Micro-USB Cables

USB (Universal Serial Bus) has been around for quite a while now. It made its first appearance slightly more than a decade ago and took the computer industry of the whole world by storm, revolutionizing methods of data transfer and peripheral connectivity. The term ‘plug and play’ fully achieved meaning only through the advent of USB, which allowed users to connect any USB-compliant piece of hardware to the computer with a minimum amount of hassle, without having to fiddle with sensitive and delicate-looking connector ports and tighten stubborn screws to hold the plugs in place. USB devices were connected by small, simple yet firm connector plugs that neatly slotted into little USB ports and stayed there unless yanked out.

USB devices come in all shapes and sizes, in a multitude of different varieties, ranging from perfectly practical to whimsically wild. USB-powered keyboards, mice, printers, flash drives (for data storage) scanners, webcams and TV tuners are used quite widely, while stranger items such as lights, fans and even plasma globes also exist. This is only possible due to the tremendously versatile nature of USB, which allows the transfer of significant amounts of energy as well as information transfers at very high speeds.

So, what exactly is the deal with micro-USB and micro-USB cables?

A very large number of USB-compliant devices in the world are portable devices which run off batteries that are meant to be regularly recharged or replaced. The portability of these devices require that they are small, light, easy to carry, easy to use and that they contain a minimal number of ports for linking with other devices, notably computers. These gadgets include personal media players, mobile telephones, digital cameras, e-book readers and portable hard disk drives. As anyone who has used some of these devices may be able to guess, most of them are too small to accommodate the installation of a full-sized USB port on their bodies. While wireless connectivity methods such as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi exist, they are slow for large data transfers, for which cable connections are preferred.

In order to combat this problem, the micro-USB port was developed. Technically, it was not much more than a smaller redesign of the standard USB port, specially suited for installation on portable devices without having to sacrifice much valuable space. The micro-USB port is approximately a quarter the size of a standard USB port, and accepts a standard micro-USB cable with a micro-USB plug at one end. The other end of the cable which connects to a computer features a standard-sized USB plug that slots into a free USB port.

The advantages of using micro-USB are manifold. While larger devices might not benefit from smaller USB ports, the situation is delightfully different for small, portable gadgets. For mobile phones and cameras, which see a lot of action in outdoor environments, care must be taken when designing them that no large sockets are present on their exterior. Putting large ports on the exterior may cause them to become damaged, and it is also a great way to invite layers of dust and grime to settle inside the ports, rendering them useless. Micro-USB ports solves this problem to a great extend by making the ports too small to allow accumulation of dust. Their smaller size also prevents them from a lot of damage, because a smaller surface area equals a smaller chance of accidental impact of any kind.

Micro-USB cables can be purchased from any major computer store for as little as US$ 3. It is a good idea to take along the gadget for which you are buying the cable so that you do not get confused during purchase.

This Micro-USB Cables Review is Written/Updated on Aug 16th, 2010 and filed under Consumer Electronics. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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