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Hands on with the Mu folding USB plug


If like me you use a thin laptop bag or perhaps just want to keep a charger for your powerhouse Smartphone close to hand, the mandatory bulk of a 3 pin plug can be a real pain. Enter the Mu.

The premise of the Mu is simple - it's a 1 Amp mains to USB adaptor that folds to a flat profile as shown below, making it easy to slip into a bag / pocket.

How well does it work? Perfectly! It feels very well made and charges all of the devices I tried it on just fine. A 2 Amp version that will be ideal for charging tablets is coming soon according to the published 2013 product pipeline, which also shows forthcoming EU and US adapters, a power cord (nice!) and a laptop power brick.

If there's one downside to the product it could be the price... at £25 from MobileFun convenience doesn't come cheap, but for certain scenarios it might just be worth it - my better half has claimed ownership of mine as the Nexus 4 charger for her handbag. :)

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About the author

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Paul O'Brien founded MoDaCo in 2002 as a site focused on Windows Smartphones and has grown it since then by concentrating on providing a friendly community for both experienced and beginner mobile enthusiasts.

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20 Comments

I find it a bit odd that they designed it to NOT quite cover the earth pin? Also, a bit pricey.
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so is this not just the same but cheaper...?
http://www.ebay.co.u...=item4ac096d2a7

and then if you just want a folding mains plug for laptop bricks....
http://www.ebay.co.u...=item2a297c329c

http://www.ebay.co.u...=item2c6cdc3139

Ben
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Good spots! Still not cheap that first one! Second looks a bit suspect...

P
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Send them an email Paul, you never know they might send you one for free for testing ;)
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unrandomsam
Mar 18 2013 07:20 PM
The first ebay one (The expensive one). Looks a poorly engineered copy of the current Nokia slim pin charger. (Such as you get with e.g a Nokia 110)
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glossywhite
Mar 18 2013 07:54 PM
Tell me; why does a charger need to be so unnecessarily complex? Why does it need to fold? The more parts it has, the more there is to break.

Seems like a niche was created that didn't exist, and a solution has been created for a "problem" that also, does not exist, or does it?
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unrandomsam
Mar 18 2013 11:12 PM
I dunno if you need to carry a charger in your trouser pocket (Because it is too hot to take a coat) and you are going to a nightclub to dance all night you don't want something that can dig into your leg. Dunno why it happens but it always seems to end up with the prongs of the plugs against your leg.

The Nokia one is pointless because the phone it is for lasts about 7 days on a charge.
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i've seen usb ports starting on appear on wall sockets. i think that is going to gain traction fast as more consumers adapt.. :-)
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Device looks great. Real smooth looking and dead convenient. At that cost I just can't justify it to myself. Shouldn't take long to come down in price... Hopefully!
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The Soup Thief
Mar 21 2013 10:40 PM
Less of this nonsense! Just grow a pair and jam a fork in the top hole of the socket then push yer charging cables in the lower holes
That's how us real men charge our phones! :lol:
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unrandomsam
Mar 22 2013 11:48 PM

Device looks great. Real smooth looking and dead convenient. At that cost I just can't justify it to myself. Shouldn't take long to come down in price... Hopefully!


It will likely be cloned by the chinese and sold for $0.99 or whatever before long. (5V is not as dangerous as using cheap laptop chargers).

My tablet stand cost about £5 and it is a total clone of a £120 ipad stand only difference is steel not aluminium but it works great.
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It will likely be cloned by the chinese

You make it sound as though the Chinese manufactures rubbish but in fact they are now way ahead.............................do you not realize that the iPhone and most products are Chinese manufactured ?
This MU USB plug is manufactured by the Chinese ???
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The Soup Thief
Mar 26 2013 03:48 PM
@Jaisan888 Could be fine or could be terrible. Genuine products manufactured in China could be every bit as good as from anywhere else, however copied / cloned stuff tends to be pretty ropey in my experience. Recent example is my wife's cloned iphone mains/usb plug (Apple branded - plainly not authentic). It went "pop" a few days ago leaving a smell of burning plastic etc. Luckily no damage to anything else, but plainly could have caused bigger problems. Until the entire Chinese tech industry can make reliability and quality control higher priorities (which some might see as an argument for copyright enforcement - I don't want to get into that), Chinese brands are likely to be tarred with the brush of these dodgy producers.
Slight paradox though in that in order to raise standards manufacture & design will become more costly, reducing the price advantage they often enjoy in western markets.
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glossywhite
Mar 26 2013 07:52 PM
£25, lol. Yeah, ok.

A "solution" for a "problem" that doesn't appear to exist. How many people don't have a rucksack or large pocket that they can fit a *standard* USB charger in? How often do people need to carry their mains charger with them? Also, there is generally a PC or laptop or other USB socket at most locations, for which you'd carry a USB *cable* (apart from trains, and if you're on a train, you're likely to have a rucksack or bag), so why would anyone need this minor improvement on convenience, especially at this stupid premium price?

They wouldn't. If this was on Dragon's Den, the inventor would be laughed off.
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I've got the lindy device (black one with the folding red earth pin) which is also 2.1amp output. Works really well.

If you travel *allot* then little things like this make a big different. Packing a working week of cloths and tech into a wheeled laptop case (tumi things) or travelling a full day trip (5am until midnight) carrying only a small satchel with tablet & 10Ah external battery. If you travel every week by air/train to different & multiple places this stuff makes a difference.
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maniac_mouse
Mar 28 2013 08:54 PM
Nice idea, pity they couldnt have fully covered the earth prong when its closed though, it makes it look a bit heath robinsonish. Now if they could do this with a standard laptop/kettle lead, that would be aces. The nice soft case my netbook resides in has 3 annoying dents in the sidepocket where the prongs have stuck into it and worn it out. It ruins the aesthetics of the thing as well, what with the bloody big bulge on the side.
Oh, and the price is beyond ridiculous, it should be a tenner at most, considering Tesco sell normal ones for under a fiver.
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so is this not just the same but cheaper...?
http://www.ebay.co.u...=item4ac096d2a7

and then if you just want a folding mains plug for laptop bricks....
http://www.ebay.co.u...=item2a297c329c

http://www.ebay.co.u...=item2c6cdc3139

Ben


I've bought one of the thinchargers from amazon for £8.99. Will update this thread when it arrives...
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unrandomsam
Apr 05 2013 11:21 PM

Nice idea, pity they couldnt have fully covered the earth prong when its closed though, it makes it look a bit heath robinsonish. Now if they could do this with a standard laptop/kettle lead, that would be aces. The nice soft case my netbook resides in has 3 annoying dents in the sidepocket where the prongs have stuck into it and worn it out. It ruins the aesthetics of the thing as well, what with the bloody big bulge on the side.
Oh, and the price is beyond ridiculous, it should be a tenner at most, considering Tesco sell normal ones for under a fiver.


I think the design will be copied and a factory load made before too long. (And then from Hong Kong they will be a price war on ebay probably be able to get one for $0.99 on a bid).
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Got my £8.99 Thincharger plug and it's great. The folding Earth pin is made of plastic and doesn't feel the most premium but it does its job and to be honest the job is hardly needing a premium look, just something that works.

It's good enough to charge most, if not all, smart phones, folds thin into your pocket. Sweet, job's a good'un!
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http://www.aliexpres.../340593655.html
For all your travel needs :P
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