I had the micro usb jack on my android Asus ME301T tablet wear out and I replaced the connector unsuccessfully with the part ordered on ebay. While removing the motherboard, I broke the locking tab on one ribbon connector (yanked it instead of lifting up) and the new connector was flaky since I couldn’t get enough heat to solder down the ground tabs with my old soldering iron.
I eventually ended up finding a new motherboard on ebay and replaced it. Ever since, I have been worried about the micro usb breaking again. There is a lot of wear on the connector since it needs to plugged in at least twice a day or more. I have been using an extension cable and leaving the micro usb cable plugged in but was worried there could be more damage if it is dropped due to the weight of the tablet and stress on the small connector.
My fears became real when I dropped the tablet with the connector plugged in and the connection became flakey. Searching ebay for cables, I stumbled on magnetic adapters. They appear to be knockoffs of a kickstarter project, Znaps but there are other suppliers including Wsken and Volador which have good reviews. On Amazon.ca, I found a Onebook (probably a knockoff) cable with two plugs for $10 CAD shipped.
I decide to order a new tablet and was able to find the Asus Z300M on Amazon.com for $130 during Amazon Prime Days. I ordered a silicon case and a Wsken Mini2 magnetic cable to go along with it since the Onebook cable may take months to arrive. The cable included a plastic tool to pry out the adapter and a small velcro cable strap.
So far the Wsken cable seems pretty good. The plug is uni-directional and will catch about a centimeter away. No more fussing trying to align the plug and determine if it is the right direction. If the plug is reversed, the magnets will cause the plug to repel. There is also a small LED on the plug to indicate it is getting power. Retention is very good. This adapter should prevent wear on the plug and break away if the tablet is dropped when plugged in.
Update – After 5 months, the plug for the Wsken Mini 2 broke. I had the Onebook cable sitting around so switched to it.
The Onebook cable is a bit thinner and has a dual colour LED that changes from green to blue when charging. It is also completely reversible.
Update 2 – The onebook plug broke as well. Luckily I have a spare but it doesn’t seem like this model is carried by the Amazon seller anymore. I have a 3-pack of Netdot cables in my Amazon cart as a backup if this one breaks. Though it may seem fun playing with the plug magnetically snapping it to the cable, I am now gently letting them connect to get more longevity from the plug.
Update 3 (Apr 2021) – I had ordered a 3-pack on Gen2 Netdot cables on Amazon in 2018 and all three plugs have broken. The first one lasted a few years and the last one broke when my tablet fell charging and the magnet didn’t disconnect. I contacted Netdot and they are in Gen10 for their cables and didn’t have plugs for Gen 2 anymore. I found inexpensive Keysion cables on Aliexpress and ordered 2 cables ($1.99 each) and 6 plugs ($0.69) which should be good for a few years hopefully.