The ten foot long iEdge® USB to Lightning Cable costs less than we’ve ever found for an Apple-compatible sync and charge cable.
While there’s no indication on the packaging that this accessory is MFi (Made for iPhone/iPad/iPod) certified, our tests found it nonetheless, to be a highly reliable, moderately fast charge, medium-current handling cable. We paid $3.99 for ours at Gabriel Brothers, which is so much less expensive than similar Apple-manufactured lightning cords. It’s among the most affordable USB 2.0 to lightning cable we’ve found to date.
The extra six feet of length here makes this cable lots cheaper per foot than the Apple stock sync cables. Its build, including the more pliable wires, supplies this iEdge® lightning charger cable with a rugged and durable yet portable and colorfully attractive interface between your Apple mobile devices, computers, and wall and car chargers. Though not exactly a “Genuine Apple Cable,” iEdge® Apple-like cords function nearly as well, and may even outperform Apple in terms of durability, ease of use, and lower cost.
Of the USB to lightning cables we’ve examined, this iEdge® sync charge cable is among the best USB lightning cables for the money; so far, the cheapest in “the best” class. Charging occurs not quite as quickly as with those shorter, stiffer cables. But all connections remain cool to barely warm to the touch. Further, we observed no heating in the cable itself during charging our higher current lighting devices including the iPad Air and iPad Mini tablets. Plus, the cloth-sheathed wire, while high current carrying, is still flexible enough to wrap up into a compact shape when traveling. Our iPad Air consistently and fully charges via this cable, and we never see the dreaded, “not charging” message; unlike what happens with the cheaper, sometimes counterfit charge cables.
Advantages, Benefits, Pros, and Features
Plenty of length. Extra cord in this 10-foot long version. We’re able to use the iPad Air in the easy chair while charging it with this longer cord without fear of kinking the cord. This cord returns to its unbent shape once released from even the sharpest bends.
Fast charging preserved. The multi-color “round rope” cable here very well in low and medium current USB devices such as iPods and iPhones, and acceptably well in high current mobile devices (those requiring more than one amp for charging), like iPads. Moderate increases in required times to achieve a full charge in iPads was observed. This longer cable does indeed slow charging. We charged our iPad Air from ninety seven percent charge to one hundred percent (fully charged) in just over one hour, while the lightning connector remained cool. Some cables (much more expensive ones) charge at about twice this rate. But if you do not mind slower charges, the cheaper price for this reliable accessory makes the longer charge times worthwhile. Though slower, you can still charge iPhones and iPads overnight with the E-330.
Flexible cable. The cord is a bit thicker than the one that comes with the stock iPad Air USB lightning charge cable and is encased in a strong cloth exterior wrap. So we forecast enhanced durability. The wire here is surprisingly pliable, and getting out any kinks is not difficult. It is flexible enough to move around the bedroom with.
Works with non stock USB charger adapters. Since it features a USB-A male plug connector, this iEdge® cable works well with most universal USB chargers to charge lightning-accepting devices.
Gold-plated contact pins on both the lightning connector and USB end. Nice that gold seems to be the standard these days, even on connectors of these cheaper cables.
Larger connector design. When we used Apple’s stock lightning cables, that featured too-small connector bodies, we preferred the older 30-pin dock connector to the newer lightning one due to how much easier it was to attach and detach that connector from mobile devices. However, iEdge® has devised here, an easier-to-access version of the lightning connector. It’s longer and wider, and so, easier to grasp. The connectors on this cable require about the same small effort as the dock connectors, and can be aimed at the mating holes with greater precision and ease than Apple stock lightning cords. The reason is likely the longer connector body featured in this cable, than what you find on current Apple cables. While the lightning connector body is shorter than in some other cables, it’s still sufficiently long for easy grasping, even on iPads inside an OtterBox case.
Decent strain relief at both ends. The functional strain relief at the lightening connector as well as at the USB-A end, is supple enough to soften sharp bends at those points, and appears to be built from less rigid plastic than the connector body itself. So, this feature indeed protects the cord from breakage due to frequent or hyper bending at the connector ends.
USB 2.0 standards supported. You can charge your lightning device from any current technology or legacy USB AC adapter.
Functions on par as Apple stock accessories. Likely meets Apple’s exacting performance standards.
Easily afforded. Less costly a data cable, even for a LONGER charger cord. It appears that iEdge® has overcome Apple’s proprietary hold on the licensing fees that third party manufactures like iEdge® must pay, in order to build compatible cables to the Apple mobile device line.
Concerns, Disadvantages, Cons, Problems, and Limitations
Not MFi certified. While not specifically certified as such so as to keep costs down, this lightning cable is made specifically for and works well with most any mobile device that has the lightning connector as its USB like interface, including iPad Air, iPad 2, iPad 3, iPhone 5, iPhone 5 and 6, iPad Mini, iPod Touch 5th Generation, and iPod Nano 7th Generation.
Slower than fast charging. Does not charge devices as quickly as possible. However, for that sacrifice, you get a much longer, more flexible cord.
Made in China.
Contains possibly delicate electronics. All lightning to USB cables include internal electronics that chargers, cell phones, and tablets use to “authenticate” the cable before allowing data or charging to occur. This built-in chip could increase cable susceptibility to premature failures. Cables like this are often deemed “fragile,” and that they can stop working too quickly or due to only small to moderate abuse. As such, they should be treated as you would any other piece of delicate electronics. Avoid static electricity, bright sunlight, wet environments, Etc.
Not full USB charging support. Will not charge micro-USB devices without a lightning to micro USB adapter. However, you could simply purchase a USB-A to micro USB cable for that purpose.
Only certain stores sell this. iEdge® USB to lightning cables are sold at Amazon and at various Gabriel Brothers outlets.
Single device charging. Can charge only one device per cable. Other cables feature multiple charge ports, both USB and lightning ports. But no biggie if all you have is a single Apple phone or tablet.
This ten foot long version of the iEdge® USB Cable for Apple mobile players appears to equal or slightly surpass the stock Apple cables in terms of quality construction, as well as overall ease of use. It’s very much cheaper than Apple stock accessory cords, at approximately one fifth the cost. Indeed, this product is in no way excessively priced. We were thrilled to find it for under four dollars. Now that the lightening interface has grown sufficiently in popularity since its 2012 release, decent functioning cables like this one are becoming easier and easier to locate. We rate this cable at 96 out of 100.
- iEdge® Micro USB Cable, 6Ft Review
- DE 9 Ft Lightning to USB Cable Review
- iEdge® Lightning USB Cable Glitter Series E-380 Review
- Review: IXCC 6 Foot Lightning Cable Cord, MFi Certified, Sync and Charge for iPhone, iPad, and iPod
- Axcel USB Lightning Sync & Charge iPhone iPad iPod Cable Review
- OtterBox Defender Case for iPad Review
- Gripes about Apple LIghtning To USB Cables
- What is the Lightning Connector? on Wikipedia
- Where to buy iEdge® 10 Foot USB Lightning Cables
- 2015-10-31: Originally published.