Top 10 AmazonBasics Products
In modern times, the idea of an in-store brand or product line is not uncommon. Many of us are familiar with the private label products produced by retailers including food items, electrical accessories, appliances and more. Suppliers and retailers generally go this route because it’s easy for them to undercut the prices of most of the products on their shelves, and offer consumers (folks like you and me) a cheaper option when it comes to shopping for the things we need – or just want.
These off-brand products are so cost-effective because the retailer – like Target’s Up & Up and Walmart’s Equate – can cut down on the expenses that generally come with stocking a product on the site or shelves of these very suppliers, as well as having direct links to manufacturers (or having their own manufacturing line). This means that they produce the goods for a cheaper price, too. This brings us to Amazon.
AmazonBasics covers everything from cables and tripods to USB DVD drives, Bluetooth speakers and portable batteries. The AmazonBasics private label brand is one of the best you’ll find in that they’re affordable and generally tend to offer good value.
However, scrolling through their product line can take a long time and figuring out which products work and which ones don’t can cost you quite a bit of cash or time. To make your life easier, we’ve decided to give you a list of our Top 10 favorite AmazonBasics products to give you an idea of what you can buy and trust. These are also popular appliances or accessories in general- you’ll probably find a need for most of them at some point or another.
1. AmazonBasics Lightning Cable Review
Apple’s approach to accessory licensing is quite conservative in that they don’t allow other companies or manufacturers to produce or replicate their accessories and go to long distances to ensure that the products are protected against counterfeiting by installing authentication chips in them – even the charging cables.
Apple argues that this is to protect their customers from buying bad quality goods and to ensure that they’re getting good value for their money. But at the same time, this also gives them complete control over the market and allows them to charge whatever they like.
While most of us would justify this with the idea that you’re investing in quality – the truth of the matter is that many of Apple’s accessories are notoriously ‘flimsy’ and tend to break or become damaged over time. However – there is good news for Apple users out there. Amazon is one of the few companies that has been registered to create MFI (Made For iPhone) products and accessories – including Lightning Cables.
These cables essentially act as your charger and as a connection to your Mac or PC. Buying an Apple Lightning Cable can set you back anywhere from $19 upwards, while as buying the Amazon version is usually around $13. To cut a long story short, after I lost my original Lightning Cable, I started using Amazon’s version and haven’t had any problems.
From what I understand, the Amazon Lightning Cable tends to last longer that the Apple original because it has a thicker cable, and a wider end casing (making it easier to grip and more durable). I’ve read about bad experiences with Apple cables, so the fact you can buy a cheaper, more durable version of the cable should be music to your ears.
Amazon’s Lightning Cable only comes in black – which is a great metaphor for the product as it’s the exact opposite of the Apple original in terms of colour and quality. The only thing worth stating on behalf of the Apple Lightning Cable is that it’s 10 mm longer – but in my opinion, 10mm isn’t worth $5 – so we highly recommend the AmazonBasics Lightning Cable if you need a replacement or a spare.
2. AmazonBasics AA Rechargeable Batteries Review
The world of rechargeable batteries has changed drastically since they first entered the market. Thanks to technological advances, they are now largely the preferred option when it comes to powering cameras, remotes, controllers or any battery operated appliances of equipment for that matter.
When it comes to choosing the right brand and getting your monies worth – the reality is that most of the brands tend to give the same output in terms of performance and longevity as the technology seems to have equaled out across the board. So you shouldn’t be disappointed with any brand you buy – unless you’re buying a really cheap, generic knock-off brand.
That being said, the AmazonBasics range of AA and AAA rechargeable batteries are really good value for money and provide great quality and longevity for their price. The general price of a standard set of 4 rechargeable batteries and a charger comes up to around $17 -$19. However, AmazonBasics sells 16 batteries and a charger for just under $40. So the question is really what you intend to use the batteries for.
If you’re using them for photography or any other high-intensity purpose, I would definitely recommend going with AmazonBasics range. These batteries are very durable and having more on hand can really save time in terms of charging. In terms of AAA batteries, most people recommend going with the AmazonBasics range just because they’re better quality. They last longer and tend to cost a little less than the average brand battery.
Most of the rechargeable batteries available on the market today offer roughly the same kind of performance at a similar price. Choosing the right brand for you is really a matter of what you need the batteries for. In my opinion, the AmazonBasics range are the best for intensive use – they give you the best quality, quantity and value for money when compared to other brands in a similar category.
3. AmazonBasics HDMI Cable Review
The humble HDMI cable is often overlooked as being an important feature of our electrical appliances and we generally only tend to pay any attention to it once it stops working. The market is flooded with generic rip-off’s, overpriced brands and faulty look-alikes that can easily fool the untrained eye or inexperienced user.
Buying a good HDMI cable can improve your image quality, save you money in the long run and even have an effect on your audio quality and overall user experience. The cheap cable you considered buying at that cheap, knock-off store downtown would probably break within the first month of use and certainly wouldn’t come with a warranty.
In terms of getting good value for money – I highly recommend the AmazonBasics HDMI Cable. It’s a strong, durable cable that works well with all the current TV’s and monitors on the market and can handle up to 4K resolution with ease. So you know you’ll be up to date for a while.
The cable is fast and comes with a lifetime warranty – no need to panic if it happens to malfunction, although there isn’t much chance of that. Generally, companies don’t give lifetime warranties unless they know their product can handle a lifetime of wear and tear. If you’re an Amazon Prime member, the cable is a little cheaper for you, so it’s an even better incentive to invest in it.
It’s true that there are better cables on the market for a premium price. The AmazonBasics range, however, is readily available, very affordable and comes with that lifetime warranty as a bonus. You can be sure that you’re getting your money’s worth.
4. AmazonBasics 6-Sheet Cross-Cut Shredder Review
If you’ve ever worked from home (or currently do) or in any office environment for that matter, you’re likely to have come across a shredder at some point in time. The need for these devices always perplexed me until I actually started to work in an office and became aware of the need for privacy.
If you need to get rid of some outdated sensitive documents (like receipts, bills, letters etc.) or old credit cards, the AmazonBasics 6-Sheet Cross-Cut is a handy little office appliance. It works well for its size and isn’t large and bulky like the old shredders used to be, so you can easily put it away and leave it out of sight to reduce clutter.
Some have noted that it struggles with thicker documents, so if you’re planning on using it for larger documents that need folding, or laminated documents etc. then I would recommend going for the stronger 12-Sheet Cross-Cut. For general office use the 6-Sheet is perfect and is much cheaper than most of the other shredders in it’s category ($30) and gives the same performance, if not better. Definitely a must-have for any office environment!
5. AmazonBasics MicroFiber Sheet Set Review
I was quite surprised to find out how expensive bedding is and I suppose I only realized this when I moved out of my parents place a while ago and had to shop for a whole new double bed (I used to have a single), sheets, pillows etc. When I found out about the AmazonBasics range of MicroFiber Sheets, I was pretty overjoyed!
They’re comfortable and quite elegant, not to mention durable and easy to clean. They come in a variety of sizes, patterns and colors and breathe easily. By this I mean that they let air pass through them, but only slightly – which basically means that you’ll be able to stay warm on cold nights, but not wake-up in a puddle of sweat on warmer or more humid evenings. Suitable all year ‘round and for many different regions.
The most popular version in the range is the Queen size and it includes 1 – 90 x 102 inch flat sheet, 1 – 60 x 80 x 12 inch fitted sheet and 2x pillow cases. At only $20 ($16.98 if you’re a prime member), it’s great value for money.
The additional bonus about buying things through Amazon is that even if there isn’t a warranty that’s specifically listed on the product, they generally stand by the goods they sell, so if you have any problems – they’ll most likely be happy to help. I’ve only been happy with mine and haven’t had to replace them once so far – even after extensive washing and drying.
6. AmazonBasics Surge Protector Strip Review
Making sure your electrical appliances are protected against electrical surges is an important part of keeping them in good condition and increasing longevity. Having a surge protector in your household can be the best first-line of defense in terms of guarding them against electrical surges. This is where the AmazonBasics Surge Protector really comes in handy, as it has a three-pronged effect in your household.
Firstly it acts as a multi-plug, increasing the amount of plugs you have available. Secondly, it also acts as an extension cord, giving you about 6 feet of extra reach – helpful if you’re in a room that doesn’t have many wall sockets or you want to place your appliance in an area that is out of reach of the nearest wall socket.
The third, and most important aspect of the Surge Protector is that it can effectively block against power surges that ultimately damage your electrical appliances as well as help to regulate the flow of energy that goes to your appliances. This allows them to operate smoothly and for longer amounts of time with less hassles.
However, it’s important not to plug too many devices into the Surge Protector, and not to use electrical appliances that demand high amounts of electricity over a continuous amount of time in the Surge Protector – as some have complained that it can melt over time. I would best recommend using it for laptops, cellphones, toasters, kettles etc. – or use a maximum of 1 or 2 larger appliances in the plug at any given moment.
It’s affordable and effective – but frankly, I wouldn’t bet my brand new 4K TV on it. However, the main plus-point of this plug is that Amazon offers a $20 000 insurance on any damage that may occur to an original owner. At the very least, you’ll know you’re covered – which should put your mind at ease considering that the plug only costs $9.00.
7. AmazonBasics Portable Power Bank 16100 mAh Review
If you tend to travel regularly either for work purposes or even if you just enjoy traveling for the sake of traveling, investing in a good portable pack is an essential must-have. Ensuring that your devices (or at least your mobile phone) can remain fully charged is pivotal if you’re on the road for long periods of time, as staying in touch with your friends, family or employers can be crucial. The last thing you’d want is for them to think you’re missing or fall out of touch with them.
But other than a matter of safety, having a fully charged laptop or cellphone can be an essential tool for navigating in areas you are unfamiliar with, as well as finding hotels, restaurants, hospitals, etc. Cheaping out on a battery pack would largely defeat the purpose – the last thing you want is a pack that claims to charge your phone x amount of times, or last y amount of days and it ends up doing only half of that. This can seriously derail your plans as well as represent a waste of money.
Amazon decided to step into the market with a well-priced, efficient model that works well with a number of different devices and basically gives you an above average performance, for a below average price. The AmazonBasics Portable Power Bank comes in a variety of sizes and charges, however we specifically recommend the 16,100 mAh version because it’s the biggest in the series and gives you the best charge over the longest period of time.
The lithium ion polymer battery is specifically designed to be lightweight and efficient – so it won’t weigh down your bag and can even fit into a reasonably sized pocket with ease. It comes with Dual USB Port charging points, so you can even charge 2 devices at a time with ease.
The device uses LED lights to mark its 4 stages of charge capacity (100%. 75%, 50% and 25%) and can basically charge an iPhone 6 just over 9 times before going flat. It’s the best mid-range device in it’s field and a definite must-have if you’re on the road for long periods of time, or simply enjoy having your phone or laptop ready to use when you don’t have access to a direct power source.
8. AmazonBasics Laptop Backpack 17-inch Review
If you’re going to invest in a laptop, then it would make sense to buy a laptop bag or backpack that helps to keep it safe. There’s no point in spending thousands of dollars on an expensive laptop only to find your device smashed by accident at some point in the near future – especially absent insurance or a warranty.
The world of laptop bags and backpacks is much like any other accessory market in that you can find good quality products that get the job done for a reasonable price – or spend almost as much as you did on the laptop to get some hard case, leather finished designer backpack.
AmazonBasics has a great option for those of you looking for a backpack that’s durable and can offer the protection you want without having to completely empty your wallet or look ‘unstylish’ – not that it generally matters in this case, but it is an advantage. The AmazonBasics Laptop Backpack can hold laptops up 17 inches in size with ease, and will help to protect them against light water damage as well as minor knocks and bumps you’re bound to experience over the course of the day.
It looks great and comes with various internal and external compartments to help sort and store your various items – even a water bottle holder. The AB 103 is perfectly suited for students and younger people – or those who specifically want a backpack to store their laptop in.
However, if you’re looking for something more professional – AmazonBasics also offers a more traditional, shoulder-sling laptop bag for the workplace. It’s cheaper than the AB 103 (traditional laptop bag $15, AB 103 Backpack $29) and will hold a 17 inch laptop with ease and help to keep it safe from the elements. Definitely worth looking into if you’re considering buying a laptop or simply don’t have a bag for yours yet.
9. AmazonBasics Bluetooth Portable Speaker Review
The BTV1 or Portable Bluetooth Speaker from AmazonBasics is widely considered one of the best, most affordable portable speakers in its category. It comes in a variety of forms and colors which means you can easily find what you’re looking for to suite your own personal needs.
The speaker comes with all the basics you’d expect from a portable speaker including a microphone to make phone calls, a micro-USB port for charging as well as an auxiliary input for devices that are not Bluetooth-enabled.
The Micro is suitable for general use and has the most basic speaker type and sound quality. The Mini is practically the same as the Micro – except that it has slightly better sound is more suitable for home use, whilst still being easy to move around with. The real gems are the Portable and Large versions of these speakers – and they’re really the best to invest in in terms of quality for money and performance. The Portable comes with 2x 3W speakers (the previous models only come with 1 each), while the Large version comes with 2x 5W speakers.
Although the Large version packs a bit more punch in terms of volume and sound quality, the Portable version gets my vote because it lasts 2 hours longer without needing to be charged and has a slightly better range. This way you don’t have to keep your device right next to the speaker for it to pick up.
Of course, you can spend a lot more money on a portable speaker if you’d like (the same rule applies to any appliance for that matter), but at under $40 – the AmazonBasics BTV1 is really one of the best value for money deals you can find in terms of sound quality, battery life and build quality.
10. AmazonBasics Camera Bags Review
When it comes to buying a good camera bag, the same principles apply here as with the laptop bag/case scenario. Cameras are expensive and have lots of sensitive parts that are removable and can be damaged easily. So if you’re going to spend a lot of money of camera – you should definitely consider buying a case that’s going to be able to keep it protected.
On the other hand, after spending a lot of money, we generally don’t want to have to spend a whole lot more. This is why the AmazonBasics range of camera bags is suitable for any photographer from novice to professional.
The Backpack is definitely one of the best value for money investments you can make in terms of keeping your gear safe. It has a solid design that can hold up to 2 smaller SLR/DSLR camera’s, 3-4 Lenses and a few small accessories with ease. It has a slick look and is really comfortable to wear, making it easy to access your equipment whilst keeping it safe. The Backpack also comes with a handy tripod strap on the side and a chest strap to ensure it stays on if you’re using it on a hike or in nature etc.
For those who prefer a sling-type bag for their camera and gear – there’s the AmazonBasics Large DSLR Gadget Bag. This is specially designed to make reaching your gear a quick and easy process and also makes transporting your camera a lot quicker. It has a really nice orange interior, can hold a DSLR + 3 Lenses and also has a separate sleeve for a pad or cellphone.
Ultimately, the Backpack is a bit more expensive and costs $30 ($26 if you’re on Amazon Prime), whilst the Gadget Bag only weighs in at $25 – but it really depends on how you plan to use your camera and what kind of gear you’ll be carrying.
For more serious photography, I would recommend the Backpack. It has more space and makes carrying your gear easier and safer. If you’re in a casual environment, the Gadget Bag is a great alternative and costs a little less. Just be sure you’re not paying the same for your camera as you are for your bag!
Ultimately, shopping for quality at a reasonable price can take hours and cost you more than bargained for if you don’t do your research properly. I’m grateful that Amazon decided to start this range as they offer good value for money and products you can generally trust. This means you can save yourself time, money and stress as well as rest assured that you’re dealing with a reputable company.
That might not sound like an important factor, but it’s largely why most people would rather spend more on a brand they’ve heard about or used before, than they would on something unfamiliar to them. The truth about Amazon as a company is that if anything had to go wrong with the product you bought (within reason of course) – they would be glad to help you out, as customer service is really one of their strong points.
This goes a long way when you’re buying private label products, as it can make all the difference between a happy customer or an angry customer. I for one have really taken to this range in particular. The products all have sturdy build – they feel like quality goods, but don’t cost me and arm and a leg. And the beauty of this line is that over time, they seem to get better and better – so who knows what the future will bring? Perhaps there’ll be an AmazonBasics product in almost every home. Time will tell.