A while ago OWC (macsales.com) sent out one of their Newer Technology Power2U AC/USB wall outlets for charging devices like an iPhone or iPad via USB. I did an install video for the product and since then have been testing the outlet with various devices.
Here's what I think…
If you're not sure exactly what this product does, let me give you a brief overview. The Power2U AC/USB wall outlet is more than just your traditional outlet. It adds two USB ports on the outlet which give you the ability to charge devices without bulky "power blocks." It works with a wide variety of devices and is "the first home-safe, fully UL Listed and approved product of its kind."
Included with the purchase of the Power2U is simple-to-follow installation instructions. Overall I think it took me about 25 minutes to get everything safely installed and ready to go. This outlet is available in "standard" colors like Light Almond, Ivory, and Black to provide a perfect match with almost any house. It's also fairly cheap running only $24.99 for a single outlet, but bulk purchase options are available. Now, Let's talk specifics.
Here's my unboxing / install video:
Overall the installation was simple. I'm not anywhere near being an electrician, and normally wouldn't attempt anything like this without the help of someone knowledgeable in this area. That being said, the instructions clearly outlined what needed to be done, and ultimately helped grow my confidence to take on the install myself. Like I said, the installation took about 25 minutes to complete.
WARNING: Please shut off the power from your breaker box before EVER attempting to install something like this. Not cutting the power could result in SERIOUS INJURY or DEATH. I wouldn't want anyone to get hurt during the installation.
Not to scare you here, but we are dealing with electricity. I enjoy life, so I definitely made sure I had zero power in my office where I installed the Power2U. All things considered, this installation couldn't be any easier, and I thought it was dead simple.
The Power2U outlet operates perfect. Just as described I have been able to conveniently charge my devices with zero need for any type of power block. I've actually had two iPhones plugged in via USB, and the new iPad along with an iPod Touch with power blocks all plugged in and charging overnight at once. Pretty incredible right? Over the past month, this outlet has quickly become my go-to outlet in the house. I've even lost a couple power blocks due to irresponsibility because I never have to rely on them. (Not sure if that's good or bad but certainly my fault and had nothing to do with the superb performance of the outlet.)
There's a lot to like about USB ports on an outlet. I know it seems silly, but it's extremely useful. I have had zero problems with the outlet since installation. It's also energy efficient. The Power2U only emits enough power to charge the connected device. It also has spring-loaded shutters that automatically cut power to the USB outlets when closed. This prevents any extra energy draw when no devices are connected.
Just as I mentioned above, the shutters over the USB outlets that cut power when closed can sometimes be a nuisance. It's definitely by no means a deal-breaker you just have a slight learning curve with plugging in devices. I've found that inserting the USB plugs long side at an angle gets it in there pretty quick. Over time I've adapted this technique and since, the aforementioned has not been an issue at all. So it's more of an adaption over a complete dislike of the product feature. Plus you can't argue with the energy saving the shutters provide.
The Power2U AC/USB wall outlet is a great buy for tech enthusiasts and businesses. Like I've said this has definitely become my go-to outlet and I charge all my devices with it. Charging four devices at once isn't possible on a standard outlet so Power2U gets the win here. It's priced to sell at $24.99 and bulk options are also available. For more information or purchase options check out OWC's website.
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