Vinpok Bolt-S USB-C magnetic cable review: MagSafe is back

Apple / Hardware Reviews / Reviews / Tech
Vinpok Bolt-S

The biggest thing the Vinpok Bolt-S has going for it is that 87W support.

TA-ratings-82Let’s face it, USB-C is most likely going to become the standard way to charge our devices. Many smartphones are going this way and Apple switched to USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 in its latest notebooks. The Vinpok Bolt-S is a USB-C cable with a surprise on one end: magnetic connectivity. Like Apple’s MagSafe connector, the Vinpok Bolt-S attaches to your device via magnet. Apple notebook users were rightly upset when Apple discontinued the MagSafe connection, it was loved by many. Read on for our full review of the Vinpok Bolt-S and you decide if this little device will replace your old MagSafe connector.

Specifications

The Vinpok Bolt-S USB-C magnetic cable has the following features and specifications:

  • Instant connection
  • 87W compatible
  • Quick release
  • Smallest tip
  • 4,000 times tensile test
  • Fast charging
  • Easy to use
  • Compatible with many devices
  • Color: Black/Silver
  • Length: 78.7 inches (about 2m)
  • Weight: 1.2 ounces (about 34g)
  • Output: 5.2V 2.4A/9V 3A/20.2V 4.3A
  • Maximum Current: 4.3A
  • Charging Port: USB-C
  • Operating Environment: -3° to 45℃
Vinpok Bolt-S

Bolt-S cable, tip and carrying case included.

What’s In The Box

  • Vinpok cable
  • Vinpok USB-C tip
  • Vinpok carrying case

Design

There’s not a whole lot to say about a cable’s design other than, it’s a cable. The Vinpok Bolt-S is well made and feels very durable although I would have preferred a flat cable design. It’s about the same thickness and feels like the MacBook USB-C cable but a bit longer and it has a nice velcro strap to keep things tidy. The cable comes with its own carrying case, which is a nice touch and it helps keep it nicely tucked into a backpack. The Vinpok Bolt-S is attempting to replace Apple’s MagSafe connection and for the most part, this design accomplishes that.

There was one area of the Vinpok Bolt-S design that I just couldn’t come to grips with. That was the constant disconnecting problems. Vinpok touts the strength of its magnet and yes, it does grab hold of the cable quickly and easily. The problem I ran into was how easily it became disconnected when doing basic things. Simply readjusting yourself on the couch or moving the laptop to one side and the cable just pulls away.

Vinpok Bolt-S

I felt the magnets could have been stronger to avoid pulling it off when there wasn’t a reason it should be pulled off.

Don’t get me wrong here, the whole reason I loved MagSafe is that the cable would break away from the laptop with ease. But I rarely was frustrated with MagSafe when I did simple things like adjusting the laptop or moving the laptop. I felt the Vinpok Bolt-S disconnected far too often when I didn’t want it to. I think the magnet could be just a tick stronger to prevent these simple scenarios.

Overall, the design is good, it’s just that one nagging issue that I just couldn’t get past and is most of the reason I deducted points.

Performance

The biggest thing the Vinpok Bolt-S has going for it is that 87W support. The cable performs admirably when it comes to charging, as long as it doesn’t get bumped off by accident. The cable also does not support data transfer or data sync so if you’re looking for that, this isn’t it. The USB-C nub is slim and small but still doesn’t always fit with every case. The performance is as advertised and it works very well, except when you bump it the wrong way and constantly have to reattach it.

Vinpok Bolt-S

Be careful if you have a case. This UAG case barely fits the Vinpok and as a result, makes the easy disconnection problem worse.

Price/Value

Still currently crowdfunding on Indiegogo you can get a pair of cables for $47USD or one cable for $24USD. This is actually a decent price point but there are a few things to consider before purchasing. Will it fit with your case(s) on? Do you move around a lot while sitting? (that could affect it just popping off whenever it wants) Do you need data transfer? I do think this cable is priced right. My problem with value here is the magnet isn’t strong enough to deal with everyday movement without falling off.

Wrap Up

It’s a great cable and performs well. Not a fan of the weak magnet, I had to ding it for that alone.

*We were sent a sample of the Vinpok Bolt-S for the purposes of this review.

Vinpok Bolt-S

$24.99+ USD
Vinpok Bolt-S
8.2

Design

8/10

    Performance

    9/10

      Price/Value

      8/10

        Nailed it

        • Nice long cable
        • Magnetic charging like MagSafe
        • Quality construction

        Needs work

        • If you have a case on your Mac, this may not fit
        • Does not transfer data
        • Magnet isn't as strong as I'd like
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