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Review: NewerTech Power2U USB Wall Outlet

Rating: 5/5

Posted in iPad, iPhone, iPod, Reviews on 23/01/2012 by Jim Gresham

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Why, in an age of cords and cables, do we still need to use AC Adapters to charge our small electronic devices? Thanks to NewerTechnology, those days are now in the past. The Power2U AC/USB wall outlet offers two AC outlets and two USB ports on the same faceplate. This dynamic duo is perfect for electronically cluttered spaces around the home, such as kitchen counters and night stands.

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 Details

In the box, NewerTech includes the assembled unit, modern faceplate, two retaining screws, two electrical box screws, two faceplate screw covers, and an installation manual. To complete the installation, set aside a phillips head screw driver, flat head screw driver, needle nose pliers, and roughly 20 minutes (if you’ve done similar work in the past, 35 if not).

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.

Conclusion

Rating: 5/5
Rating: 5/5

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!

Pros

  • Plug in 2 AC items and 2 USB gadgets simultaneously
  • Smart Power design cuts electricity to USB ports when not in use
  • Produces exact charge for USB devices
  • Modern look
  • Get rid of AC Adapters
  • Works with multiple USB devices

Cons

  • Your home did not already have one!
  • Price

Personal Installation Process

***This is not intended as a complete guide. Working with electricity is extremely dangerous. Please consult the installation manual when replacing your existing outlets. A video guide is included on the NewerTech webpage.

Removing the old outlet:

Attaching positive and negative wires:

Ensure the wires are properly seated in the screw plate:

Screw in remaining wires and torque unit into gang-box with supplied screws:

Attach the faceplate and plug the screw holes with supplied covers:

Finished product – everything plugged into one outlet! Pictured with a Rockform Rockstand:



Author

Jim Gresham

An avid Macintosh convert, Jim appreciates the fine, detailed, and progressive products Apple designs. He spent his younger years tinkering with computers, reading about technology, and watching Star Wars. Since 2008, he has worked on improving his Apple arsenal and spends his free time researching the latest gadget trends. A native of the Commonwealth of Virginia, he enjoys the stiff crease on a well-ironed dress shirt and dons a bow tie on a regular basis.