Our homes are constantly being filled with more and more devices that need charging via a USB port. Digital cameras, Smart Phones, iPads and other Tablets, back up batteries, keyboards and more; all charge via a USB. Often these need more power than a computer USB port provides, so you end up with a lot of different chargers all over the house. One solution to this issue is to use multi-port chargers, but another is to replace some of your household electrical sockets with ones with built-in USB chargers. The Power2U Power Outlet with USB Ports by Newer Tech is designed as a DIY solution to adding electrical outlets with built-in USB chargers to your home. They are available in 15 and 20A versions, so you need to check which is compatible with your home wiring system.
I tackle most DIY projects around the home, but I typically leave electrical projects to my husband as he is an Electrical Engineer by training. With any electrical project safety is very important, so only do this installation if you are comfortable safely doing basic home electrical work, such as installing or replacing electrical sockets, otherwise have an electrician do it for you.
I watched my husband do this project so my review is based on his comments, plus my observations. I initially asked him to install the Power2U on our kitchen island as I often charge my phone there. The first issue we ran into was that the installation box is on the large side, and it wouldn’t fit in the hole in the island where our current outlet is and as we didn’t want to cut a bigger hole that location was out.
We also tried several other locations around the house where we encountered the same issue. We did eventually find a location which had a large enough hole. My husband said that if you have installed electrical outlets in the past that this shouldn’t be too big a challenge but that it is a little bit fiddlier than installing a regular outlet. It took him about 15-20 minutes to install, so it was pretty quick.
Once the Power2U was installed the hard part was over, it works really well. I love the convenience of having USB outlets right in my outlet without needing any extra charger. The USB ports have sliding flaps which automatically close to over the port when it is not in use. You can charge 2 devices at once and still use the regular electrical sockets at the same time (though not with any bulky plugs as they can cover up the USB ports). If you have certain rooms in your house where you routinely charge your devices it is worth considering replacing some of the outlets in the room with the Power2U outlets, but I would recommend first checking to see what size box you currently have housing your outlet – it requires a 16 Cubic Inch or larger single gang electrical box. You can find more information on requirements on the Newertech website.
Available online from Newer Tech, Amazon and other retailers , 2-pack from $45.98