Solving the USB Conundrum – NewerTech’s Power2U AC/USB Wall Outlet Reviewed
As technology continues to take a larger role in our lives, the need for charging stations for our portable devices becomes more abundant. Smartphones, GPS units, gaming consoles, MP3 players, and even our Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 controllers receive a charge through a USB terminal. Moreover, the adapters for these devices oftentimes are bulky and can take up two, and sometimes three, spots on a power strip or wall outlet, turning our kitchen counters, night stands or wherever you charge your USB devices into an unsightly wad of wiring that look like a spaghetti factory exploded in your domicile.
However, NewerTech has a solution that saves space, looks less unsightly, and allows us to charge our devices quickly: the Power2U AC/USB Wall Outlet. This wall outlet takes the place of your standard 110 volt AC outlet with little to no modification of the existing power box. To install, you simply shut off the breaker to the outlet you wish to replace (safety first, kids!), remove the front panel of the wall outlet, pull the outlet from the housing, decouple the wires and install the NewerTech outlet in reverse order. The entire process takes approximately 20 minutes to perform.
During the installation, you’ll notice that the NewerTech Power2U AC/USB Wall Adapter is a bit bulkier than your standard outlet due to the internal electronics that are required to adapt the 100 volts of USB death down to a safe and sound 5.2 volt (at 10 Watts) output. The adapter will fit inside a standard 16 cubic-inch wall receptacle, which means for modern houses there won’t be a problem. However, for older houses that don’t necessarily have this standard, the receptacle box may need to be replaced. My wall receptacle, in my 1940’s style house, for example, was just barely large enough to house the unit; however for peace of mind, I took an added precaution of wrapping the power terminals in electrical tape in case the box decided to shift.
Step-by-step instructions with pictures for reference are included with the device for easy installation. Of course, if you’re not terribly familiar or comfortable with tinkering in a high-voltage outlet, it’s best to contact an electrician for assistance and/or installation.
The NewerTech Power2U AC/USB Wall Adapter comes with two standard three prong wall outlets to allow you to continue keeping your nightlight, alarm clock, coffee pot or toaster plugged in, while also providing you with two USB ports to charge your desired devices. After the initial test of plugging in my Rocketfish Bluetooth Headphones (a small sacrifice if the installation didn’t go well), I tossed my HTC HD7 and PlayStation Vita, both of which were nearly out of juice when plugged in. The speed at which these devices charged was absolutely astounding! I was able to fully charge my HD7 in about 20 minutes, while the Vita took about 35. With the batteries so easily being depleted on these devices, it was wonderful to be able to fully charge them and get back on the go in relatively short fashion.
A single Power2U AC/USB Wall Outlet will cost you approximately $29.95 retail plus shipping (although at the time of this writing, NewerTech is running a $5.00 off coupon per unit special with purchase of two or more), but unfortunately, the adapters aren’t available at your local retailers such as Lowe’s or Home Depot as of yet. While the Power2U AC/USB Wall Adapter may be a bit too bulky for some houses and require some additional modifications, this is most certainly a device that you might want to invest in to avoid living in a power strip hell governed by your collection of USB devices.
The NewerTech Power2U AC/USB Wall Adapter receives a 4.75/5.
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