Newer Technologies Power2U is a pretty sweet product that allows you to plug in your USB cable directly to a wall outlet and charge your device. Taking the time to replace one of my outlets with the Power2U and the testing it was an intriguing task, but first let’s take a better look at Power2U.
What we have with the Power2U is an outlet with two standard plugs and two USB connecters, therefore allowing you to charge or power up to four devices. Design for the Do it yourselfer on a fifteen amp circuit and an electrical box of 16 Cubic inches. The USB ports only generate power when a cable is connected to eliminate the so called Vampire energy from killing your electric bill. This is through a spring loaded safety shutter on each USB port. It is also design to only allow the required power output for the device connected. It is also fully UL listed and approved. MSRP is $29.95.
Now moving on to installation. The first thing you need to do is turn off the power at the breaker, unless you like being extra crispy! Next we removed the standard outlet and soon determined the new Power2U outlet was ever so slightly too large for the electrical box I had installed.This was primarily due to the fact that I have my power running from the box to this outlet and then to 2nd. They all have to be wired together to complete the circuit. In my case this was not severe as I can easily replace the electrical box and I did so with an 18 Cubic inch box to give a little extra room for those tight cables. See the video below the review for my installation. Once I had the new box we had it installed within 20 minutes.
One thing that caught my attention were the terminal screws. In your standard outlet these screws do not come all the way out, yet the Power2U does just that. This caused some extra time in securing the cables. The build quality seems a little less rugged that most outlets, but it does seem to hold up just fine. Also keep in mind this is larger than the standard outlet, you may need to check first.
As for the intended use of charging your USB devices and standard power, it does the trick very nicely. In fact, I have this in my studio office where I have my high end workstation and computer equipment connected and on those late nights when I’m working on the next big thing it definitely helps to charge my phone, too!
When all is said and done this is a pretty awesome product, it does what it needs to do quite well, but for the installer it could use a few revisions such as updating the terminal screws to prevent them from coming all the way out. It charges well and looks pretty sweet once installed and it will get plenty of use around here.