JustMobile‘s line of accessories that look like they could have rolled out of a lab in Cupertino just got a bit larger with the addition of two new car chargers — the Highway Duo (US$39.95) and the Highway Max ($29.95) — and a trio of Lightning charging cables; the AluCable, the AluCable Mini, and the AluCable Twist. Sure, these aren’t the most exciting accessory products on the market, but you sure can’t do a lot without a charger and cables!
First, let’s take a look at the car chargers. I was confused by the names of the Highway Duo and the Highway Max. Wouldn’t you think that something called the “Duo” would have a pair of USB charging ports? Wrong. The Highway Max is the one with the two ports, both set up for 2.1 A output that’s perfect for charging up a pair iPhones or iPads while on the road. The Highway Max comes with a knurled aluminum end piece that looks good and provides a good grip for, and it has a USB to micro-USB cable included in the box.
The Highway Duo does have the ability to charge two devices at once, as there’s a built-in 1 m Lightning cable that serves up 2.1 A of current to your favorite Apple device and one open USB port (1 A) for another device.
Of the two chargers, I think the Highway Max would be the more useful one as it can handle two devices at 2.1 A each, and it also features a fuse for circuit protection. If you already have cables for your iPhones or iPads, you can use those and get away with saving ten dollars over the cost of the Highway Duo. Surprisingly, the Highway Duo doesn’t have a fuse built in.
Now let’s look at the cables. Apple charges $19 for a white USB to Lightning cable in either .5 m or 1 m lengths, and $29 for a 2 m cable. JustMobile’s AluCable Mini is just .1 m (10 cm) long and costs $19.95.
The AluCable is a full 1.5 m long and sells for $24.95, and the coiled AluCable Twist (1.8 m length) is also $24.95. The JustMobile cables are all MFi (Made for iPod/iPhone/iPad) approved, and at least for the AluCable and AluCable Twist, are less expensive than their Apple counterparts.
The AluCable line also has another thing going for it — the cables just look cool. There’s a aluminum casing around both ends of the cable, and they look like they’ll last a lot longer than Apple’s standard white cables.
JustMobile makes quality gear, and the new charging cables and car chargers are no exception. If you’re looking for an alternative to Apple’s Lightning cables, the AluCable series is well-built and competitively priced. We also recommend the dual-port Highway Max for its fuse-protected design, high output, and excellent price. The Highway Duo doesn’t receive our recommendation, as it is priced higher than competitive car chargers and does not offer circuit protection.