Anyone who knows me understands my desire of both form and function. When it comes to tech hardware, I enjoy the aesthetic as much as the the practicality of an object, so it's important that the hardware I purchase is as good-looking in addition to well-functioning.
A few months back I was browsing around Touch of Modern when I came across PlusUs' LifeStar charge cables. I was initially struck by the form: hand-wrapped and stitched materials around Apple Lightning and Micro USB cables. I was intrigued and immediately decided to purchase one. My love affair with short charge cables that I can keep in my laptop back for a quick refresh of my iPhone and iPad on the go has been previously documented.
Since I was purchasing the LifeStar cable through an authorized reseller, I was able to save a few bucks by not purchasing through the manufacturer directly (sorry PlusUs!). However, the construction and overall quality of the cable makes it worth every penny regardless of the discount I received, in my opinion. The cables are constructed of raw materials: the wiring is hand-cut, the outer cover material is hand-stitched, and quality metal finishes are chosen over cheaper plastic ones.
The specific style I purchased from their Fall 2014 collection is called Denim Blues, which, as the name might denote, looks and feels like they made it out of a pair of your comfortable 501's. Just a few seconds in my hand and I could feel the quality and I could understand why they chose such a painstaking manufacturing process. The quality contributes wholly to a totally cool conversation piece that has as much eye appeals it feels good in your hand.
When I initially placed my order, I still had my iPhone 5S which was listed on the compatibility chart. However, this cable has absolutely no problem handling my iPhone 6 and Retina iPad mini, since it's trailrated for up to 2.4 amps. I also feel completely safe using this product with my Apple devices, since all of PlusUs' product lines have passed Apple MFi certification.
I would recommend that you get a few of these as stocking stuffers for the kids or your techie-loving partner. They retail direct from the manufacturer between $24.95 and $35.95, depending on the style you choose.
As previously mentioned, you can take advantage of the quality construction PlusUs provides even if you don't have an iPhone or iPad, as they have a Micro USB option for you Android fanatics. All cables come in two lengths: 10-inch (which is the one I purchased), or 3.3 feet for those of you who have a bit more distance to stretch. While all of their products have a one year warranty, their LifeStar line has a lifetime warranty, so you can be sure even though this is a meticulously crafted, super-high quality item, any defects in workmanship or materials will be coverered in full.
Perhaps the best part of purchasing from PlusUs is that every purchase has the opportunity to contribute towards social impact projects in areas of the world that need them the most. They will match every dollar you spend through the Buy1Give1 project going towards education, shelter and clean water. Even though I didn't purchase my item directly from the, they gave me the option to contribute via their online form.
Not only was I able to get a really awesome charge cable for my iPhone, but I was able to contribute towards building clean water wells in Ethiopia. It's a small step, but I think that's something we can all agree does some good in the world. The LifeStar charge cable is a win/win product - and who doesn't love it when we all win?