NewerTech has a long track record in the technology business; starting in the 1980′s, the company developed the first Macintosh memory products. In 1991, NewerTech memory modules were utilized in the first Macintosh PowerBook. Throughout the '00s, the company notched numerous achievements in its belt, including the NuPower Lithium Polymer replacement battery for iPod 4G (2006) and the MAXPower 802.11b/g/n Wireless Router/Adapter Line (2008).
With such a long, progressive history, it is no surprise NewerTech has produced the first, fully UL listed and approved AC/USB wall outlet. Using a Smart Power design, the unit only distributes the power necessary to charge the attached device, and when the USB slots close, power is cut from the USB ports. For a complete list of product specifications, visit the NewerTech spec page.
The install trick is making sure you connect the wires exactly as they were connected to the old outlet. To encourage the installer to pay attention to details, the Power2U uses brass screws for the "+" or black wires, silver screws for the "-" or negative wires, and green for ground. If you are a first-timer, the instructions may be slightly confusing as there is no diagram of the electrical gang-box; however, to ensure everything is handled accordingly, take the extra time to view the install video by NewerTech.
As this is my second install, I have picked up a little trick of the trade: before beginning the installation, you need to make certain the breaker is flipped off for the outlet. If you have two devices with FaceTime, leave one facing the outlet with a lamp turned on. Take your second device with you to the breaker box and watch for the lamp to turn off, ensuring you have flipped the correct breaker! No more running back and forth between the breaker box and the outlet!
Personal install photos are listed at the bottom of this article.
NewerTech capitalized on a niche market with the Power2U ($39.95, order). While the outlet is not the cheapest of its kind, the Power2U does boast several worthy upgrades, including the UL listing and a modern look. Additionally, the automatically closing USB port covers shut off electricity when closed, which is a novel concept. Ultimately, builders across the globe should be including these outlets in all new construction. I hope to slowly replace key outlets in my home with AC/USB outlets for convenience and practicality. Thanks to NewerTech, I will no longer need to unplug my nightstand lamp just to charge my iPhone!