How many times have you crawled under a desk to plug in a USB cable only to find that you are putting the cable in upside-down? Tripp-Lite has an answer to this modern-day problem: cables that work either way you try them.
It may sound like magic, but the key to these new cables is that rather than having a standard Type A plug with a single set of USB contacts that are oriented in one direction, the Tripp-Lite Reversible USB plugs have two sets of connectors pointing in opposite directions that are separated by a thin piece of plastic. It’s a simple and elegant concept that allows the plugs to be used in either orientation.
There are a wide variety of reversible cables available that work with data at up to 480Mbps and can deliver up to 5-volts of electricity for charging a phone or tablet. There are regular Type A to Type B USB cables, but only the Type A plug can do the reversible trick. While they work with both USB 2.0 and 1.1 devices, there aren’t any reversible USB 3.0 cables.
In addition to full-size USB plugs, Tripp-Lite also makes Reversible USB cables with Mini- and Micro-USB connectors on the other end. There are even very useful Type A to Type A cables and USB extension cords. Some of the cables even have right angle plugs for tight situations. They come in cable lengths of 0.9-, 1.8- or 3-meter lengths, but nothing shorter for charging a phone without having a tangle of cable to deal with.
Priced at between $2.50 and $12 a cable, they cost no more than no-name cables. I used these unique cables for everything from connecting my phone and a variety of tablets to using an external hard drive and scanner. These plugs are a big step forward for convenience, although I wish that other cables, like for HDMI, VGA and DisplayPort connections, were capable of this plug magic.
$2.50 to $12
+ USB plugs work both ways
+ Variety of plug types and lengths
+ Data and power transfer
+ Lifetime warranty
- USB 2.0 only
- Type B plug works one way