Ten years ago, we would be happy to travel with a regular travel adapter. With the changing power requirements of newer gadgets, you can hardly do that today. I mean, you could, but would you rather put up with the inconvenience if you really don’t have to? And also, remember the one time the hotel you were in had just one power outlet, but have like 4-5 gadgets needed to be topped? This is where Nimble by iBlockCube, a travel adapter that is 100 percent up-to-date to serve today’s gadgets, excels.
Amazing Build Quality
When I pick up a travel adapter, build quality is almost always on top of my list. Why? Because, poor quality construction does not promote confidence in using it. That said, the Nimble isn’t flimsy like many travel adapters. If you have use travel adapters, you will know exactly what I mean.
Nimble’s overall build is sturdy and very reassuring. The sliders slide reassuringly as opposed to being super shaky. Though I won’t go as far to say it isn’t shaky at all. It does if you want to be extremely picky, but not nearly as much as the few adapters I had. In short, it feels solidly built.
Pardon me for that undue excitement over this small but no less important aspect. I am after all super OCD over build quality – especially when it is something that has electricity passing through it. Anywho, enough of the construction. Now, lets talk about what it can do for you.
Not Your Everyday Travel Adapter With USB Ports
With rumors that Apple is ditching Lightning in favor of USB-C for future iPhone (namely, iPhone 11), it kind of reaffirms that USB-C is the future and the future is covered by Nimble because, it has not one, but two USB Type-C ports. Nimble is the first travel adapter in the world to touts two Type-C ports. And that’s just the starter. It does not share power across the two USB-C ports and the three USB-A ports which it also touts.
There’s one USB-C that does Quick Charge and Power Delivery (QC/PD) and it is a standalone port that does not share its 18W of power with any of port. And you know what that means. It means USB-C powered MacBook users can leave the stock power brick at home and just bring the Nimble along on their travel.
Unfortunately, we don’t have a USB-C powered MacBook, so we didn’t get to put the USB-C PD through its paces. However, get a chance to charge the original Pixel which actually supports USB power delivery and there it was, indicated onscreen as “charging rapidly.”
Clear indication is also what I appreciate. In addition to label to indicate which USB-C port does PD/QC, iBlockCube has color coded the port in orange for at a glance identification. And then there are the trio of USB-A ports and another USB-C port which combine to deliver 17W of juice.
Peace Of Mind Using It
If you treasure peace of mind when charging, you will appreciate what Nimble has to offer in the area of protection. Now, to be fair, we did not tear it down to look inside. For this part, we just have to take iBlockCube’s words for it. The power accessories maker said the Nimble has not one, not two, but three independent circuit boards to manage power distribution to whatever devices that are being charged.
Among the three circuit boards is one dedicated 18W board that handles the QC and PD, plus there’s an inbuilt auto current protection to boot. The circuitry appears to be doing a good job because, during charging involving an iPad mini, a Pixel Phone and a TicWatch E2, the adapter managed to keep its cool the whole time.
Finally, in the good’ol British tradition, Nimble is designed with a replaceable fuse that would ‘break’ in the event a fault does occur. In this way, your devices will be spared from the wrath of any surge. Auto resetting fuse is not present for good reason. When a fuse ‘tripped’, it gives you the chance to identify the source of the problem rather than it keep auto resetting while you remain in the dark of what’s causing the fault.
Speaking of fuse, each Nimble comes with a spare fuse stowed inside it. So, in the event that it requires a fuse change, you can simply pop the new fuse in right there and then.
• Sturdy build, yet compact and lightweight
• Universal socket
• 18W dedicated charger
• Supports Quick Charge and Power Delivery
• Generous number of USB ports
• Only one outlet
• Square button for retracting prongs sometime will briefly get stuck
• Though super compact, it may still block the switch of some old wall outlet*
*It is a problem not exclusive to Nimble; it is inherent to almost all travel adapter, unfortunately. However, this problem is non-existence for wall outlets in countries like the U.S. and Taiwan.
Where To Get Nimble?
Nimble World Traveler Adapter will be available, in limited quantity, via Kickstarter on September 10, 2019, starting at 9:00 PST. Early birds will be able to secure a unit for just $29. Do note iBlockCube is limiting to 300 backers and so, you may want to keep your eyes peeled if you want one.
Update [September 10, 2019 11:23PM PST] The crowdfunding campaign for iBlockCube Nimble World Traveler Adapter is now live on Kickstarter. Act on it fast and you may have a chance to secure a unit for just $36 (sorry, Super Early Bird perk is gone now). The campaign is already funded and so, your pledge for a product is a pre-order which will be fulfilled sometime in October 2019. Go check it out now.
Photos by Chua/Mikeshouts.