One of my favorite products that solves a common problem recently received an update. TheNewerTech Power 2U (Amazon) replaces a traditional 15 App electrical outlet found in homes in the United States and Canada. It offers two standard power outlets and two additional USB charging ports. This allows you to easily charge any number of USB devices without clunky power bricks. While the Power2U has been around for a few years, the 2013 model features a more compact design making it an easier install than previous models and an increased USB charing output of 12.5w which is the equivalent of an Apple iPad wall adapter.
Installation is pretty simple if you’re familiar with basic electrical work and can handle a screwdriver. There are detailed instructions and installation videos available, I installed mine in about 15 minutes. My first experience with this product was with a prior model Power2U installed in my kitchen over a year ago and I’ve used it regularly. Now that the newer model is available, I’ve replaced my kitchen charging station with the new outlet and relocated the older model to the bedroom.
While I primarily charge my iPhone and iPad by my bedside at night, I’ve found I’ll regularly need to top off a charge after coming home from work or on the weekends when I’m at home and will want to keep the iPhone or iPad nearby. I keep a spare short charging cable in the kitchen drawer (doesn’t everyone keep USB cables with their silverware?) so I can pull it out when needed without cluttering up my counters with mess. The Power2U also provides a convenient charging spot for guests. This past Sunday my brother and his girlfriend came over for Mothers Day and she brought in her iPhone, power brick and cable and was quite impressed when I told her none of that was necessary at my house.
The Power2U is available from Other World Computing (www.macsales.com) for $22.50 for a single outlet with discounts available for multi-pack purchases. It’s also available from Amazon for $22.00 with free shipping for Prime members. There are a variety of colors available including White, Black, Almond and Ivory to match the finish of your existing outlets.