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ReTrak, popular in the US, are now selling their range of products in the UK at retailers such as PC World, Dixons and Amazon.

You may have come across retractable cables before – often found on portable mice for laptops, they wind excess cable into real which is suspended half way along the cable length. What ReTrak have done is improved upon this, added other new technologies and then created a huge range of products. Basically, what you get are a range of electrical accessories that take up as little space as possible.

Their range includes computer, visual and audio cables along with power supplies, headphones, iPhone and eBook products, mice and even a retractable mouse mat with built-in USB hub!

The product I’m looking at today is their Retractable USB 2.0 A-Male to A-Female Cable with Multi-Tip “Star” Adapter. Long name – short product.

It’s a retractable USB cable, using the same inertia reel system that was used on their audio cable (pull out the cable on both ends to unwind it and then simply give them a light tug for them to reel back in again) with male to female ends. It also comes with a 4 way “start” adapter which plugs in the end, allowing you to connect USB-B, Mini 5-Pin, Micro 5-Pin and Mini 4-Pin.

The cable length is 1.3m with a transfer rate of over 480 Mbps. Again, it comes with a 3 year warranty, so you can be sure that reel is going to continue working.

At £19.99, this is a bit more pricier than the audio cable and, to me, seems to represent slightly less value for money – if you can get it for £15 then I’d consider it a much better prospect. However, it is compact and is ideal for throwing into a laptop bag for most eventualities.

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[review]An assortment of USB connections in a compact solution. A 3 year guarantee ensure it’s resilience but the price could be a little lower. None-the-less, a worthy computer accessory.[/review]