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(Pocket-lint) - Zip-linq are a firm favourite of ours. We just love the hardy "takes a whackin and keeps on retractin" pocketable cables these guys make. The pull once to extend, pull again to retract mechanism is highly addictive and therapeutic not to mention practical.

You decide how much cable you need, 4 inch or as much as 48 inch. The durable ABS housings ensure that cables are stored safely on the road, yet everything is light and diminutive. Which is why we were looking forward to getting hold of this new "kit" which promises to bundle six "must have" accessories together at a low price.

To buy all the bits separately would cost £55.93, call it £56 including the truly cheap and nasty nylon carry bag. Which makes the Zip-linq Road Warrior Kit truly stonking value at just £34.99 does it not?

That rather depends, of course, on whether you actually have a use for all the accessories. We've never found ourselves damning the day we left home without a bendy neck USB powered light be it a 17-inch super bright LED one or not.

To be honest, if the light from the screen isn't bright enough to illuminate your keyboard then you need a new notebook, and don't even get us started about using a light attached to a (powered up) laptop in order to find the keyhole late at night.

So that brings the value equation down to £49.01 then. Being a "road warrior" we stay in hotels with internet access in the rooms, and make use of our Wi-Fi enabled kit to connect on the move, so no need for the phone/modem cable which brings the value down to £42.02.

The mini optical USB mouse, with its two programmable buttons and scroll wheel is certainly useful, although we'd have preferred a little longer leash than the 30 inches supplied by the retractable USB cable which can also be detached and used as a mini 5 pin USB cable on its own.

We can even forgive the fact that it's a USB1.1 device as you don't really need much more for a mouse. This is not the case with other peripherals that a "road warrior" would expect to use, which is why we have to discount the USB1.1 extension cable from the kit we'd carry.

Apparently this is something to do with wire size limitations, which is odd seeing as Zip-linq do actually make retractable USB2 cables. Not that we really care, we'll just rollup a proper USB2 cable with a rubber band instead and knock another £11.98 off the value equation leaving us now with £30.04.

It also leaves us with just one more cable, 48 inch of CAT5 Ethernet 10/100 Base-T connection.

Even though many of the hotels we stay in have wireless internet connectivity, far more business rooms remain firmly in the wired internet world so this is actually useful.

If £5 for the light, an out of date USB extension cable and equally dated telephone/modem connector, not forgetting the bag, sounds like good value to you then go for it.

If you are reading this without the aid of a grown up wearing a white coat, you'll probably want to just go and buy the bits you'll actually use and save a bit of money.


Very few road warriors, or even normal people who travel with a notebook, will actually use all the included bits, yet you have to pay for them all. We like Zip-linq kit, but buying them separately makes more sense.

Writing by Davey Winder. Originally published on 31 March 2006.