iPad charging cables have been around for many years, so there’s nothing new for them, right? Wrong. Just Mobile has added an LED to its latest offering, significantly improving it.
Build and Design
At first glance, the AluCable LED looks like any other charging cable for iPad or iPhone, with a full-size USB jack on one end and a Lightning jack on the other. At 3.3 feet (1 m), it’s long enough to be useful.
What sets this Just Mobile accessory apart from the pack is an LED that indicates charging status. It pulses red to show that the tablet or phone is charging, or glows green when the device is fully charged. This means that users can set their iPad up to charge and then glance across the room at it and tell when it’s finished. This is similar to the LED that Apple built into its Mac chargers.
This status light would have been a lot easier to see if it was next to the Lightning jack, rather than on the other end of cable, with the USB Type A jack. That part of the cable is often plugged into a charger that’s behind a chair or table. Even as it is, it’s quite useful.
The end with the Lightning jack is small enough that it can be plugged into iPads and iPhones that are in protective cases. If Apple’s own charger will connect, the Just Mobile one will too.
The AluCable LED comes in two colors, silver and gold. These are the colors for the parts at either end. The actual cable of the silver model is black, and it’s white for the gold version.
There’s “Alu” in the name because the sections of this accessory around the two jacks are made of aluminum rather than plastic. Whether that means anything is entirely up to the buyer.
AluCable LED is capable of running 2.4A, which is enough current to charge an iPad, not just the lesser amount needed by the iPhone.
We’ve run into no issues in our testing of this accessory. It performs exactly as advertised.
There are tons of Lightning cables on the market, but the Just Mobile AluCable LED really does offer something all the rest don’t. It would be great if its LED that indicates charging was in a more obvious place, but even as it is this accessory is an improvement over its rivals.
Just Mobile charges $24.95 for this cable, and Apple asks $19 for its version. Paying an additional $6 for an LED to indicate charging status isn’t an unreasonable request.
That said, there are competitors on the market for as $6. These aren’t certified by Apple, though, and there’ll always be questions about whether these super-cheap cables will stand up to frequent usage, or even work at all. That’s never going to be an issue with Just Mobile’s offering.