Gear: The Mu folding plug USB charger / by 3.1

Quite possibly the most useful bits of plastic I've ever owned!

Quite possibly the most useful bits of plastic I've ever owned!

My ex-boyfriend was really into gadgets. Not just any old tacky, gimmicky crap, but actual gadgets that had some sort of engineering and great design to them, with the overall result being something that was both useful and aesthetically pleasing.

It must be quite a few years ago now, but I remember him sending me a link to a concept video about a folding plug. The concept video itself was just something created as part of designer Min-Kyu Choi's studies at the time, but I thought (along with probably other people on the Internet) that it was the best thing since sliced bread at the time, probably because I had a MacBook Unibody at the time, with an awkward power brick and an equally awkward plug. Then there was my iPhone charger, and various other chargers for various other USB-chargeable devices. The video highlighted an inconvenient problem that I was quite keen to have remedied.

2009 has long faded away into the recesses of my mind, along with the Min-Kyu Choi's concept for something better. Until of course I happened to meet an acquaintance the other week who was showing me what he carried around in his bag in terms of gadgets. The folding plug he was carrying appeared to be quite familiar to me, and I was very excited to see it and had to buy one almost immediately.

Meet the Mu:

The Mu Tablet USB charger with an Eastern Collective braided USB cable

The Mu Tablet USB charger with an Eastern Collective braided USB cable

It seems we've coming a long, long way from that video from 2009. Developed by Matthew Judkins and Min-Kyu Choi (who founded Made in Mind), the duo have made the concept of a folding plug into a wonderful reality in the form of a USB charger. This is a great bit of design and engineering, and the product has already been developed to provide different options for different users. There are four different colours to choose from at the moment (black, white, pink and blue), and different power configurations in the form of the Mu Classic (1Amp single USB), the Mu Tablet (2.4Amp single USB), and the Mu Duo (2.4Amp dual USB).

The Mu Tablet and the Mu Duo with an iPhone 5S

The Mu Tablet and the Mu Duo with an iPhone 5S

I picked myself up the Mu Tablet and the Mu Duo. The Mu Tablet was purchased with the intention of using it for work or when I'm out and about and need a fast charge, whereas the Mu Duo was to save on having to use two plugs for USB-chargeable tech, like my pedometer and my phone when I'm in bed.

The build quality and finish of the Mu is pretty good. The plastic feels strong and doesn't have a cheap feel to it. It has a matt/silk finish on the front and back, and my only complaint with the finish is that it's not the same all over as the edges are glossy. The Mu is really small and light once folded – you can easily slip this into a pocket or a bag. The folding flat design not only serves to protect the pins, but it means the pins can't damage anything in your bag or poke holes anywhere.

Unlike an Apple iPhone USB charger, the Mu does not have an earthing pin, so your gadgets might feeling like they're buzzing a little. I don't personally like the buzz, but it's just a little thing and I'm not too bothered about it.

Packaging is pretty fuss free and widely recyclable. Instructions and technical specifications are printed both on the box and on a small Mu-sized leaflet included inside.

The fact that the Mu folds fully flat means that if you're planning on travelling with it, it's a great thing to have. Made in Mind will be releasing a travel system soon, which has currently reached its funding through crowdsourcing on Indiegogo.

Get your own Mu, and check out their great wesite, here: themu.co.uk