annoyances · life · shopping

On Cables and Tablet Stands

There are two kinds of cables I despise: 3 feet cables and ones made of cheap plastic and wires that break apart.

I know short cables make a lot of sense if you’re using the device in a car or if you don’t plan on using your device while it’s charging. However, 99% of the time, I want to use it and in some cases, the power outlets in the house aren’t close enough to a table for me to place my tablet or phone on. Heck, even worse is when an outlet is near a chair or sofa; the pathetic length means I won’t be able to sit comfortably anyway.

For example, here’s my computer desk. Please excuse the terrible terrible mess. XD I’ll be getting a desktop in the near future so hopefully, the next photo I take won’t show the network cable goofily dangling about:

Power outlets in my computer room
A reason I despise 3 feet cables for my portable devices.

By using the power bar on the right side, I CAN put a device near the edge of the desk. However, I CANNOT make use of the power bar under the central opening or the wall outlet on the left the same way. In either case, if I use a 3 feet cable, I have to set the device on the floor.

But look! I have a 6 feet cable plugged into the wall outlet! I just received that today. :3 It’s the Anker 6ft Nylon Braided USB Cable with Lightning Connector and it works as intended so I don’t have much to say on that. I do hope it lasts longer than the cheap Monoprice cables. I went through 2 of those because of the following problem:

Monoprice 6 feet Lightning cable
If you read reviews of any cables with plastic jackets, you’ll see that this is a common issue . 😐 But the bigger issue is that the wires within the insulation are frayed which makes the cable impossible to use.
Monoprice 6 feet Lightning cable
It’s a piece of shit. :/

The residue on the jacket near the connector is from the electrical tape I put on it. Unfortunately, tape doesn’t help with BROKEN wires. =__=

The first Monoprice Lightning cable I had lasted about 7 months. The second one, which I got as replacement thanks to the lifetime warranty, worked for a bit over a year. Incidentally, I take it that “lifetime warranty” refers to the lifespan of the first cable so if the replacement goes kaput, you’ll have to buy a new one? I wrote to Monoprice to see if I can get a third cable last week but I’ve yet to hear back. 😛 It doesn’t matter if customer service ever replies though because I’m done with the company’s cheap crap. (The cable’s only $6 US so I’m sure you can imagine the quality that comes with that price.)

For the record, I did use the cables frequently since I charge the tablet everyday; I plug it in once the battery goes down to ~69%. I always grip the connector when inserting or removing it and never once pulled on the jacket.

I’ll be sure to update this post if the Anker cable suffers the same or similar problem some time down the road.

Now on to the tablet stand!

I’ve been wanting one for a while since I like to have a comfy viewing angle for my tablets when I’m sitting at my computer desk. At first, I considered an adjustable holder with a clamp so I could mount it to the hutch but then I gave it some more thought and decided I didn’t need something like that.

Next, I thought of making my own stand with things around the house. I got some ideas from this site and threw together a silly but working stand. ^^; The main problem with the set-up was the fact that it was easy to send the tablet flying if I somehow made contact with it from either side (such as when reaching for something behind it. ….. I never did take a photograph of the back of this to give people a better idea of the issue.) I somewhat got around it by placing a sheet of packing foam between the back of the iPad mini 2 and the edge of the metal book stand that was keeping the device up.

I wasn’t satisfied though so I went shopping. 😛

Laughable makeshift tablet stand
This was made from a metal book stand, a Panasonic iPod/iPhone dock, and a sheet of packing foam. ^^~

In the end, I selected the JETech Multi-Angle Mini Portable Durable Aluminum Tablet Stand. I liked it a lot the moment I set my iPad mini 2 on it. It’s really sturdy and the device is held in place well. My only worry is the button on the side malfunctioning as it’s used to adjust the viewing angle.

Edit: There IS a problem with the stand in that you can’t use the charging cable with it in portrait orientation even if you reverse the tablet so the port is facing upward. The cable ends up dragging the tablet backwards and causing it to fall. :/ Only way is to put it in landscape orientation.

Just for the heck of it, here are the boxes for the items I purchased. 😀 There’s no documentation with either item (not that a cable needs one) but the stand has the “user manual” written on the back. Of course, part of it is conveniently covered by the UPC sticker. 😛


Boxes for the Anker 6 ft Nylon Braided USB Cable with Lightning Cable and JETech Multi-Angle Mini Portable Durable Aluminum Tablet Stand.
Boxes for the Anker 6 ft Nylon Braided USB Cable with Lightning Connector and the JETech Multi-Angle Mini Portable Durable Aluminum Tablet Stand.

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