As much as we’d like to think that we are moving toward a wireless existence, cables are still very much a part of our digital lifestyles. That doesn’t mean that these cables have to turn into a jumbled and ugly mess though. We should manage them better, making for not only a better looking appearance, but also a more user-friendly experience.
And it is along that line of thought that we take a look at some of the cable management products from Rockpool Designs. They’re not exactly rocket science and they don’t come with quad core processors, but they could prove to be some of the more useful products as part of your gadget-infused endeavors.
The Smart, Easy or Perfect Way
The three products that we’re looking at today are the Rockpool CableStrip, the Rockpool CableGrip and the Rockpool CableSnap. They all serve fundamentally the same purpose–holding your cables in place when they’re not in use and keeping them tidy even when they are in use–but they go about them in different ways.
Curiously enough, the marketing and packaging folk at Rockpool decided that they should use similar language to identify the products, but not identical language. The CableStrip, for instance, is called the “smart way to keep your cables tidy,” whereas the CableGrip is the “easy way to tidy your cables.” And then there’s the CableSnap, which is the “perfect way to clean up cable clutter.”
Marketing messages aside, it’s clear that despite their simplicity, these cable-holding products can be quite handy. You can leave the charging cable for your digital camera semi-permanently affixed to the edge of your desk, rather than having to get down on your hands and knees, poking around with a flashlight to find the cable among the mess. All three Rockpool products attach via super strong 3M double-sided tape.
CableStrip for Many Cables
We start off with our look at the Rockpool CableStrip. A two pack currently retails for $9.99 and each CableStrip has five holes in it to hold your threaded through cables. There is a slight rubberized feel to this, allowing the notches to bend and flex ever so slightly. This way, your cables can easily be put in and out of place. Because of the multiple cable functionality, this is best suited for places where you may have multiple cables.
For example, you could put it on your computer desk, keeping your iPod cable close at hand for syncing, along with the cable for an audio input and the USB cable for a card reader. It’s really up to you. You might also find it useful with your stereo or home theater, especially if you’re constantly swapping inputs. Build quality is solid and it certainly doesn’t have that “cheap plastic” feel to it.
CableGrip Rubbery Grip
If you want something a fair bit smaller, the round CableGrip could be a good option. For the same $9.99 as above, you can get a six pack of CableGrips. Each has two little grips, holding two cables separate from one another. I personally found this design to a little more finicky, since it didn’t really feel like the cable was being held securely in place, but I never really experienced the cable slipping through either.
This could be great for instances where you may only need to hold a couple of cables in place, as would be the case with your smartphone charger. The CableGrip has the same kind of rubbery feel as the CableStrip, but in a much smaller package.
CableSnap Clasps Into Place
There are still holes at the top and bottom to allow the cable to thread through, but you’ll need to make sure that your end connector isn’t smaller than the hole. In the case of the charging cable for my Samsung smartphone, it was barely enough to not fall through. This is a notable concern, especially since the rubbery grip isn’t there. Even so, I felt it was the most convenient and it gave me a better assurance that the cable was being held securely in place.
Almost ironically, I saw a similar product at the local night market, except it was a toothbrush holder. The fundamental idea is the same with the snap-shut opening, but the toothbrush holder had a suction cup on the back and only the one hole on the bottom.
MEGATechie Well-Managed or MEGATechie Loosely Assembled?
For the foreseeable future, we’ll still need to meddle with cable management. I don’t know how many times I’ve had to crawl under my desk or reach around a table in order to reach a dropped cable and, as you can imagine, it’s pretty frustrating.
These three products from Rockpool aren’t particularly revolutionary or groundbreaking, but they do what they need to do and they do so reasonably well. The 3M double-sided tape is super sticky, the material choices are actually not that cheap, and everything works the way they say it does. Considering that each pack is just ten bucks, Rockpool has provided a very simple and affordable solution to a very common problem.