Mar 07 2014

Nomad ChargeKey Review

Ah, the life of a digital nomad. Making your way from coffee shop to bistro, setting up your office wherever you go.

The only limitation…the endurance of your smart phone. No battery, no work. No work, no pay, No pay…no more coffee. Digital nomads need caffeine. You see what a horrible spiral that is.

Of course it is getting easier and easier to find a USB outlet to charge your phone…as long as you have a cable with you.

Therein lies my difficulty. I have that stuff in my briefcase, which never seems to be there when I need it.

So, nomads meet Nomad. They have your best interests in mind.

Their first brilliant idea was the ChargeCard. A sync or charge cable built into a credit card sized package. Svelte and slim…but still too big for you? No problem…how about this.

2014-03-07 08.58.29

The ChargeKey is where it is at…and by that I mean on your key ring and always at the ready.

The idea is pretty simple. Take a high quality, flexible piece of plastic and put the guts of a USB A connector on one side and a Lightning or MicroUSB connector on the other. Run out of juice on your smartphone? Just pull your keychain out and connect it to a USB outlet and you can charge your phone or do a back up of your precious data that has over run your Cloud bandwidth.

The feel of the cable reminds me of industrial grade silicone. It is soft and bendable (see the picture below) so the orientation of the input on your phone is not critical even with a MicroUSB connector. Yes, I can hear you Apple iPhone users feeling quietly smug about your “plugs in either way” Lighting connector. It’s OK, Nomad loves you whether you are Apple or Android. They even want your WinMo phone to stay charged!


Pretzel mode!

The ChargeKey functions well for both charging and sync. At $29 I think it is a touch expensive, although on the Lightning version that is most likely driven by the license fees due to Apple.


The ChargeCard was cool, the ChargeKey is brilliant. The form factor is as simplified as it can be without disappearing and rests alongside my keys just waiting to bail me out of an emergency. Actually…it already has bailed me out of an emergency…twice.

Now for just a touch more caffeine. Barista, double espresso please!

Highly recommended.

ChargeKey Lightning $29

ChargeKey MicroUSB $29

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