I installed one of the Newer Technology Power2U AC/USB wall outlets in my kitchen today. As the name implies, it offers both USB and AC power outlets in one standard-sized wall outlets.
The Power2U charges iPads, iPhones, iPods, Android tablets and phones, tablet computers, MP3 players, GPS devices, digital cameras, and other USB 3.0/2.0/1.1 chargeable devices.
The little tabs on the outside of the USB port apparently function as the on/off switch for delivering power to the USB ports. They are spring loaded and move with the USB port covers once the main coverplate is installed.
The Power2U delivers power to the USB outlet only when the cover is opened for a USB plug to be insert. Unplug the USB cable and there’s no vampire drainage on your power outlet when you’re not using it.
Installing the Power2U was simple. It took me about 20 minutes from before I shut off the breaker until I finished the job and was charging my wife’s iPhone.
The install works just like any other AC outlet. In the event you aren’t familiar with how that works, the Power2U comes with overly-detailed instructions.
As you can see from the photos, the Power2U unit is very similar to a standard outlet; however, it is a bit deeper. As a result, the fit is a little more snug if you have excess wiring inside your box. You may end up needing to feed a little back out into the wall.
As a nice little touch, the Power2U includes small screw covers for the main cover, which provides a more seamless overall look.
There are a lot of different types of AC/USB wall outlets on the market today; however, the Newer Technology Power2U model is the only one that I am aware of that’s UL Listed. I didn’t really know what the big deal about having the UL logo on your product meant until the guys from Newer Tech started explaining the importance of it to me.
Being UL listed means that the AD/DC converter built into the unit has passed the Underwriter Laboratories’ standards for electrical in-wall home products. I can’t seem to find my own homeowners policy terms; however, digging around on Google a bit confirmed Newer Tech’s statements that some insurance companies may reject claims made where a fire was caused by a non-UL listed product that’s installed in the home. That’s a big risk, particularly since the other in-wall products out there seem to be about the same price as Newer Tech’s Power2U.
At the time of this review, the Power2U is available for $27.99 for a single unit or $22.99 if you buy 2 or more via MacSales.com.