In early 2015, Nexiq Technologies discontinued the “tried and true” original Nexiq USB Link. This adapter had been around for around 7 years, and was wildly popular. One of the main reasons that the NEXIQ USB Link became so popular was because of their distribution. Nexiq is 100% owned by Snap On, so between the large marketing spends, industry trade shows, and Snap On tool trucks, Nexiq has an unmatched distribution network. The other large source of their distribution comes from formal truck dealerships, as Nexiq is the recommended product for various truck manufacturers such as International, Freightliner, and many others.
We’ve literally sold over 1,000 of the original Nexiq USB Link, so to say we are familiar with them is an understatement. Lets talk about some of the changes that we’ve noticed with this new and improved NEXIQ 2.
The first thing we’ve noticed is that Nexiq is no longer packaging their adapter in the “Nexiq Box” that they’ve frequently used for not only the USB Link, but other products as well. Here is what the original box looked like: Nexiq has decided not to provide this packaging with the new USB Link 2, but I guess who really cares about packaging?
For all its popularity, the original Nexiq USB Link had some serious design issues. The main issue was with the USB connector at the bottom. The original design was very poor, and lets face it, these devices are being used by diesel and auto technicians. To say they are rough on tools would be an understatement.
The main problem is that due to the bending of the USB cord and constant plugging/unplugging of it, the USB port would break off the motherboard inside the device. When this happened, you would have to send it to Nexiq to be repaired. Although the cost wasn’t bad (Around $150), the downtime of 3-4 weeks is what made it difficult for people. Nexiq did go through a couple “fixes” for this, such as creating a USB Link restrainer (shown below) and upgrading the USB port to the heavy duty “orange” style. By using both of these options, it did tend to help the issue. I only bring this up, because the new USB Link 2 appears to have solved that issue. The design they’ve come up with made it so that the USB cable really can’t be pushed around, and it gets “socketed” into the adapter.