Cables suck. They're stubborn, thick, restrictive, and unattractive. While there have been countless attempts to try and eliminate the inconvenience, the cruel truth is that in our current generation, cords are a necessity. Even when wireless capabilites are available, a conflict of speed enters the equation. Bottom-line is they're not going away, so Vizo has come up with a way to help make cables a little more livable, and look good while doing it. Today we take a look at the Starlet Cable Binding kit.
Product Name: Starlet Cable Binding Kit
Review Sample Provided by: Vizo
Review by: Adam
Pictures by: Adam
God, I hate that plastic. You know, the kind that sends countless people shamfully to the hospital every holiday season. Thankfully, Vizo has had the foresight to avoid crimping the edges that make these packages so hard to open, instead punching four holes, two to each side, that keeps the plastic together and pop apart much easier. Inside, we find four various sizes of sleevings: 5ft. of 3/8", 5ft. of 1/2", 10ft. of 1/8", and 10ft. of 1/4". Also included is 1ft. of both 9mm and 20mm heat shrink tubing, 6" of 25mm heat shrink tubing, and 10 UV tie wraps. The Starlet line comes in five colors: black, UV Blue, UV Green, UV Yellow, and UV Red.
The sleevings are made of braids, which keep them tight against the cords. The braiding works both ways: it's difficult to get the sleeving started, especially when dealing with the large, plastic end pieces, but it expands very easy when pressure is applied from both ends, just like a chinese finger trap. Once the sleeving is started, you can simply hold on to one part of the cord and, for lack of a better term, 'inch worm' the sleeve to the end of the cable. It can be somewhat irritating, and none of the sleeves are large enough to fit around the 24-pin motherboard power cable straight out of the box (a tool to remove the plastic cap can be used, but its not included).
Since the sleeves come in pre-cut lengths, they must be cut down to meet the required measurements. There is very little room for error here; you can't really add any more length if you cut too short, and its difficult to cut the sleeving any further once its applied. And with a limited amount of sleeving included in one kit, you really have to make every piece count. In addition, cutting the sleeve breaks the braiding, which makes it very, very easy for fraying to occur, and before long half of it can come undone. To keep this from happening, after the sleeve is cut you can singe the ends together, much like Vizo has done with the factory cuts. However, use caution here; its easy to burn the sleeves, and if you're not careful you can melt the opening shut.
The included heat shrink tubing works fairly well, plus it matches the color of the selected kit. Again, heat is used to, well, shrink the rubber to form-fit over the cord, encasing the the sleeve along with it. This not only keeps the sleeving from moving, but has a much better finish than just leaving the sleeves free, or binding it with tie wrap. Again, becareful not to concentrate the heat in one place too long; the heat shrink doesn't necessarily burn, but it will leave a dark residue that can be hard get off.
The UV Starlet cable sleeves look great. Their glow is subtle enough not to be intrusive to the eyes, but definitely stand out. The binding kit is also handy to reduce cable clutter, which has many benefits including a better airflow. Even without a UV light, the sleeves make cables more attractive, but the obvious benefit of the UV simply makes them look amazing. The Starlet cables do a great job of holding their respective colors, even under multi-colored UV lights. Vizo supplied us with both green and yellow UV colors, which when used together truly compliment one another. I also had the Vizo Starlet UV SATA-Cable in green installed at the time of the test, which matches very well with the green cable binding sleeves when under a UV light, though there is a slight noticable difference when the light is off.
Installing the cable sleeves definitely takes a certain amount of patience, but in my experience the ends justify the means. The inclusion of matching UV color heat shrink and tie wraps is a nice touch, and the finished product looks great. It is difficult to stretch one cable binding kit to cover all the cords you may have, especially if its your first experience with sleevings, so you may consider ordering an extra (and for $10, its fairly reasonable). The entire Starlet line compliments one another, both in matching colors and other colors in the set, and all of the benefit of improving air flow by reducing cable clutter. And the Starlet Cable Binding kit does it all while making your case glow, literally.