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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!

I’ve now had the opportunity to review a number of ReTrak products and, I have to say, I’ve now find my personal favourite!

There are 2 variations of this product, with slightly different plug socket variations. Both, however, come with a retractable 1m cable with a male USB connector on one end and a micro USB connector on the other.  Alone this cable can be used for connecting various products to a computer’s USB port – many phones (inc. Blackberry, Android, etc.), MP3 players, cameras, Bluetooth headsets, the Amazon Kindle and even the Sony Ericsson LiveView. Use it to sync to or charge from the computer.

However, you also get a mains socket with a female USB connector. Plug the supplied USB cable into it and you now have a mains charger for the very same devices. It uses the same ThinPlug technology as their laptop chargers, which means that the earth pins folds down, leaving a flat plug – much more convenient for storage. An LED light lights up when the mains power is on – reminding you that power is in use even when you don’t have a USB socket connected to it. Power is 1000 mA, twice the power of many equivalent chargers, giving your device a quicker recharge time.

The two versions available are the UKM5GTHINW and the UKCHGWSCM5 – the former is a thinner, longer plug, which sticks out further from the socket. The latter sticks out less but is a lot rounder as a result.

Both  come with a 3 year warranty and will retail around the £19.99 mark.

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[review]Fast recharge, folds neatly up and a reasonable price too – this is a brilliant use of retractable cables and the ThinPlug technology. Well worth having.[/review]