I bought a new widget a little while ago. It’s not perfect, but it’s the best bluetooth headset I’ve tried so far. “Tried so far” has a price axis to it, you understand, whose metric consists mostly of “not willing to pay more than X for a widget that’s more about nerd-fun than real need”. I haven’t tried any of the $200 models, and this one set me back about $60. And so far, this thing is pretty good.
It’s so close to meeting my exact criteria for this device that I am physically pained that it didn’t quite make that last step.
It doesn’t, you see, charge over USB. There’s a cute little power adapter that plugs into a wall and ends two feet away in a cute little entirely-custom, never-seen-anywhere-else plug, which you slot into the headset in its own custom, never-seen-anywhere-else socket. It takes five volts and half an amp.
Please, dear people who make little low-power widgets, I beg of you, let me charge your widgets via USB. Sell me your device without your power adapter, and instead with a tiny little cable, perhaps as little as a foot long, that has standard USB-cable bits at either end. Make them as dumb as you possibly can, so I don’t need to do any more work, like installing a driver, and just suck up the voltage. If you really need a to put a transformer in the box, an off-the-shelf wall-voltage-to-usb thing would be fine. I would be shocked if this wasn’t cheaper for you than including a custom-built power brick and mobile users, especially your hard core have-gun-will-travel types who want to travel light at all costs, will love you for it always. And though I’m hardly a member of that frequent-flyer elite, even I’ve had days where turning laptop juice into widget power was, or would have been, pure gold.
I’ll even forgive you if you need a custom cable, say because you want one end to work on your widget and the other to be USB or Firewire or whatever; I won’t love you any less, I just need you to stop filling my bag with an assortment of transformers when I could just carry a few ounces of short cable. Still, standard USB ends are really the best, because they’re ubiquitous – cables you can’t buy off the shelf everywhere are cables you can’t easily replace if something wears out or goes missing, something that only seems to happen when it matters the most.
The power adapter for my cellphone is in Toronto right now; I’m going to have to find a store that sells my precise brand of two-year-old phone (a T610 that naturally has entirely custom, this-line-of-phones-only connectors), hope they’ve still got the right one in stock (Sony-Ericsson has obsoleted that plug style a while back), and probably spend more than the actual phone is worth just to replace its power cable.
That’s my gadget-related wish for today. Make my life a little less cluttered and a little simpler. Make my travel bag lighter. I’ll give you money. Thanks!