March 01, 2016

Product Note: NewerTech Power2U USB/AC Outlet

Nicole Black
Neither the ABA nor ABA entities endorse non-ABA products or services. This review should not be construed as an endorsement.

These days, lawyers are more mobile than ever. In fact, according to the ABA’s 2015 Legal Technology Survey Report, 76% of lawyers use laptops in their practices, 42% use tablets, 79% use smartphones, and undoubtedly, wearable devices are also on the rise.

 

 

With so many devices on hand, it can be a challenge to keep all of them charged. After all, many of us have different devices and there are only so many wall outlets to go around. Because of the demand for more flexibility when it comes to charging devices, an increasing number of products on the market are designed to offer you more options for charging your devices.

The NewerTech Power2U USB/AC Outlet is a perfect example of this growing trend. This handy wall outlet is designed for today’s multi-device household and allows you to charge four devices at one time. It includes two NEC-compliant AC receptacles and two USB ports, which are built right into the outlet.

Additionally, the outlet is designed to be more efficient than regular wall outlets and includes smart circuitry that provides only as much charging power as is required by the attached device. At the same time, the spring-loaded safety shutters close when the USB port is not in use and shut off power to the USB ports, thus eliminating “vampire” energy draw when a connecting cable is removed.

 

 

I received a complimentary outlet for review purposes and its installation wasn’t particularly difficult. My husband, who has a good amount of experience with electrical work, was able to install it with no issues, although he indicated that the Power2U outlet was a fairly tight fit with the electrical box in our kitchen. The company also provides helpful installation videos here, should you encounter any issues.

The USB ports are compatible with many devices, including: Apple iPad (all models), Apple iPhone (all models), Apple iPod (all USB chargeable models), Android™ tablets and phones, tablet computers, cellphones, gaming systems (Nintendo, Sony PSP, etc.), Bluetooth headsets, digital cameras, or GPS devices that charge via a standard USB plug. At one point one of my daughters tried to charge her Kindle via the USB port and quickly learned that it wasn’t charging. So you do need to be aware of the compatibility issue.

I encountered only two drawbacks with this outlet. First, because of its size and the location of the various outlets and ports, you’ll need to use the standard square iPad plug with the lower outlet since it blocks the USB ports if you plug it into the upper outlet. And, in order to avoid draining power from the USB ports when they’re not in use, you have to unplug the USB ports from the wall after each use. For those of you who are used to leaving the charging cord plugged into the wall for convenience’s sake, you may find this requirement to be a bit annoying.

Aside from those two small issues, this outlet works well and reduces some of the clutter encountered when trying to charge multiple mobile devices in one location. All in all, it’s a good product and if you’re part of a busy, multi-device household, you may very well find that the convenience and practicality of this outlet to be well be worth the price of $45.98 for a two-pack.

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Nicole Black

Nicole Black is a Rochester, New York, attorney and the Legal Technology Evangelist at MyCase, web-based law practice management software. She has been blogging since 2005, has written a weekly column for the Daily Record since 2007, is the author of Cloud Computing for Lawyers, coauthor of Social Media for Lawyers: The Next Frontier, and coauthor of  Criminal Law in New York. She is easily distracted by the potential of bright and shiny tech gadgets, along with good food and wine. You can follow her on Twitter at @nikiblack, and she can be reached at niki.black@mycase.com.