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NewerTech Power2U AC/USB Wall Outlet

5 Stars
Newer Technology Power2U

Our digital lives are overflowing with devices that require constant charging. Fortunately, companies keep coming up with creative ways to meet those demands. One innovative way that NewerTech has come up with, is going straight to the wall in your home. The Power2U AC/USB wall outlet replaces your standard electrical wall outlet and adds two USB ports, freeing up your electrical outlets for other appliances.

PROS

  • Relatively easy installation
  • USB safety shutters for port protection
  • No power draw on USB ports when unused
  • Multiple colors to fit decor

CONS

  • Won’t fit electrical boxes smaller than 16 cubic inches

I’ve built my own computers for many years, but have always been weary of messing around with electrical work in my home because of safety concerns. I would’ve taken a pass on the Power2U wall outlet, had it not been for the useful installation video and documentation. Armed with my Irwin screwdriver and a flashlight, I got started.

Power2U front angle

INSTALLATION
After viewing the installation video a few times and reading over the included paper guide, I found the installation to be quite easy. Keep in mind that I’d never replaced an electrical outlet before in my life. Unfortunately, the electrical box I was installing the Power2U into was too small for the unit. The minimum size requirement is 16 cubic inches. This is very important as you don’t want to overfill the electrical box. I ended up jamming the Power2U inside the electrical box temporarily, just to complete my testing. If you’re not comfortable with installing it yourself, definitely contact a licensed electrician to do it for you.  I’d also recommend performing the work during the day with plenty of sunlight. Since you have to shut off the breaker to the outlet before starting the install, it’s much easier to work during the day, rather than messing around with flashlights or lanterns.

Power2U installed

Power2U dimensions
FEATURES AND USAGE
The great thing about the Power2U wall outlet, compared to similar outlets, is that the USB ports don’t take the place of one of the electrical outlets. You can plug in two USB cables and two electrical plugs at the same time. Another great feature is that the USB ports are covered by safety shutters. If you have kids, you’ll appreciate this feature. Also, there’s no vampire draw from the USB outlets. Power only runs to the USB ports when a cable is plugged in.

Power2U front

Power2U back

Power2U side

I was able to charge an iPod Touch, Android smartphone, and an Android tablet through the Power2U’s USB outlets. It’s worth mentioning, however, that the Android tablet (Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1) would only charge while powered off.

Power2U black

CONCLUSION
The Power2U is a great way to add some convenience to your digital life. There are many ways to charge your devices, but none that are as sleek or as easy to use as the Power2U. Just make sure to measure your electrical box before you start installation and check out the videos for helpful tips. The Power2U comes in white, light almond, ivory, and black.

Available from Amazon.com and Other World Computing direct.

* Review units provided by NewerTech

Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, Ed is an IT veteran turned stay-at-home-dad of two girls. He's contributed how-to's for CNET and reviews any gadget he can get his hands on.


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