This day and age we all have many electronic gadgets we need to charge, but finding one central spot to charge your Smartphone, tablet, and laptop typically requires a power strip with a number of USB charging blocks. Does the Power2U alleviate some of this mess and give your charging station a cleaner appearance? Read on to see if the Power2U is a better solution.
The NewerTech Power2U is a replacement wall outlet that has two integrated USB charging ports. With the two USB ports and two standard outlets, this outlet is capable of charging up to four devices simultaneously. The Power2U only outputs 2.5A or 12.5W, which is enough for two smaller devices like smart phones and GPS but only enough power for one iPad or similar tablet. For this reason NewerTech recommends using the iPad power brick or just charging the iPad by itself and not using the other USB port.
NewerTech offers two versions of the Power2U, a 15A version and a 20A version. 15A outlets are typically found in living rooms and bedrooms while the 20A is more common in kitchens and workshops. These two versions are not interchangeable and you need to order the same amperage outlet to the one being replaced. The image below shows the difference between the two versions and you will notice the 20A has both a horizontal and vertical left slot.
If the outlet being replaced has this same slot configuration then get the 20A, otherwise get the 15A. There are also four color choices for each version: White, Almond, Ivory, and Black.
Instructions are provided for a DIY installation but if you are not familiar or comfortable with electrical systems then we strongly suggest having a licensed electrician do the installation!
If you decide to tackle the installation yourself, remember to turn off the circuit breaker that powers the outlet to be replaced and follow the directions for installation provided. NewerTech has a step-by-step video on their website Found Here that is extremely helpful. The only tools needed for installation are a Phillips screwdriver, flat head screwdriver and potentially a pair of wire strippers.
One thing to keep in mind is that the Power2U is significantly deeper than a standard wall outlet and you need to check the depth of the outlet box to make sure it will fit. Other than that, installation is much the same as a standard wall outlet and is pretty straightforward if you follow the directions.
One problem I found during testing was that the screen on my iPhone 5 became unresponsive or erratic when plugged into the Power2U USB port. When the phone is unplugged from that outlet or plugged into the OEM Apple power block the phone charged and operated fine. This wasn’t too much of an issue since I don’t typically use my device while it’s charging, but just something to keep in mind if you do use your devices while charging.
We are currently working with the manufacturer to determine the root cause of this issue, as it is not typical/isolated at this point. We will update the post as we know more
The Power2U does a great job being able to charge multiple devices at the same time and having a more professional look than having multiple charging bricks hanging out of outlets. Aside from the occasional screen glitch on the iPhone 5 the Power2U charged the devices fine and I would consider putting these in other charging locations throughout the house. Overall this is a very handy device that should be put everywhere that you have multiple electronics to charge.
15 Amp Tamper Resistant, 125 Volt, NEMA 5-15R, 2P, 3W, Decora Body Duplex Receptacle, Straight Blade, Residential Grade, Self Grounding, Back & Side Wired
5.2 Volt, 2500mA (12.5W) Duplex USB Charging Receptacle, With Integrated On/Off Safety Switch for USB Power
- Charge up to 4 devices from one outlet
- Perfect for iPhones, Android smart phones, tablets and other USB charged devices
- Replaces entire outlet for a professional appearance
- Can’t use some devices while charging
Price: ~$15 Amazon