro-usb cable. But if you take into consideration the convenience of the design, cool look to make you stand out from a crowd, and quality of the wires to provide full speed charging even at 2A - the price actually starts to sound more friendly. And there are even ways by referring others to get free ChargeKey and ChargeCard.
Here are the pictures.